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Ride Along is another perfect example. It was a film that was developed some 10 plus years ago and sat on Hollywood studio shelves. “I was able to bring the elements in place to get it over the hump. Ice Cube was already in place as a talent and a producer,â€ Packer says. “I brought along my producing skills along with Tim Story as director and Kevin Hart as co-star. That is what was needed to get it into theaters.â€
For Packer, one of the keys to releasing a film successfully is the timing of the release. He is very involved in that decision making along with Hollywood studio executives. “So, No Good Deed is a film that I wanted to make sure we had the perfect release window,â€ he recalls. It was initially set to be released in January of 2013, at the beginning of the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, which is Packer’s sweet spot since his films have led box-office receipts during respective MLK opening weekends.
But that date conflicted with another Packer-produced film, Ride Along. The studio had to push back No Good Deed‘s release date to April 2014 and then again to September 2014. “Sometimes a film can be moved or pushed back voluntarily because you can have a better release window for that film,â€ Packer adds. And, “sometimes you can’t control the studio needing to release a film in a certain fiscal year.â€
Originally advance screening events of the film were to be held in nationwide theaters on September 10-11, 2014, but the distributor, Screen Gems, abruptly canceled all the advance screenings for press and invited guests nationwide just 24 hours before the screenings were to be held.
A press release offered this reason for the cancellation: “We have decided to cancel the advance screenings of No Good Deed. There is a plot twist in the film that the studio does not want to reveal as it will affect the audiences’ experience when they see the film in theaters. We apologize for any inconvenience.â€
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