Entertainment Studios is a very young company with only three distributed releases last year, 47 Meters Down, Friend Request, and Hostiles. With that being said, Byron Allen, the charismatic founder, chairman, and CEO of the company expanded upon his vision of diversifying revenue streams. Encouraging the audience of theater owners to seek out new business related to media that compliments the movie experience. His story of being born in Detroit in 1961 and experiencing the riots in 1968, following the assassination of MLK Jr., was quite inspirational. He moved to L.A. with his mother and remained there to be enveloped by the movie industry, a passion that was beginning to take hold of him. Performing as a comedian on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at the age of 18 was a real career highlight and it gave him the opportunity to land a role in a reality show called Real People, which allowed him to travel the U.S. and meet all walks of life. That prepared him as a touring stand-up comedian as well. These experiences are why he holds every audience member in such high regard and focuses on talented filmmaker that will appeal to the widest audience. He started Entertainment Studios 25 years ago and, in only one year’s time, he convinced 150 stations nationwide, with only his strong work ethic and unorthodox sales pitch, to broadcast his weekly celebrity interview program. He was able to convince a media conglomerate to give him 6 network stations for various media programming without any prior network ownership to back up his request. One of the most amazing stories he mentioned was purchasing, on a beach, the already finished movie 47 Meters Down for $3 million. The man he spoke to had a gentleman’s agreement, but not long after he called to tell Byron that the film was on multiple trucks, printed on DVD’s, and headed to Walmarts nationwide. If he wanted the film, he had to wire the 3 million dollars to him in the next 30 minutes in order turn those trucks around. Byron did it in 5 minutes. The film was released in theaters and became the highest grossing independent film of that year. Stories like this are what captivated the audience on that early Wednesday morning during breakfast. I was still waking up, even after some delicious bacon, but even I was transfixed on Byron’s every word. There is no question why he has endured and thrived in this business for so long. The question is how much larger can his movie business grow. Here is a rundown of the films coming out in 2018.
Chappaquiddick is a film based on the unfortunate car accident involving Ted Kennedy and the death of one of his female colleagues. It effectively killed his Presidential aspirations, but would not hamper his Senate career. Still, the story has persisted for decades due to the strange decisions Ted Kennedy and his other colleagues made following his friend’s death. Ted Kennedy is played by Jason Clarke. Other cast members include Ed Helms, Bruce Dern, Clancy Brown, Jim Gaffigan, and Kate Mara. Chappaquiddick comes out April 6, 2018.
Animal Crackers is an animated tale of a family who runs an old dog treat factory. After a circus the father inherited stops by, they obtain a box of animal crackers. When the father decides to try one, he is transformed into a hamster. In fact, every animal in the box allows him to transform into that animal. That is all I’ve gleaned from the footage. I wasn’t completely impressed with the animation, but the story could be worthwhile. Animal Crackers stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, and Danny Devito. It will be released April 27, 2018.
Replicas star Keanu Reeves as a scientist trying to replicate his brain into that of an android. When the android awakens, it is not only frightened but angry. As Reeves tries to protect his family, the android that retains all his brain function will do what it can to survive and take its revenge. Replicas have decent graphics. I wasn’t completely on board at first watch so I’ll see how the audience reacts when it comes out August 24, 2018.
Two other films not yet in productions that were mentioned are 48 Meters down and Boss Level, which stars Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts, Will Sasso, and Frank Grillo among others. 48 Meters Down is probably self-explanatory, but Boss Level is about a man who repeats the same day that he dies. No further information is available yet for either film.