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Lionsgate has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to prank movie Natural Born Pranksters.
The film, financed and produced by Collective Digital Studio, stars YouTube pranksters Roman Atwood, Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, aka VitalyzdTV, and Dennis Roady as they descend on Hollywood to execute their most epic pranks and stunts yet. YouTubers Jenna Marbles, Dave England and others have cameos in the film, which was directed by Atwood and Ben Pluimer.
Lionsgate will release the film day-and-date in theaters, via electronic sell through and through video on demand in early 2016. “We’re delighted to partner with the CDS team on a film that reflects our commitment to serve consumers with original, exciting digital content built around the superstars of social media,” said Jim Packer, president of worldwide television and digital distribution at Lionsgate. “Vitaly, Roman and Dennis have built a massive YouTube following, and this is a great opportunity to bring their trademark status and humor to an even bigger audience.”
Zdorovetskiy has the No. 1 prank channel on YouTube with nearly nine million subscribers, meanwhile Atwood’s vlogs regularly receive over 100 million monthly views. Roady’s channel has just over one million subscribers. To promote the film, Zdorovetskiy rushed the field at the 2014 Men’s World Cup finals with Natural Born Pranksters written across his chest.
Natural Born Pranksters executive producers include Zdorovetskiy, Atwood and Roady, all members of the CDS network. CDS chief content officer Gary Binkow and John Fitzpatrick are producers on the project.
Through its in-house digital studio, Lionsgate is developing a film with YouTubers The Janoskians and a series for Hulu from Freddie Wong’s RocketJump. It recently acquired the rights to digital feature Dirty Thirty from Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart.
“We’re excited to bring the kinds of prank to a wide audience, and Lionsgate is the perfect partner,” said Binkow. “Based on our early screenings, we’re extremely optimistic.”
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