Producer Harvey Weinstein was criticized for trying to recut Korean sci-fi masterpiece "Snowpiercer," and he was accused of burying the film in retribution when director Boon Jong-ho refused to make changes.
Although the film was a blockbuster in Korea and other international markets, Weinstein's Radius-TWC spent very little on marketing and gave it a limited domestic theatrical release before dumping the movie to video on demand (VOD) two weeks later. Shifting too quickly to VOD risks undermining box office sales and can antagonize theater owners, which is why distributors have traditionally waited as long as several months.
Despite the controversy, "Snowpiercer" could be turning into a slow-burning domestic hit the likes of which we've never seen — and you have to wonder if Weinstein knew what he was doing.
Ten weekends after its release, the independent film has grossed $11 million in the U.S. and Canada, including $6.5 million from VOD, according to the production company. Though VOD sales have declined over time, they remain significant, amounting to around $0.5 million in the last two weeks.