The mini-major will distribute Kevin Smith’s Sundance premiere in all packaged media, VoD, SVoD, EST and television in the US.

The development is somewhat ironic given that speaking last January immediately after the Park City premiere, Smith referenced Lionsgate in an impassioned address that highlighted spiralling marketing costs.

The filmmaker spoke out against “fetishised” opening weekends and highlighted what he intimated was Lionsgate’s standard model of investing $20m in p&a for a $4-6m pick-up.

Lionsgate will not distribute the film theatrically in the US – Smith’s SModcast Pictures holds those rights and took Red State on a 15-city US tour that grossed close to $1m and fed the director’s already vast appetite for tweeting updates to his army of followers on Twitter. IM Global licensed international rights.

Marketing and distribution executive David Dinerstein will advise SModcast, as he did throughout the film’s recent US tour, and Lionsgate on the release strategy. Red State will open on multiple platforms in September followed by packaged media before the end of the year.  

Red State is part-action, part-horror and follows a trio of boys who fall into the clutches of a demented evangelist and his flock. Michael parks and Melissa Leo star.

Wendy Jaffe negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate with Smith’s attorney John Sloss and Dinerstein.