BUSINESS INSIDER: The Theatrical Success of Mandy has the Industry Rethinking Release Strategies
Since its release on September 13th, Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy has been KILLING IT (pun intended) at the theater. In addition to thrilling critics and audiences (Esquire recently listed it #1 on its “Best Movie of 2018 So Far” list), it’s also put the industry on notice, as detailed in the Business Insider article below.
This sort of cult following is EXACTLY what we hoped for when we invested in the film. After all, Mandy has all the makings of a cult classic. Business Insider goes so far as to ask if it might become the next Rocky Horror Picture Show. As an investor, we’re THRILLED by this comparison. We also believe Legion M can help make it happen.
The credit for Mandy’s success belongs first and foremost to writer/director Panos Cosmatos and the team of incredibly talented people who made the film (not to mention all the producers at SpectreVision, Umedia, and XYZ Films). They created a remarkable movie that is defying industry norms and getting people out of their living rooms and into theaters. Mandy’s success comes from grassroots, word-of-mouth buzz made possible by a film that is intrinsically viral.
But for a virus to become an epidemic it needs a vector. And what better “patient zero” than tens of thousands of passionate Legion M’ers spreading the news and “infecting” their family and friends? Legion M is built on the premise that a large group of fans can create grassroots, viral buzz. With Mandy, we believe we’re seeing evidence of success.
Below are just some of the ways that Legion M has worked to help share Mandy around the world:
We shouted from the rooftops when Mandy was accepted to Sundance, then showed up in droves (wearing Cheddar Goblin beanies!) for its Park City premier.
We hosted the official Sundance premier party (open to our members and investors, of course) at the Legion M lounge, and live-streamed a Mandy Q&A that was crashed by Nic Cage and Vince Neil.
We took Mandy to the two largest Comic Cons in the United States (San Diego and New York) where thousands of fans were exposed to props from the film, exclusive footage, Mac and Cheese, and celebrity appearances from Cheddar Goblin himself. We had cosplayers dressing as Red even before the film released!
We helped sell out the Hollywood premiere at the Egyptian Theatre in a matter of hours. Hundreds of Legion M’ers came out in person, and we live-streamed to everyone else at home.
We helped bring Kevin Smith to moderate a live Q&A with Panos Cosmatos, Nicolas Cage and Linus Roache after the premiere. Then we co-hosted the afterparty.
On opening night, Legion M organized 60+ meetups at theaters around the country (nearly half the screens the movie was playing on!) and supported them with free limited edition pins made in partnership with Mandy’s distributor, RLJ Entertainment.
We created highly coveted Mandy merchandise, including the “Mandy Party Box” with cool collectibles, drink recipes, and instructions for how to host the ultimate Mandy viewing party in your living room (Cheddar Goblin Mac & Cheese included!).
We’ve worked our social channels relentlessly with dozens of posts that received tens of thousands of “shares”.
While we believe the list above is remarkable, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Every single activity listed above is explicitly designed to encourage sharing — both from those in attendance as well as the 40,000+ members of our community. Our goal isn’t to get the Legion out to see a film—it’s to use the Legion as a lever that gets the WORLD out to see the film.
We believe that grassroots, viral buzz is one of the most powerful forces in Hollywood and are building a company with unprecedented ability to create it. This power can’t make a bad movie good, but it can help a good movie break through the noise. And for a film like Mandy, that might just be the difference between a “hidden gem” and a “cult classic”.