Lionsgate has acquired the distribution rights to The Smosh Movie, based on the AwesomenessTV YouTube brand.

April 6, 2018

2 Min Read

Lionsgate has acquired the distribution rights to The Smosh Movie, based on the AwesomenessTV YouTube brand.

The film, which will star the web-based comedy duo Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox (known together as Smosh), was jointly financed by DreamWorks' AwesomenessTV and Defy Media (in which Lionsgate has an equity interest). 

The move is intended to help Lionsgate expand its presence in the creation and delivery of branded digital content.

Smosh has been an online fixture since 2005, is currently the largest content brand for 13- to 17-year-olds. Smosh currently boasts 30 million subscribers on YouTube, 19 million social followers and 12 million monthly unique website visitors.

"The Smosh Movie brings to life a YouTube comedy franchise beloved by fans around the world and reflects our commitment to extend storytelling in exciting new directions that reach today's digital audience," says Jason Constantine, president of acquisitions and co-productions, Lionsgate.

The Joester Loria Group represents the brand for licensing, which Debra Joester, president and chief executive officer, JLG, likens to the South Park brand 20 years ago.

"I see the same potential for Smosh that we did in South Park. Smosh's top-ranking animation channel, Shut Up! Cartoons, has dozens of episodes with great content, great characters and memorable slogans that can be easily translated into a signature collection of merchandise," she says. The company is currently building a licensing program for the brand with target categories including food, wearable products and collectibles.

A high-concept Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure for 2014, The Smosh Movie revolves around an embarrassing video of Padilla that resurfaces online right before his 5-year high school reunion, leading the Smosh duo into a headlong race to remove the clip before it ruins Anthony's chances of reconnecting with high school crush Anna.

In addition to Padilla and Hecox, The Smosh Movie will feature a host of fellow YouTube stars including Jenna Marbles, Harley Morenstein, Mark Fischback (Markiplier) and Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval.

Lionsgate also recently announced a first-look partnership with YouTube brand Freddy Wong and Rocket Jump Studios to create original long-form content for online audiences, and another deal with AwesomenessTV and YouTube pranksters The Janoskians for a film project.

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