At WWE’s State of Business meeting today, they revealed the upcoming schedule for WWE Studios as well as a new direction.
— Hulk Hogan’s No Holds Barred will be released on home video, including DVD, for the first time on July 3 through Vivendi Entertainment.
— The Day, a thriller starring Dominic Monaghan and Shawn Ashmore will be released in August. WWE Studios acquired the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. Anchor Bay will distribute.
— Another thriller called Barricade, starring Eric McCormack will be released on September 25, co-produced with Vivendi.
— No One Lives, an R-rated horror film starring Brodus Clay and Luke Evans will be released in January. It’s a co-production with Pathe (Slumdog Millionaire).
— The reboot of the Leprechaun series, called Leprechaun: Origins will be released in March through Lionsgate. It will star WWE’s Hornswoggle.
— WWE Studios plans to move back into the horror, crime, sci-fi, action and thriller genres after a family-friendly approach from previous studio head Mike Pavone. Current head Michael Luisi says that the switch happened because of “fan feedback”.
— WWE’s TV shows will stick to the PG rating and the films will let the company offer PG-13 and R-rated alternatives. It’s also seen as a way to increase profile and interest in their releases to new audiences. WWE said: “For every WWE fan watching these movies, four non-WWE fans also watch.”
— Luisi said that all films going forward will be co-financed or co-produced with other partners or picked up at film festivals, instead of the company self-financing. It plans to release six-to-eight projects a year, with most to be based on pre-branded franchises and sequels. WWE stars will continue to have supporting roles where they fit in and not be forced to carry the entire film, which would limit the potential audience.
— WWE also looked for films at Sundance, Cannes and AFM for the first time in 2011. The projects will be promoted across WWE’s various platforms including its TV shows (viewed by 15 million people in the US), websites that have 3.5 million unique visitors, readers of its magazine and millions of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Open Road teamed up with WWE to promote The Grey across those channels.