GET THE GRINGO Starring Mel Gibson to Be Released Straight to Video-On-Demand [Updated with Trailer]

     January 31, 2012

A big chunk of the future of home entertainment seems to involve video-on-demand. More and more releases are branching out to the VOD market, offering new movies in the comfort of one’s own home months ahead of their theatrical release. It’s not a terrible model, and given the text-heavy state of theatrical moviegoing across the country, it’s hard to blame people for wanting to watch a film in peace and quiet. Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions is making a ballsy move with the actor’s next feature, Get the Gringo (previously titled How I Spent My Summer Vacation), as the film is set to be released directly to the VOD format. The actioner is skipping the theatrical release altogether, and a Blu-ray/DVD release will follow the VOD window. Hit the jump for more details. [Update: We’ve updated the article with the first trailer for the film]

get-the-gringo-mel-gibson-movie-imageGibson co-wrote the script for Get the Gringo with director Adrian Grunberg. The film tells the story of a career criminal who gets caught by Mexican authorities and is sent to a drug- and crime-filled prison, where he learns how to survive with the help of a 9-year-old boy. Deadline reports that, in Icon’s deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Get the Gringo will have an exclusive preview window on DirecTV starting May 1st. Each viewing will cost $10.99, and a wider release on Blu-ray, VOD, and digital download will follow later in the year. Once DirecTV loses the exclusive preview, the film will be available on other VOD menus. The report does note that the film will have one theatrical screening: a premiere in Austin, Texas hosted by AICN’s Harry Knowles. Gibson, Grunberg, and Gibson’s co-star Kevin Hernandez will take part in a post-screening Q&A that will be broadcast to ten markets across the country that will also screen the film.

While I initially figured Get the Gringo was going straight to VOD on account of Gibson’s pariah status, Deadline points out that the actor-director has always been an outside thinker when it comes to filmmaking. He self-financed The Passion of the Christ, which then became the highest grossing indie of all time. This also isn’t your standard “indie dramedy” fare, as Get the Gringo is the type of action-heavy film that Gibson fans have come to expect from the actor.

This atypical release of the film will be an extremely interesting case study in the world of VOD. A Gibson-led pic may not be the best type of movie to judge the straight-to-VOD model by, but this should give us an idea of what the future of VOD looks like. More and more studios are embracing VOD, and the model’s success could have a major effect on the film distribution industry moving forward.


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