James Franco's Latest Arty Film Heads Straight to Video
'As I Lay Dying' won't be in theaters
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2013 9:27 AM CDT
James Franco poses as he arrives on the red carpet for the film Palo Alto at the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival held from Aug. 28 through Sept. 7, in Venice, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(Newser) – To watch James Franco's latest film, you won't even have to get off the couch. Franco directed and co-wrote As I Lay Dying, based on the William Faulkner novel, and it premiered at Cannes in May. But Millennium decided to forego a theatrical release, which had been planned for tomorrow, and will instead release the film Oct. 22 on iTunes, and Nov. 5 on DVD and Video on Demand. Why? As the Hollywood Reporter puts it, the "rarified art film" would be difficult to sell to general audiences and is aimed at more of an "art house crowd."

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Sep 28, 2013 9:35 PM CDT
That basically means no major distributor will take it. Because it means all costs associated with the distribution channel. You don't have to crank out any prints these days but you still have to send it out to theatres for them to run. People won't know to go and see it unless they watch some kind of spot on tv or a magazine ad. That runs thousands per placement in many areas. 20th Century would have been tempted to do the same thing with Star Wars. The $15M film was a stinker to them. They just knew it would tank. They didn't even do an initial wide release. But soon the film offices that used to exist across the nation started calling the print room at 20th. They wanted more prints for each multi-theatre, which at the time was up to 6 in one location. 20th couldn't understand why a theater wanted to tie up their entire house with one movie. Then the numbers started rolling in and they wound up having to print up hundreds more than originally planned. Then when that year was over, they banked $175M and avoided bankruptcy.
Sep 28, 2013 8:42 AM CDT
So you're saying that it sucks...
Sep 26, 2013 12:01 PM CDT
i stopped going to movie theaters years ago. why put up with rowdy crowds just to witness some CGI monstrosity ? i'd much rather watch a quiet, thoughtful "art film" in the comfort of my own home.