US ultra-VoD release for Oz thriller

Kriv Stenders’ Kill Me Three Times will be released on iTunes and other VoD platforms in the US on March 26, ahead of the theatrical premiere in around a dozen cities on April 10.

There is no Australian release date yet for the comedy thriller scripted by James McFarland, which stars Simon Pegg as an assassin who encounters a group of increasingly violent locals, together with Alice Braga, Luke Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer and Sullivan Stapleton.

The gap between the US and Australian release raises the prospect the film will be susceptible to online piracy, which has recently blighted Wyrmwood: Road to the Dead, The Little Death and John Doe: Vigilante.

But producer Tania Chambers tells IF, “We are looking forward to as many people as possible seeing our film. We continue to believe that some people understand that piracy doesn't support creative people to get our stories to Aussies and the world. We need audiences to pay for content and returns to investors to be generated, in order for other films to be made in the future.”

Its US distributor Magnolia Pictures is one of the pioneers of the ultra-VoD release. “We have used that model over the years very successfully on films like Melancholia, Alan Partridge and Drinking Buddies,“ Magnolia’s Arianne Rocchi tells IF.

Typically films cost $US9.99 to rent in the initial window and the fee drops to the regular $6.99 or so when the film opens in cinemas.

Kill Me Three Times has been booked in cinemas in Atlanta, Berkeley, Cambridge, Mass, Columbus, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington, DC:, West Los Angeles and Gainesville, Florida.

Magnolia is arranging a media launch in Los Angeles on March 24, hopefully attended by Stenders and the producers.

It will be available on DVD on July 7, which Rocchi says is a typical gap after VoD. EntertainmentOne has the Australian rights.

Matt Saville’s Felony and Greg Mclean’s Wolf 2 took the Ultra-VoD route in the US last year, distributed by Gravitas Theatrical and Image Entertainment respectively.