By Jay A. Fernandez | Indiewire August 7, 2012 at 12:00PM
Fans who want to experience best picture Oscar winners “The Artist” and “The King’s Speech” again on the big screen will now have the chance to orchestrate their own screenings via Tugg. The recently launched, Austin-based collective-action website has partnered with the Weinstein Co. to add some of that company’s most successful films to its growing library.
Tugg allows audiences to organize screenings of films at local, participating theaters if they can demonstrate enough interest to make it cost effective. The site, which now has more than 500 available movies and thousands of theaters signed up, provides event pages with deadlines and quotas that fans must meet to trigger the screenings. Once they do, Tugg takes care of the rest: reserving the theater, delivering the movie and handling tickets.
“The Weinstein name is synonymous with quality filmmaking, and we are thrilled to be featuring such a critically acclaimed list of titles,” said Tugg co-founders Nicolas Gonda and Pablo Gonzalez. “As we continue to grow the library, our mission is to enable audiences to share an endless selection of films with friends, family and local communities, and to provide for a rich and engaging experience at local theaters.”
With TWC films such as “Inglourious Basterds” and “The Reader” included in the deal, Tugg takes a notable step toward enhancing its library with high-caliber content. The company’s stated goal is to convince all the major studios and specialty divisions to get on board for a model that promises to trigger deliverables only when an event has already hit a profitability benchmark.
For indie-minded fans, the approach may also prove to be a boon for their ability to see films that couldn’t achieve much exposure because of limited P&A budgets. It’s a forum that filmmakers and distributors would find beneficial for the same reason.
“Partnering with Tugg gives our audience the chance to relive some of their favorite independent films,” said TWC distribution president Erik Lomis. “We are always looking for new avenues to distribute our films — old and new.”