After a successful release of the Kirsten Dunst comedy on VoD in the US, ahead of its theatrical release, Lionsgate and Icon adopt day and date strategy for the UK.

Comedy Bachelorette is set to become the biggest mainstream feature released simultaneously across UK cinemas, TVOD platforms and download-to-own services.

Released this Friday [Aug 16] by Lionsgate for Icon Film Distribution, VOD partners include Sky Store, Virgin Movies, Xbox Video, Film Four, BT Vision, Google Play, Blinkbox, Knowhow Movies, Sainsbury’s Entertainment, Dominos, Everything Everywhere (EE) and PlayStation Store.

Lionsgate has hailed the release as a significant first for an indie-major in the UK. While independents have experimented with day-and-date releases on niche titles, some of the larger distributors have been reluctant to close the theatrical window entirely.

Screen understands that the film will reach around 18 cinemas this weekend, a similar number to Film4/picturehouse title A Field in England last month.

Nicola Pearcey, Lionsgate MD home entertainment and new media, explained why the company has adopted the strategy for this title:

“We find that female genre films – and particularly rom-com titles – perform really well on VOD and EST. This release strategy delivers optimal revenue opportunity – and allows us to simultaneously combine marketing expenditure between both theatrical and digital P&Ls. This way, we can afford a broader campaign with messaging that applies to both cinema-goers and those who see this as a girls’ night in proposition.”

Radius-TWC had success in the US with their innovative release of Bachelorette a year ago, when it was released on VOD platforms a month before its theatrical run.

The comedy hit number one on iTunes and became the first ever pre-theatrical release to crack the top five across cable VOD providers. Theatrically, the film opened in the US on $180,000 from around 50 screens at an impressive average of $3,800, and went on to gross approximately $450,000. The film was a bigger hit on the international circuits, taking in more than $9m.

Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Rebel Wilson are among the cast of the comedy, in which three friends are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman they used to ridicule in high school.

Film4 and Picturehouse released Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England on UK TV, cinemas, on Blu-ray, DVD and VoD simultaneously last month. At widest theatrical release the film hit 19 screens. The film posted solid if unspectacular results across all platforms on its first weekend, which was also a very warm, Wimbledon finals appointment.