What is Joel Schumacher’s ‘Trespass’ and why is it going direct-to-video?

There is little doubt that the distribution model has changed for Hollywood in the last decade, and it’s going to continue to change over the next decade.  And I’m not just talking about the ancillary markets, either, where physical media and digital downloads are currently battling it out for supremacy.  The theatrical market, once considered chuch-and-state separate from home video dates, is starting to become a very expensive part of the marketing campaign for many movies, with producers counting on the afterlife for a film instead of thinking as the theatrical release as the film’s primary moment.

Joel Schumacher had a moment when he was one of Hollywood’s A-list directors, but that moment has passed, and these days, he is struggling to get attention with his new films, and he has crossed a line and become one of those guys whose films get treated like an embarrassment, snuck into release.  “Blood Creek,” his Nazi-themed horror film, barely even registered, and the same was true of “Twelve,” his teens-on-designer-drugs movie that was laughed at heartily at Sundance.  His last wide release was “The Number 23” in 2007, and that film died a horrible, bloody death at the box office.

So now he’s got a finished home invasion drama starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman called “Trespass,” and when we get the press release today, the first thing that’s noteworthy is that the film is going to open in theaters the same day it arrives on VOD this October 14.

I repeat… Nicolas Cage.  Nicole Kidman.  And it’ll be on pay-per-view the same day it opens in theaters.

Now, aside from the fact that the poster features perhaps the single worst image of Nicole Kidman I’ve ever seen, I’m not sure how this happens.  I understand that there are companies like Magnolia who use VOD day-and-date releases as part of their business plan, but that hasn’t traditionally been the case with Millennium Films.  So is this about the movie, is it about Schumacher, or is it about the seismic shift that the entire industry is in the middle of right now?

Here’s the official synopsis for the film, followed by the poster:

In a private, wealthy community, priority is placed on security and no exception is made for the Miller family”s estate.  Behind their pristine walls and manicured gardens, Kyle (Nicolas Cage), a fast-talking businessman, has entrusted the mansion”s renovation to his stunning wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman).

But between making those big decisions and keeping tabs on their defiant teenage daughter (Liana Liberato), Sarah often finds herself distracted by a young, handsome worker (Cam Gigandet) at their home. Nothing is what it seems, and it will take a group of cold-blooded criminals led by Elias (Ben Mendelsohn), who have been planning a vicious home invasion for months, to bring the Miller family together. When they storm the manor, everyone is tangled up in betrayal, deception, temptation and scheming. Kyle, Sarah and Avery will take the ultimate risk to make it out with their lives – and their family – intact.

TRESPASS is directed by Joel Schumacher and stars Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cam Gigandet, Liana Liberato, Jordana Spiro, Dash Mihok, Emily Meade and Nico Tortorella. The film was written by Karl Gajdusek, produced by Rene Besson, Irwin Winkler and David Winkler and was executive produced by Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson and John Thompson.

Millennium Entertainment will release TRESPASS on October 14, 2011 in theaters and at home – rent it with your remote control.

We won’t know until we see the film in October, but one thing’s for sure:  whoever designed that poster reeeeeeeally hates Nicole Kidman.