EXCLUSIVE: Arthouse streamer and distributor Mubi is launching a U.S. in-theater offering this month letting members see one film a week that it selects at participating cinemas starting in New York City. It said Mubi Go will roll out nationwide in selected markets with LA next in early 2022.
Mubi Go (available in the U.K. and India) will launch Oct. 29 with Netflix’s Passing, directed by Rebecca Hall, that premiered at Sundance and screened at the New York Film Festival. Subscribers can get a free ticket during the film’s theatrical engagement at the Paris Theater and IFC Center ahead of its Nov. 10 streaming release on Netflix.
Adapted from the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, Passing is the story of two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Ruth Negga), who can pass as white but choose to live on opposite sides of the color line during the height of the Harlem Renaissance. Mubi will announce additional titles soon including its own releases, which will stream on its SVOD service, as well as films from partner distributors, which will not.
Participating theaters include Film Forum, Film at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, IFC Center, Nitehawk Cinema and Paris Theater.
“The theatrical moviegoing experience is so essential, and we’re thrilled to extend Mubi’s curatorial voice beyond our streaming platform to hand-pick great films for people to watch in theaters — first in New York, then across the whole country,” said Chris Mason Well, director of U.S. distribution. He joined earlier this year from Kino Lorber, where was director of theatrical sales. Previously programming director for the Quad Cinema, Mason Wells was one of a trio of new hires Mubi announced in March.
Arthouses have struggled to recover from Covid even as audiences flock to wide releases from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to Venom: Let There Be Carnage and No Time To Die — so any way to get more people, especially older demos, in seats is welcome.
At launch, existing Mubi SVOD subscribers can access Mubi Go at no additional cost. New Mubi signups in New York can access Mubi Go at the current streaming price point of $10.99 a month for a limited time. The Mubi Go app generates a ticket code with access to its Film of the Week.
Recent and upcoming Mubi releases include Kira Kovalenko’s Unclenching the Fists, Sebastian Meise’s Great Freedom, Mahamat Saleh Haroun’s Lingui, The Sacred Bonds, Alexandre Koberidze’s What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?, Andreas Fontana’s Azor, Sergei Loznitsa’s State Funeral, Déa Kulumbegashvili’s Beginning, Cathy Yan’s feature debut Dead Pigs, and Werner Herzog’s Family Romance LLC.
The growing player was active at Cannes, taking some international rights to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s competition drama Memoria with Tilda Swinton, and Tatiana Huezo’s Un Certain Regard selection Prayers For The Stolen.
Mubi co-productions include Mia Hansen-Løve’s upcoming One Fine Morning, Ekwa Msangi’s Sundance 2020’s acclaimed Farewell Amor, Danielle Lessovitz’s Port Authority and Rachel Lang’s Our Men.
Mubi has more than 10 million members globally and is available on the web, Roku devices, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, LG and Samsung Smart TVs and mobile devices including iPad, iPhone and Android.