Lazer Team

Rooster Teeth readies feature film for theaters – and YouTube Red

Lazer Team will bow in 37 theaters before heading to VOD, where the studio behind it hopes to tap its audience of more than 8.2 million subscribers.
January 25, 2016

Lazer Team, the first feature film from gaming and fandom-centric digital studio Rooster Teeth, will make its theater debut across the U.S. on Jan. 27, the company confirmed in a Facebook post.

The film is a comedic take on ’80s and ’90s sci-fi action movies and follows four small-town friends played by Rooster Teeth presenters Burnie Burns (also the co-founder of the studio), Gavin Free, Michael Jones and Colton Dunn, who stumble upon an alien crash site and suddenly find them responsible for the fate of mankind.

Its theatrical run will be modest — 37 theaters in the U.S. will carry the film, according to Rooster Teeth. But following the premiere, the film will go live on YouTube’s new SVOD service, YouTube Red. The specific date of its Red premiere has not yet been announced, but the date is expected sometime in February.

Rooster Teeth has been around since 2003 when co-founders Burns and Matt Hulum launched the now-inactive site where they posted videos of the two of them reviewing video games while drunk. Rooster Teeth has since grown its audience to 8.2 million subscribers and 4.1 billion monthly video views across its main channels. In November 2014, it was acquired by the Fullscreen MCN (there has been no word from Fullscreen on whether the movie will appear on Fullscreen’s own upcoming SVOD).

Despite most of its properties being online, the Houston-based studio has also been expanding its footprint beyond online entertainment. Its long-running animated series Red Vs. Blue was recently re-formatted for a linear run on the El Rey Network, and Burns will also appear with Rooster Teeth host Ashley Jenkins on an upcoming season of CBS’s The Amazing Race featuring online influencers as contestants. The season will debut Feb. 12.

Lazer Team’s YouTube Red premiere was first announced in October prior to the launch of YouTube Red, when the Google-owned giant revealed its slate of premium originals what would be available only to paying subscribers. Other creators with originals premiering on the platform include Lilly Singh, Joey Graceffa and Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie).

Plans for the movie were first announced in mid-2014 when Rooster Teeth staff posted an Indiegogo campaign to fund the movie. The campaign closed at $2.48 million in less than one month. Following Rooster Teeth’s acquisition by Fullscreen, the movie was added to Fullscreen Films’ debut slate, which also included the documentary #02LForever and the teen drama The Outfield.

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