The gambit of launching Kim Farrant’s Strangerland and John Maclean’s Slow West in a limited number of cinemas immediately following their Sydney Film Festival premieres looks like paying off.

In a joint marketing exercise between the festival and Transmission Films dubbed SFF Presents, Farrant’s feature debut starring Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes opened on about 25 screens on June 11.

“To date we've grossed approximately $100,000 and averaged around $2,000 for each session, which we are very happy with,” Transmission’s co-founder Andrew Mackie tells IF.

“We played very limited festival sessions at each location, rather than traditional seasons. We've had numerous sell-outs, which is why many locations carried the film over. It continues this week.”

As a mini-festival release the mystery drama produced by Naomi Wenck and Macdara Kelleher is not subject to the usual 120-day home entertainment holdback, so the title will be available on DVD and VOD on July 10.

That’s day-and-date with the US release in 15 cinemas and on VOD via Alchemy (formerly Millennium Entertainment).

Maclean’s Slow West, the tale of a bounty hunter who teams up with a naïve Scottish teenager in 1800s Colorado starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelsohn, opened on June 4.

Mackie says the Western, produced by See-Saw Films, Fassbender and Conor McCaughan’s DMC and Rachel Gardiner, has grossed slightly less than Strangerland.

Slow West will be released on DVD and VOD on July 29 and Mackie says, ““We are looking forward to seeing what uplift we achieve on both titles.”

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  1. Oh come on, Don. Where’s the analysis? Think about it: both films screened at Sydney’s 2500-seat State Theatre (twice), probably grossing between $30-40 000 apiece. That brings the *national* theatrical screenings total down to about $50-60 000. Total. If anyone’s smiling, tell ’em they’re dreaming.

  2. There must be plenty of film makers who would embrace this form of model in a ruthless theatrical market. Good on them for securing a short V.O.D. release window for two very difficult films. I don’t hear the sky falling in yet as a result? Shouldn’t the industry be supportive of new models? Perhaps Paul and David are exhibitors lol.

  3. Exactly Todd. So what’s your solution to challenging films and the current windows imposed by exhibitors David and Paul? At last a distributor is attempting a new model to try and combat early VOD releases in the US. If they do a traditional release here piracy kills any hope of success. If only others were brave enough to follow suit.

  4. Hey David – why the glee? Sounds like you couldn’t wait to tear these films down. Not exactly helpful for anyone, with the possible exception of yourself. Please explain?

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