Lionsgate announced on Thursday that it has acquired worldwide distribution rights to The Smosh Movie, starring the web comedy duo Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. The film was jointly financed by Defy Media, in which Lionsgate has an equity interest, and AwesomenessTV.
Details regarding the film’s release dates and roll-out strategy are still being finalized by Lionsgate.
Founded in 2005, Smosh is a top digital brand for 13 to 17-year-olds, with over 30 million combined YouTube subscribers, 19 million social followers, and 12 million monthly unique website visitors. It is part of the Defy Media stable, which also includes Clevver Media, Shut Up! Cartoons, Screen Junkies, The Gloss, and The Escapist.
The Smosh Movie was written by Eric Falconer (Blue Mountain State, How I Met Your Mother) and directed by Alex Winter, who played Bill to Keanu Reeves’ Ted in 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The film’s plot is a tip of Bill & Ted‘s time travel plot, with Padilla and Hecox leaping through a portal into YouTube, where they encounter one online video star after another, including Jenna Marbles, Grace Helbig, Harley Morenstein, Shane Dawson, Mark Fischback (Markiplier) and Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval, who have over 32 million subscribers combined. It also features Jillian Nelson, Brittany Ross and Michael Ian Black.
The film was executive produced by Brett Bouttier, Joe Davola, Barry Blumberg, Shauna Phelan, Padilla and Ian Hecox. It was produced by AwesomenessTV founder Brian Robbins, who is also producing the Lionsgate comedy The Royals, E!’s first scripted fictional narrative series, which premieres next year.
The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by president of acquisitions & co-productions Jason Constantine; and SVP of acquisitions Eda Kowan; and EVP of business and legal affairs for acquisitions and co-productions Wendy Jaffe. AwesomenessTV was represented by United Talent Agency.
The Smosh Movie was partially shot at YouTube Space LA.