The studio is taking a crossover bet on YouTube stars Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, whose Smosh channel has generated more than 30m subscribers.
AwesomenessTV jointly financed the film with DEFY Media, in which Lionsgate has an equity interest.
Alex Winter, who starred opposite Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, directed The SMOSH Movie from a screenplay by Eric Falconer about an embarrassing video that needs to be removed from the web before a high school reunion.
The SMOSH Movie includes YouTube stars Jenna Marbles, Grace Helbig, Harley Morenstein, Shane Dawson, Mark Fischback and Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval alongside Jillian Nelson, Brittany Ross, Steve Austin and Michael Ian Black.
Brian Robbins produced and Brett Bouttier, Joe Davola, Barry Blumberg and Shauna Phelan are the executive producers. The film short in part at YouTube Space LA.
UTA represented AwesomenessTV in the deal.
Lionsgate recently announced a first-look partnership with YouTube star Freddy Wong and Rocket Jump Studios to create original long-form content for online audiences and struck a film project deal with AwesomenessTV and YouTube pranksters The Janoskians.
- Kerry Phelan, the former head of consumer products and licensing for DreamWorks Animation, has been appointed evp of global franchise management and strategic partnerships at Lionsgate. She reports to Lionsgate chief marketing officer Tim Palen.