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We were the first to break the news that the Weinsteins were pulling the plug on the completed Ice Cube and Mike Epps comedy Janky Promoters, and staying true to our reports, The Weinstein Company officially released the movie straight-to-DVD with no marketing, no media and no promotions last Tuesday. The movie was filmed over a year ago and starred Ice Cube, Friday franchise counterpart Mike Epps and a special musical performance by Young Jeezy (see video clip after jump) and originally was developed and set to be distributed by The Weinstein Company as part of their push for urban films.
At the time, the Weinstein Company also developed and was set to distribute Hurricane Season starring Bow Wow and Lil Wayne to give the studio a formidable 1-2-punch in the urban film genre. Unfortunately, as we previously reported, The Weinsteins ran into financial difficulty and were forced to shelve a majority of their 2009 slate because they wouldn’t be able to afford the distribution and marketing costs. Janky Promoters was then taken off the release schedule and Cube and his production company Cube Vision awaited a new release date from the Weinsteins.
As time went on and the 3rd quarter of 2009 rolled around, our insiders report that The Weinstein Company had to make the decision to completely cut certain films from their slate and sell off the rights or distribute straight-to-DVD. In the case of Janky Promoters, it was decided that with the star power of Ice Cube behind it and it being a comedy which generally rent well, that they would go straight-to-DVD and take their chances with it as a Blockbuster exclusive.
Blockbuster would then give the film premium in-store placement as the studio did not put any marketing or media spend behind it. The result? Another urban genre film starring a hip-hop artist goes straight-to-DVD. This was a surprise though considering Ice Cube’s credibility in Hollywood. Times are definitely changing though as studios are more reluctant to take chances with these “borderline” genre films that they know will not break out to mainstream.
And what about Bow Wow and Lil Wayne’s fate in Hurricane Season? Because of the storyline which is more drama and the legit star power which includes Academy Award Winner Forest Whitaker, The Weinstein Company has decided to hold on to the picture and still hopes to release it in theaters. At this time no date is set though…hopefully this does not have the same fate as Janky Promoters. Woohaa
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