Alloy Digital, the company that distributes Smosh and the multifaceted suite of Clevver channels, has announced a partnership with Cinedigm, a company that specializes in providing theatrical releases for its clients.
The result could be the first time (to my knowledge) that a web series has been released on the big screen, presumably with a collection of Smosh content getting aggregated in order to create a feature that is long enough for presentation in a movie theater. Cinedigm hopes that by marketing the Smosh big screen event over a long period of time will bring in the channels younger demographic. “What we’ve done in the past is one-off deals in theaters,” said Cinedigm CEO Chris McGurk. “This more supports the idea of doing recurring programmatic presentations in theaters against a very well-defined audience.”
In my mind, the fickle nature of Smosh’s target demographic isn’t the only challenge that the Alloy-Cinedigm partnership will face. Last month, we learned from Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog‘s TV ratings failure that even the most desirable web series content isn’t necessarily a fit on any other platform. After all, it’s hard to convince people to pay money (or even donate their time) to a product that they can get for free at any time on the internet (and probably already have).
Perhaps Smosh will go the theater-specific route; an original feature-length presentation featuring Ian Hecox, Anthony Padilla, and lots of yelling could convince the 12-34 demographic to take a trip to the movies. Alternatively, Alloy and Cinedigm could take it on faith that the novelty of a theater experience will turn a profit. At any rate, we’ll have to wait for more details to see if Alloy and Cinedigm can shut up their critics and turn a web series hit into a big screen success.
Photo credit: The Bui Brothers