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Weinstein Co. and Radius Figure Out Hybrid Amazon Release Plan for Fassbender’s ‘Macbeth’

Weinstein Co. and Radius Figure Out Hybrid Amazon Release Plan for Fassbender's 'Macbeth'

The Weinstein Co., which has an ongoing deal with Netflix, is playing the field, getting into bed with production chief Ted Hope and distribution head Bob Berney at Amazon Studios to release Michael Fassbender vehicle “Macbeth.” The second high-profile Fassbender movie will hit theaters in December (no exact date as yet) not via Weinstein but its nimble digital subsidiary Radius-TWC, followed two to three months later by exclusive VOD streaming for Amazon Prime subscribers, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Thus Amazon Prime offers its subscribers a first-run art film. Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel’s bloody Shakespeare adaptation, which costars Marion Cotillard, played well at Cannes but did not earn any prizes; it’s more art film than crossover material. 

Hope and Berney are evaluating the release plan for each Amazon film on a case by case basis; they may decide to open Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” in theaters this December to qualify for the Oscar.

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The Weinstein Co. acquired U.S. and Canadian rights on the Film4 film from StudioCanal back in 2013. See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (“The King’s Speech”) produced.

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Radius has shepherded several documentaries through the Oscar race, including back-to-back Oscar-winners “Citizenfour” and “20 Feet From Stardom,” but it’s a surprise that Radius would release “Macbeth.” This suggests that Harvey Weinstein either lacks confidence in the film’s awards profile or is trying to release it during the congested awards corridor at less cost. (A December playing time means not having to hold a movie in theaters during the most competitive months.) A substantial payday from deep-pocked Amazon could mean the difference between profit and loss. 
All indie distributors are continuing to play around and experiment with release models, and Amazon and Netflix are more and more in the mix. 

Meanwhile TWC has lost a key executive, COO David Glasser, who will consult until November. 

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