Figured this would be the case for this release but now it’s official: Lionsgate has decided that the best course of distribution financially for their movie Antebellum is to have the movie premiere on premium on-demand platforms on September 18, as COVID-19 safety protocols currently prohibit New York, California and other stateside movie theaters from reopening. Antebellum will not get a simultaneous theatrical release, a move Orion Pictures recently made with Bill & Ted Face The Music, but will instead just hit PVOD in the U.S. However, it will be released in select offshore markets in theaters that are available.
Antebellum, directed & written by filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, was originally intended to be a possible sleeper horror release given its mysterious marketing campaign. The film was originally going to be released on April 24 before being moved to August 21. The horror release was just taken off that last date just last week. Joe Drake, Chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, had this to say about the PVOD decision:
“While the theatrical experience will always be the heart of our business, we are thrilled that we are able to seize the opportunity to match Gerard and Chris’s urgent and immediate film with a release strategy befitting this moment of extraordinary change. Gerard and Chris are storytellers whose work beats with authenticity – not only will this film entertain and thrill audiences worldwide, but spark a discussion about our current world.”
Bush and Renz, who made their feature directorial debut on the Janelle Monáe movie, added, “While we designed Antebellum to be consumed as a communal experience in the theater, we are thrilled by the unique opportunity we have to pivot to a different kind of communal moment in our culture. As we face the realities of systemic racism in our country, which have crescendoed to this current inflection point in 2020, we understand how imperative it is to bring Antebellum to the broadest audience possible.”
In Antebellum, successful author Veronica Henley (Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality that forces her to confront the past, present and future – before it’s too late. Antebellum also stars Marque Richardson, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Jena Malone. Pic is produced by Raymond Mansfield, Sean McKittrick, Zev Foreman, Bush and Renz, and Lezlie Willis.