'A Field in England' in Theaters, DVD, TV & VOD at Same Time in UK
We've highlighted the first look photo and poster from Ben Wheatley's new film A Field in England, and now we're excited about the way his new project will be distributed across the pond. First of all, if you don't know Wheatley's work, you must seek out Kill List and Sightseers (which I loved at Sundance). And once you're familiar, you should be excited about A Field in England, a story set during the English Civil War of the mid-17th century and follows a small group of deserters fleeing from a battle who become embroiled in a hunt for treasure. And in an interesting release approach, the film will hit movie theaters, DVD, free TV and VOD simultaneously on July 5th this summer. It could be a distribution gamechanger.
THR says Film4, distributor Picturehouse Entertainment, 4DVD, Film4 Channel and the BFI Distribution Fund are all working together on this simultaneous release model, the first of its kind for a film in the United Kingdom. However, this release strategy is only being utilized across the pond for now. But this might be a glimpse at the future as audiences are moving away from the movie theaters and becoming eager to stay home and rent cheaper DVD's or just stream the movie through their cable provider and what have you. The results from this experimental release could be very important to future releases.
Essentially this kind of approach makes the film an event, like when big made-for-TV movies used to draw audiences before the DVR came along. And with so many ways to get ahold of a copy and watch wherever audiences choose, there's a good chance piracy will go down. At the very least, it's a good idea to try this new model and see how audiences react to all the different choices to watch a movie like this. However, the real test would be releasing a film like The Avengers in this pattern and see how the average audience decides to experience the film.
A Field in England is directed by Ben Wheatley from a screenplay co-written by Wheatley and Amy Jump, also of Kill List previously. Michael Smiley (Kill List), Peter Ferdinando (Tony), Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen), Julian Barratt (TV's The Mighty Boosh), Richard Glover (Sightseers) and Ryan Pope (Ideal) star in the story of a small group of deserters fleeing from a raging battle through an overgrown field. As they are captured by O'Neil, an alchemist, they are forced to aid him in finding a hidden treasure he believes is buried in the field. Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provides their first meal, the group descends into a chaos of arguments, fighting and paranoia, and, as it becomes clear the treasure might not simply be gold, they slowly become victim to the terrifying energies inside the field. Thoughts?