Dave Franco’s ‘The Rental’ Has First Drive-In Movie Release (Plus 10 Other Movie Firsts)

Dave Franco’s directorial debut, The Rental, won last weekend’s box office, bringing in a modest (yet respectful) $420,871. Remember when box office numbers were always in the millions? On the way to work, the radio would tell you about the No. 1 movie in America— blockbusters sinking or swimming based upon how many cinephiles and soccer moms saw them opening weekend. Thanks to COVID-19 shutting down traditional cinemas, the weekend box office is not what it used to be. Colossal studios like Warner Bros. and Marvel aren’t risking their earning potential on the select theaters and drive-ins still functioning. 

Studios like IFC Films could give a damn. Their horror indie, The Rental (which became available on video on demand July 24), had an unofficial premiere at a drive-in theater a few miles outside of LA. No red carpet or photographers, just the radio and road beersThe Rental will probably go on to play in more theaters than it would have originally due to the drive-in component. Until recently, the only thing playing at drive-ins were re-releases of older movies; with The Rental setting a trend, more intrepid studios will release indies in the coming months. The Rental’s premiere and release will go down as a movie first, proving there are just as many ways to show a story as there are to tell it. 

Cover Photo: IFC Films 

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