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‘Snowpiercer’ Speeds Past $5 Million Mark on VOD

'Snowpiercer' Speeds Past $5 Million Mark on VOD

As of August 8, the dystopian thriller has racked up an impressive $5,518,584 after only four weeks on VOD and pulled in a respectable $4,280,970
in over seven weeks in theaters, Radius-TWC reports. Yes, you read that correctly — the film is faring better on VOD than it is in theaters (it’s now in 71 theaters, down from 100).

READ MORE: As “Snowpiercer” Hits VOD, The Industry’s Divided on Distribution’s Future

“We had pretty good size expectations as far as what the film could do
on VOD once we got into that window,” Jason Janego, Radius-TWC
co-president, recently told Indiewire. “We weren’t entirely sure what
would happen on the theatrical side initially, but because the film is
such a brilliant unique film, we had decent hopes that if it caught a
little bit of fire, that word would spread quickly and that people would
line up to see it and it has actually happened that way…It’s exceeded

Radius-TWC’s highest grossing VOD release is still “Bachelorette,” which grossed $8.2 million on various digital platforms, according to Janego. Though unlike “Snowpiercer,” “Bachelorette” premiered on VOD before hitting theaters.
Still, at the rate it’s chugging along, it’s possible that “Snowpiercer” could reach “Bachelorette’s” numbers.

But regardless of the success of the multi-platform release strategy for “Snowpiercer,” Janego said the company wouldn’t necessarily plan a similar release for all titles. “It’s always on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “This is not a one size fits all platform. Everything is dependent upon the film itself. We hadn’t done this particular strategy with any film before and yes, we’d love to try it again, but we’re not just going to do it for the sake of doing it. It’s got to be the right film.”

READ MORE: Is VOD The Future of Indie Film? Yes and No.

Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn previously told Indiewire this unorthodox release strategy works well for certain movies that benefit from the theatrical setting but also have a high enough demand to merit a wider availability. He gave A24’s “Spring Breakers” as an example of a film that would have benefited from a multi-platform release.

It’s likely other indies will follow Radius-TWC lead and experiment with the unconventional release strategy — although booking theaters for day-and-day or ultra-VOD releases continues to be a challenge (Most of the big theater chains insist that distributors wait 90 days before releasing films on VOD).

“This is a business where we’re all constantly watching what everyone else is doing,” said Janego. “When someone does something that is perceived to be successful, it’s only natural for other people to want to try to replicate that. So I would imagine that somebody will try. That said, it’s not going to affect what we do.”

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Daniella Isaacs

This is all revenge for the fact that the director wouldn’t give Harvey Sissorhands the cut he wanted. This film could have been a surprise hit to the tune of 100 mil. Oh well.

C. Quintana

If you take into account the $82M it has done internationally I’d say it is doing ok.

R.A. Johnson

Both Zach and Chris really make valid and relative points. Might I add, with a 40M budget according to IMDB, is its 10M current mark a successful example of an innovative model?


They dumped Snowpiercer and set it up to fail theatrically – that it has done what it has theatrically is tribute to the film and word of mouth. Maybe they can make the case that they saved money by not going for a full throttle release and spending all that P&A, but "we might have lost a lot of money" is being spun into "we’re brilliant," by virtue of the film doing OK VOD business. It is a bit much. And a lot of people think they could have done better had they not tanked the theatrical. I also think the passive-aggressive swipe at A24 over Spring Breakers, a film that grossed 3x Snowpiercer theatrically, is silly. Why not swipe at A24 over The Rover – a much easier, more compelling case to make?


Why is it a surprise that VOD has outpaced theatrical, when VOD provides access to 85 million+ people. How many people did the 71-100 theaters have access to? It also begs the question, how much more would have it made if was exclusively in and marketed for theaters? BOYHOOD has done $10M in 4 weeks, A MOST WANTED MAN has done 10M in 2.5 weeks. Given the quality of this movie, I’d conclude that SNOWPIERCER has been somewhat of a disappointment financially.

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