MGM Relaunches Orion Classics as Multiplatform Distribution Label

The move comes less than a year after the studio revived Orion Pictures.

Looking to get into the day-and-date theatrical-VOD business, MGM is relaunching Orion Classics as a multiplatform distribution label, the studio announced Monday.

The move comes less than a year after MGM revived Orion Pictures. In its prior life decades ago, Orion Classics was a specialty division founded and led by indie film veterans Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, who later launched Sony Pictures Classics.

Orion Classics will release between eight and 10 films per year across differing genres — versus focusing exclusively on arthouse fare — beginning with Mike P. Nelson’s The Domestics, starring Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin. The thriller will be released in select cinemas on June 28, followed by its release on VOD and digital the following day.

Sam Wollman, MGM’s senior vp of acquisitions, will run day to day operations for Orion Classics. He’ll work closely with MGM president of worldwide television and acquisitions Chris Ottinger and Orion Pictures president John Hegeman.

Based on a screenplay by Nelson, The Domestics is set in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by murderous gangs divided into deadly factions. A young couple, played by Bosworth and Hoechlin race desperately across the lawless countryside in search of safety.
Formed in 1983, Orion Classics was an independent arthouse label specializing in acquisitions of indie and foreign films for North American distribution.

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