Posted in: Amazon, Movies | Tagged with: Amazon Studios, Conor McGregor, Doug Liman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Prime Video, Road House
After Amazon announced that the Road House remake for Prime Video would not be in theaters, director Doug Liman went to the studio.
- 'Road House' remake won't be in theaters, upsetting director Doug Liman.
- Liman calls out Amazon for using movies to boost sales on Prime Video.
- The remake tested better than Liman's previous hits, starring UFC star Conor McGregor.
- Liman urges Amazon to rethink, Road House launches on Prime Video on March 21st.
Road House launched its marketing offensive this morning with the release of the first poster and the announcement of the release date on Prime Video. This release date has sparked some controversy today as many thought the MGM/Amazon film would be in theaters, albeit for a short time. It turns out that this is not the case. And director Doug Liman, who made the remake and said it was “the best film of my career,” is crazy about it. In a scathing editorial published on Deadline, the director blasted Amazon and its purchase of MGM, how he feels lied to about the film's release, and said they were using Road House “to sell plumbing fixtures.”
Credit: Amazon Studios
“Road House should be in the cinema, he’s right.”
From the editorial: We made Road House a “smash hit” – Amazon’s words, by the way, not mine. Road House tested better than my biggest box office hit, Mr. and Mrs Smith. It tested better than Bourne Identity, which spawned four sequels. I'm told the press response at Amazon was the best since the MGM purchase. Road House has a strong connection to the UFC, which has an enthusiastic and loyal fan base that has generated over 1.5 billion social media impressions for the film, and marketing hasn't even begun yet. The action is groundbreaking. And Jake Gyllenhaal delivers a career-defining performance in a role he was born to play. Audiences will want to see UFC megastar Conor McGregor deliver his first punch to Jake on the big screen. The reality is that there's nothing better than a good bar brawl.
What else could I have delivered to the studio? Nothing, as it turns out. Because contrary to their public statements, Amazon has no interest in supporting cinemas. Amazon will stream Road House exclusively on Amazon Prime. Amazon asked me and the film community to trust them and their public statements in support of movie theaters, and then they turned around and used Road House to sell plumbing fixtures.
He also talks a lot about how Amazon is going back on its promise to creatives to support movie theaters and taking a few more shots at algorithms and the like: The reality is that there might not be a human villain in this story – there just might be one Amazon computer algorithm. Amazon will sell more toasters if it has more subscribers; It will have more subscribers if it doesn't have to compete with movie theaters. A computer could find this elegant solution just as easily as it could solve global warming by killing everyone. But a computer doesn't know what it's like to share the experience of laughing, cheering and crying with a packed audience in a dark theater – and if Amazon has its way, future viewers won't know either.
Doug Liman at the premiere of JUMPER, Ziegfeld Theater, New York, NY, February 11, 2008. Image via Shutterstock/Everett Collection
He's 100% right. He's a bit dramatic, but he believes in his film, and as someone who has made many crowd-pleasers and blockbusters, he should be someone Amazon listens to. He couldn't be more on point when he talks about how big the UFC audience is, and Conor McGregor is one of the most popular athletes in the world; Don't you think people would go to the theater to see him on stage? When Jake did his UFC stunt in the Octagon last year while filming a real live event in the cage, people went crazy for it. Why do these streaming studios keep overlooking the fact that they're making money by giving these films a few weeks in theaters and a real release? Heck, Amazon itself did it last year Ben Affleck Air, so they already know.
Hopefully they change their minds. If not, Road House premieres on Prime Video on March 21st.
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