Universal Ditches Joe Carnahan's 'Stretch' Two Months Before Release
After unveiling Whiplash here in the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions banner have a little bit of a setback in the studio world. THR reports Universal has decided not to release Joe Carnahan's comedic thriller Stretch, starring Patrick Wilson, on March 21st this year as was originally planned. A source says that Universal executives didn't think it was smart to spend $20 million to $40 million that it would take to release the film theatrically. They let Blum shop the film to other potential distributors, but no one picked it up, so it stays at Universal.
So what does that mean for the release? Well, Universal is exploring other options for releasing it, which likely means a VOD release, or maybe even sending it to Netflix or something like that. The film only cost $5 million to make, but it's just the cost of releasing it would be too much for the studio to incur. This doesn't necessarily mean the film is bad, but perhaps Universal thinks it will be tough to market, and will not recoup the cost it would take to release theatrically. This is the first film of Blum's that has had trouble while his Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious have all launched franchises.
For those who weren't even aware of the film, Wilson plays a chauffeur who picks up a difficult and devious billionaire, played Chris Pine (though his role is small). As the night goes on, their interaction leads to some interesting and dangerous encounters. The film also includes Jessica Alba, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms and Ray Liotta, so we're not sure what the problem may be. Studios tend to get worked up about the weirdest things, so anything could be going on behind the scenes to stop Universal from releasing the film. We'll let you know when you can see Stretch as soon as this situation is sorted out.