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Joe Carnahan came out of indie cinema, and his first film Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane was done for a little over seven grand. So Stretch which stars Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine and Ed Helms — was a return to the low budget filmmaking he emerged from. Universal had the film, but now they’ve decided to drop it as they don’t want to pay to market it.

The Hollywood Reporter broke this story, and what it boils down to is this: The film cost around five million to make, but to promote and distribute the picture will cost them anywhere between $20-$40 Million (or possibly more). It appears they don’t know how to sell it, and would rather not try to promote it and incur any greater loss.

Carnahan went to twitter (as to be expected) and had this to say:

 

Guys. Bottom line. STRETCH is fucking great. It’s funny. It’s touching. It’s unique and @patrickwilson73 is absolutely brilliant in it.

— Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe) January 22, 2014

 

I can talk shit & argue with that idiotic @THR story but brass tacks, that movie works & you will all be fast fans of it when you see it.

— Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe) January 22, 2014

He also promised that the film will eventually end up on the big screen. There are two interesting facets to this. One is that a film can be so cheap to make that a studio can abandon it and write it off as a loss without breaking a sweat. Considering that tentpole titles cost in the two hundred million dollar range, dropping a five million dollar title is fairly easy (for comparison’s sake, that budget is half of what Leonardo DiCaprio got paid to make The Wolf of Wall Street). The Weinsteins used to be famous for burying films for years, but we may see more situations like this in the future.

The other big thing of note is that the cost to market a wide release is now at a point where most low or medium budget films will cost less to make than to release. Which is why studios are bigger on blockbusters, they make more sense in this risk paradigm. So, for a low budget movie to have a chance with a studio it’s got to have an easy to cut trailer and an easily sold premise, it seems.

Was Stretch on your radar?