James Franco! Keanu Reeves! OnDemand! The New Future Of Film!

Need A Keanu Reeves Fix?


Here’s a shot of Keanu directing a scene from “Man Of Tai Chi”…this film hasn’t opened in theaters, but you can watch it at home RIGHT NOW!

Yep, “Man Of Tai Chi” is premiering on your TV screen!


There is a fascinating trend developing in film at a breakneck speed: big stars going straight to your home, bypassing movie theaters. But these aren’t “made for TV” movies; they are a mix of low budget “art” films and big budget films that simply aren’t going into movie theaters!

Check Out These Names!

It’s happening to a lot of big names: these films star Oscar-winning Actors and some of the hottest new stars today! They are also being made by iconic film Directors!


Yes, Even Lindsay Lohan!

That’s right, even Lindsay’s getting in on the action. Here’s a look at some of the latest films premiering at home instead of on the big screen!


“As I Lay Dying”

James Franco had a big summer hit with “This Is The End”, but his next film is going right to your house. Franco directed, co-wrote and starred in “As I Lay Dying”, the drama based on William Faulkner’s novel. Here is the trailer:

new films ondemand

Millennium just announced that the company is bypassing a theatrical release for the drama…


Instead, the film, which was supposed to hit theaters on Sept. 27, will be released on iTunes on Oct. 22, and on VOD/iVOD and DVD on Nov. 5.

And look what just showed up at home as well:


Man Of Tai Chi!

This martial arts epic is the fictional directing debut of Keanu Reeves. This kung fu action adventure opened earlier this year in China, where it got mixed reviews. Still, it was originally planned for a theatrical release, but those plans changed:


“Man Of Tai Chi” just showed up ondemand at my house – this is clearly NOT a low budget art film – it’s a big action movie, yet it is now premiering ondemand, bypassing theaters! Here is my original writeup of the film…


This trend is expanding rapidly…I wrote about a few films recently that opened ondemand simultaneously with a small theatrical release, including the notorious Lindsay Lohan movie, “The Canyons”.


This film was written by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader, who made the classic films “Auto Focus” and “Blue Collar”, as well as writing the screenplay for “Taxi Driver”.

There was A LOT of press related to this film, focusing on Lohan’s work ethic. Here is my original story about “The Canyons”:


This film has been ondemad for several months now. And speaking of “Taxi Driver”, star Robert DeNiro has also gone ondemand as well with his film “Killing Season”…

ondemand movies killing-season-poster-john-travolta-robert-de-niro

DeNiro stars with John Travolta, but this film premiered at home, as well as on home video – with little theatrical exhibition at all..and even some of today’s hottest stars are ondemad…for example, Vanessa Hudgens starred in this spring’s breakout theatrical hit “Spring Breakers”…

spring breakers selena gomez and vanessa hudgens

But now Vanessa Hudgens joins John Cusack and Nicolas Cage at your house with “Frozen Ground”…

Vanessa Hudgen stripping movie

What’s interesting about this poster is that it features Nicolas Cage and John Cusack, but not Vanessa…even though she plays a hooker who also performs a lengthy strip tease…and the film highlights her in various states of undress…

Vanessa Hudgens Stripping

It’s worth considering how these films make a profit when they bypass movie theaters…there isn’t a consumer reporting mechanism related to ondemand offerings…so there’s no “box office” to report…


Here are more ondemand offerings:

Brian DePalma’s Passion

Director Brian DePalma is known for such classic films as “Carrie” and “Scarface”, yet his latest film “Passion” also went ondemand simultaneously with a theatrical debut…


The steamy sexual thriller stars Noomi Repace and Rachel McAdams – the topic is nothing unusual for the Director of “Femme Fatale” and “Dressed To Kill”…here is the trailer:


As you can see, it is vintage DePalma…here is a link to five of his greatest thrillers…


And look who else went straight to your house!

lovelace poster

Amanda Seyfried’s brave performance as adult film icon Linda Lovelace also premiered at home the same day it opened in theaters…here is the trailer:

amanda seyfried as linda lovelace

Seyfried is one of Hollywood’s biggest young stars, but this very adult look at the tragic life of Lovelace never received a wide release…here is my original post about the film and the true story surrounding Lovelace as well…


linda lovelace

As you can see, there are many big stars acting in films that will never be seen in theaters – or if they are, they will premiere in the home at the same time…is there a new business model being created?


The Big $$$ Question!

I have seen most of these films, and they are all pretty good – a couple of actually GREAT. In no way is this a comment on the quality of the movies…this is, in fact, the FUTURE of film…

Keanu Reeves director

But it raises a big question: can you get enough people to watch at home to make up for the lack of theatrical box office? That’s a question still to be answered…but for many, this is the way of the future…and for some, it’s always been how their films are shown…


“Drinking Buddies!”

For many low-budget film makers, ondemand has always been a good financial bet…Independent Director Joe Swanberg and Producer/Star Olivia Wilde made a low budget – and very touching – comedy about a group of co-workers at a Chicago brewery…here is my original writeup, including the movie’s trailer…


This is a terrific movie, but also one that would never get a wide theatrical release…

"Drinking Buddies" World Premiere - 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

This could be the business model of the future: acknowledge that a small film can’t get enough attention to justify a wide release: instead, the stars do heavy promotion for all of the various and simultaneous release options – ondemand, blu-ray AND in theaters – and in this case promoting the film city by city as well…


It’s chance to maximize any and all publicity in order to monetize the film as quickly as possible, as well as giving viewers multiple options for viewing…and the filmmakers don’t have to compete at your local 21-plex with films like “Gravity”…


So now you can watch Keanu Reeves’ latest action film at home…or you can watch Vanessa Hudgens strip – even check out James Franco’s take on William Faulkner…

new films ondemand

The unanswered question is whether you can make enough money releasing films this way to cover their cost…

Leave a comment and let me know what you think! Vanessa thanks you for reading!


Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, chicago, China, Comedy Movies, Director Martin Scorsese, documentary films, Exploitation films, Film Noir, Great Films, Independent Cinema, Movies, Obscure Movies, Politics, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Uncategorized

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4 replies


  1. Jackie Chan! Johnny Knoxville! “Skiptrace” Skips Theatrical Release! Jackie Chan Sings! – johnrieber
  2. The Death Of “Classic Hollywood”: Ladies Men, Streaming Stars And Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply”… – johnrieber
  3. “Monster Trucks” Meltdown! $115-Million Write-Off Before It Even Opened! Disastrous Movie Performances! – johnrieber
  4. “American Made!” The Latest Tom Cruise Film Struggling At The Box Office! – johnrieber

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