Kristen Stewart film, “The Runaways,” at the center of distribution controversy
By Kim Palacios
In an unexpected move around May 10th, veteran movie executive Bob Berney resigned as Chief Operating Officer from “The Runaways” distributor, Apparition. Barely a year old, Apparition was a new indie-focused distribution company founded by Berney himself with the financial backing of Bill Pohlad. Though Pohlad called Berney’s resignation a “surprise”, those close to the situation may have seen the dissolution of the partnership coming.
Reportedly at the center of contention between the two execs was the distribution plan for “The Runaways”, in which Kristen Stewart holds the starring role. According to insiders, Berney’s preference for distributing the film had been to go much bigger. In place of what Pohlad had planned (the cultivation of a grassroots following which he was hoping would take on a viral tone), Berney supported grand openings in major cities and screenings in a higher number and broader spectrum of theaters.
So, what does this mean for Kstew fans (many of who were disappointed because they could not access the film in theaters)? Apparition currently holds the right to distribute another of her upcoming films, “Welcome to the Rileys”. With Pohlad at the helm of Apparition, it is unknown as to whether he will take the same distribution approach for “Welcome to the Rileys” as he did with “The Runaways”. If he does, access for fans may continue to be a problem.
Yet, some speculators are hopeful that the experience has caused Pohlad to learn from his mistakes—perhaps he will take Berney’s approach to Kstew’s upcoming film. Others have gone so far to anticipate that Berney (who acquired “Welcome to the Rileys” on behalf of Apparition) may himself be inclined to buy the film back.