Groupon has for some time associated itself with dealing in movie-related merchandise, selling a large number of movie tickets, DVDs and home movie theater equipment. However, now the company for the first time will serve as a platform for direct downloads of movies, according to a report from the Chicago Business Journal.

Groupon Inc Now Experimenting With Movie Distribution

A first of its kind distribution method

In a bid to increase his distribution options, movie producer Brian McCormack devised a release strategy that involves a contract with Groupon to offer digital downloads for his upcoming film The Squeeze. Though being a small-time producer, McCormack is among the growing number of people who believe the process of movie distribution needs re-evaluation, says the report.

Based on a small-time golfer who finds himself in a sticky situation, the movie, starring Michael Nouri and Christopher McDonald, is set to release next month. The Squeeze will be available for download in just 11 markets where the online daily deal firm operates, as the producer looks to go small with the Groupon experiment.

In addition, to raise the popularity of the film, the download package is expected to include “Lessons of a Lifetime,” an instructional video by golfer Tom Watson. The Squeeze will be available as a deal starting April 16, a day before the film is scheduled to release in theaters.

McCormack and Groupon not new to each other

McCormack’s preference of Groupon to promote his upcoming film is no coincidence, as he was an early investor in the company due to his close ties with co-founder Andrew Mason. The Groupon co-founder used to work with McCormack at a global print management firm where he conceived the idea of a daily deal company. He later went on to co-found Groupon. Still a minor investor in the company, McCormack reckons Groupon could act as a more valuable and convenient medium to connect cinema enthusiasts with low-budget movies, says the report.

While McCormack tests his movie’s demand through Groupon, the film will be showcased on 13 screens in 13 cities, mostly in the South where the movie is expected to do well. McCormack is optimistic about his upcoming release and expects seven figures in revenue. Also he claimed that, depending on the movie’s performance in both Groupon download markets and the limited movie theater release, The Squeeze could be made available to more potential markets.