Simon Cowell Movie “One Chance” Debuts on Yahoo

Simon Cowell Movie “One Chance” Debuts on Yahoo

One Chance, a film produced by Simon Cowell, will premiere on Yahoo! Screen ten days before it opens in theaters.

A specific release date has not yet been announced, but it is believed that it will occur this September or October.

The movie is based on the true story of Paul Potts, a bullied shop assistant/aspiring opera singer, who was chosen by Cowell to appear on the reality competition Britian’s Got Talent. He became a YouTube phenomenon and went on to win the show. James Corden, currently on screen in the musical drama Begin Again, stars as Potts. Julie Walters and Colm Meaney co-star in the film, directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada).

One Chance is also notable for its Golden Globe-nominated theme song “Sweeter Than Fiction,” which is performed by Taylor Swift.

The move is the next step in the evolution of what’s called a “day and date” release. Increasingly, independent films are being released via this method, meaning that they open in a small handful of theaters and are made available through on-demand platforms such as iTunes and Amazon Instant Video on the same day. The day and date model allows indie productions to essentially have nationwide releases without the distributor having to incur the cost of an expensive advertising campaign. It also allows the films to be seen by a wider audience than they would get through a theatrical release alone.

One Chance appears to be a good fit for the model. A modest hit in its native Britain, the movie would have been a harder sell to American audiences, who are less familiar with Potts. Perhaps sensing that, the distributor, The Weinstein Company, has already bounced One Chance around on their release schedule several times. It was originally scheduled for a theatrical opening on Feb. 7 of this year, then moved to March 14, and again to August 29.

The acquisition also marks a step forward for Yahoo! Screen, which is aggressively seeking to establish itself as a premiere showcase for quality entertainment. It is their second big pick-up, following the recent announcement that cult TV series Community will  have its sixth season broadcast there after being cancelled by NBC. Yahoo! Screen will make One Chance available to subscribers at no additional cost.

Yahoo!’s chief marketing officer, Kathy Savitt, said in a statement issued to the press, “Every day, we help Yahoo! users find inspiring and entertaining content. We are excited to bring One Chance, a fresh and emotionally compelling film, to Yahoo! Screen.” David Glasser, COO and president of the Weinstein Company, added: “In today’s digital era, technology has developed and changed the landscape of how many people watch movies and TV. Our partnership with Yahoo! has allowed us to adapt and expand our reach to limitless audiences.”

The Weinstein Company certainly hopes that One Chance garners good word-of-mouth through the Yahoo! Screen debut, which could help boost its theatrical performance and eventual home video release.

Does One Chance look interesting to you? What do you think of the day and date model? Sound off in the comments section below.

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Mike McGranaghan is the film critic for The Aisle Seat. His film writing can also be found at Film Racket and Daily Grindhouse, and his reviews are heard weekly on the radio stations of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society, as well as the author of two books, "Straight-Up Blatant" and "My Year of Chevy."