The makers of the indie film Arthur Newman took a gamble on digital distribution, releasing a 10-minute promotional video on BitTorrent in the lead-up to its premier this weekend.
BitTorrent got an exclusive first look at the Cinedigm film which stars Colin Firth as about a middle-American man who fakes his own death to become someone else. Emily Blunt stars as his love interest. The free download also included behind-the-scenes photos.
The promotion was downloaded a million times in the first five days.
“This marks the first time Hollywood’s ever premiered content within the torrent ecosystem; a visionary move by Cinedigm, and a significant shift in how the media industry perceives BitTorrent,” the company said.
The film still faces an uphill battle at the box office. Showing on about 250 screens, a fraction of the 3,500-plus devoted to blockbusters, Arthur Newman failed to break into the top ten on its opening weekend. It grossed just over $100,000.
Of course, lackluster reviews could have something to do with that.