Mel Gibson’s Get the Gringo set for local theatrical release

28 February, 2012 by Brendan Swift

Icon Film Distribution Australia is planning a traditional theatrical release for Mel Gibson’s Get the Gringo despite North American plans to launch an exclusive video-on-demand (VOD) offer.

The US deal will result in the action-thriller being distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment from May 1 on DirecTV, which will charge $10.99 per home viewing, according to A wider release on Blu-ray, VOD, and digital download will be rolled out after one month.


Fox and DirecTV and Icon will do a national marketing campaign for the movie following a one-off theatrical screening event in Austin, Texas. While Gibson’s star has been tarnished in recent years (his recent drama The Beaver also failed at the box office), the DirecTV deal is being positioned as a potentially more lucrative distribution channel than a straight-to-DVD release.

In a statement, Fox Home Entertainment president Mike Dunn said: “As digital distribution evolves, we are constantly looking at new ways to bring the consumer greater access than ever before to our movies. Reaching nearly 20 million households on the DirecTV premium platform offers us an opportunity to explore innovative approaches like this one for Get The Gringo.”

Icon Film Distribution will release the film in Australia on May 12.

The US has a sophisticated VOD market and smaller distributors such as Magnolia and IFC regularly mix up the traditional distribution windows with arthouse titles. However, the Australian VOD market is constrained by slower download speeds and an uncompromising stance by local exhibitors, who refuse to budge on the four-month DVD window, even for smaller arthouse fare.

Financial drama Margin Call stands out as another recent US success, where it was distributed by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions simultaneously in cinemas and on VOD.

While it grossed more than $US5.3 million in the US, it also took another $US5 million via VOD, according to press reports. The film will be distributed in Australian cinemas by Becker Film Group from March 15.

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