Hunt for the Wilderpeople: Top-Grossing Film of Orchard Company

New Zealand comedy drama, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, has become the highest-grossing release for indie distributor the Orchard, earning more than $5 million.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople follows an older man and a younger boy who become the focus of a manhunt.

It is also setting records with its on-demand sales, racking up $355,210, during the first to weeks of release.  It’s new high-water mark for the indie distributor behind “Cartel Land” and “The Overnight.”
It is currently only available for purchase, and won’t be available to rent until September 27.
“Word-of-mouth has grown and grown over the summer,” said Paul Davidson, exec vice president of film and TV. “It played all summer long.”

The film is still playing in over 80 screens despite being available on home entertainment. The Orchard acquired US rights to the film for $1.5 million after it premiered last winter at Sundance.

Most indie companies don’t release their on-demand numbers. Executives at the Orchard are arguing for more transparency in how films are performing on home entertainment platforms, and have previously released results for the “The Overnight” and “Cartel Land.”

The Orchard, a subsidiary for Sony Music, became active in film distribution two years ago. Prior to Hunt for the Wilderpeople, its highest-grossing theatrical release was The Music of Strangers, a docu about cellist Yo-Yo Ma that made $1.2 million.

The Orchard currently has the acclaimed documentary Life Animated in theaters and will release ablo Larrain’s biopic Neruda later this year.