Shakespeare’s work may be immortal, but he’s still a tough sell. Movies that directly adapt the Bard’s work rarely tear up the box office, and so perhaps that’s why The Weinstein Company is making an unusual move regarding the film’s release strategy.
According to Deadline, The Weinstein Company is moving Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, which received positive reviews out of Cannes back in May, to its multi-platform distribution arm RADiUS-TWC in a deal that will give Amazon Prime limited exclusive streaming rights shortly following the movie’s December release. There are no details on when in December the film will open, nor how long the exclusivity window will last. However, Deadline expects the movie to premiere on Prime about two to three months after the movie’s theatrical debut, which, hey, wouldn’t you know it, is also around Oscar season.
Deadline believes that RADiUS-TWC is handling the film because they’ve had awards success the past couple of years with Twenty Feet from Stardom and Citizenfour. However, documentaries are a very different beast, and simply being released on VOD through RADiUS-TWC didn’t automatically boost their chances. Twenty Feet was a feel-good doc that the Academy loves and Citizenfour tapped directly into the zeitgeist with our fears regarding domestic spying.
But Macbeth is still Shakespeare, and while the trailer makes the movie look incredible, simply putting it in RADiUS-TWC makes it far from a sure thing when it comes to awards season. It will be interesting to see if The Weinstein Company tries to put the movie into the fall festival circuit, or if it they’re comfortable with what they currently have in place.
Macbeth stars Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Sean Harris, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Jack Reynor, and Elizabeth Debicki.
Here’s the official synopsis for Macbeth:
MACBETH is the story of a fearless warrior and inspiring leader (Michael Fassbender) brought low by ambition and desire. A thrilling interpretation of the dramatic realities of the times and a reimagining of what wartime must have been like for one of Shakespeare’s most famous and compelling characters, a story of all-consuming passion and ambition, set in war torn Scottish landscape.