Rakuten TV launches Rakuten Cinema project and unveils its first movie release
Simultaneous digital and theatrical releases to shorten the cinema window.
London, UK(24 Apr 2018)
Today Rakuten TV is thrilled to announce the launch of its new project: Rakuten Cinema. The VOD company enters for the first time in the co-production and distribution field, promising to disrupt the industry with a distribution model based on a simultaneous theatrical and VOD release and empowering independent producers to stand head-to-head with their Hollywood counterparts.
Rakuten TV wants to empower cinema lovers to have access to great content – regardless of distribution status. There is a way of delivering a rich cinema experience in which independent producers can coexist with Hollywood studios in a constructive way, and Rakuten TV is eager to move in this direction with its new project. A major step for the company, founded in 2009 and which now has become one of the main VOD platforms in Europe with a very clear goal: bringing into homes the best cinematic experience via Smart TVs.
As its first feature, Rakuten TV has selected Kaleidoscope Entertainment’s World War II action thriller, Hurricane – starring Iwan Rheon (Game Of Thrones, Marvel’s Inhumans, Riviera, Misfits), Milo Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) and Marcin Dorocinski (Anthropoid, Rose, The Reverse). From BAFTA winning director, David Blair, Hurricane is produced by Krystian Kozlowski of Prospect 3, Matt Whyte of Stray Dogs Films and Lipsync Productions. Hurricane will be released in cinemas and digital VoD platforms in the UK simultaneously this Autumn, and tells the heroic true story of a group of crack Polish fighter pilots who helped defend British shores during the Battle of Britain.
Empowering the industry
Rakuten Cinema is born with the aim of disrupting the cinema industry from the earliest stage of creation to distribution. Following the Rakuten TV company vision of empowerment, the main goal is offering cinema lovers quality content whenever and wherever they want. To do so Rakuten Cinema will both co-produce and distribute movie content by acquiring exclusive rights, with the aim of reducing the theatrical window by offering movies in the way audiences are demanding.
The empowerment vision is also leveraging small producers, directors and stories that produce high quality movies but because of the mechanism of the distribution industry, often don’t have significant distribution in cinemas.
CEO of Rakuten TV, Jacinto Roca said: “The entertainment industry is going through a deep revolution and we want to lead it. For us, what matters is great content, no matter where or how it is consumed. Our vision is to empower people to watch and enjoy great stories without waiting months between its cinema and home entertainment release. We don’t want to substitute cinemas but instead complement and offer film loving consumers as many ways as possible to watch good movies whenever and wherever they want. Alongside our future distribution partners, we are passionate about leading a change in how good quality movies are being distributed in Europe, and supplying an increasing demand for the latest films at home now.”
With the launch of this project, Rakuten Cinema marks a real turning point in theatrical distribution with its own stamp. Original productions are planned to expand around Europe and next stop will be Spain, coming later this year.
Our UK Distribution Partner: Kaleidoscope Entertainment
Rakuten Cinema has partnered with one of the UK’s leading independent studios, Kaleidoscope Entertainment, an established supporter of independent productions, and proud supporter of new and innovative distribution strategies designed to grow the market.
Kaleidoscope CEO, Spencer Pollard said: “We are very excited to be working with Rakuten in bringing Hurricane to a wide UK audience later this year. Not only is the film a visual spectacle, with brilliant performances and a fabulous authentic look and feel, but by partnering with Rakuten and hitting a key audience demographic, with our combined vision for the film and release plan, we hope to maximise the commercial returns for everybody involved. Rakuten are an aggressive, smart partner who we look forward to working with in the future.”
ABOUT RAKUTEN TV
Rakuten TV – “Your cinema at home” - is one of the leading Video-On-Demand platforms in Europe providing the latest movie releases with the latest technology in a true cinematic experience available on Smart TVs. Rakuten TV is currently distributed in 12 countries and it is part of the Internet and e-commerce Japanese giant Rakuten, now sponsor of FC Barcelona, The Golden State Warriors and Shakira’s El Dorado Tour.
Launched in 2008, Kaleidoscope is a global independent all-rights entertainment distributor, with theatrical, digital, physical and international distribution capabilities. The catalogue now contains more than 1,700 features.
Past releases include Joss Whedon’s acclaimed Much Ado About Nothing, Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner, The Wolfpack, high-octane action feature, A Lonely Place To Die, family animated features, Spark and Khumba: A Zebra’s Tale, respectively featuring the voices of Jessica Biel, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Stewart and Hilary Swank, and Steve Buscemi and Liam Neeson, Alice Lowe black comedy Prevenge, the Idris Elba starred, Second Coming, the epic tale of the Dunlop road racing dynasty, Road, narrated by Liam Neeson, and WW2 thriller, Winter in Wartime, rip-roaring TV franchises, Black Sails and Spartacus, classic animated series and best-seller, Tin Tin, and cult horror feature franchise, I Spit On Your Grave.
Further catalogue titles include Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, We Were Soldiers and What Women Want, the Ryan Gosling starred Drive, Buried and Nice Guys, alongside Russell Crowe, the acclaimed WW2 thriller, Anthropoid, Nicolas Winding Refn’s, The Neon Demon, and The Road, starring Viggo Mortensen.