Tugg Case Studies


touch-the-wall-posterDocumentary; Campaign Launch: November 2014
Self-Release / Theatrical / Non-Theatrical

Swimming phenom and Olympic Gold Medalist Missy Franklin was destined for greatness at an early age, but it wasn’t until the arrival of Veteran Kara Lynn Joyce that those sky-high expectations began to take shape.

★ The Goal: Connect with as large of an audience as possible
★ The Secret Weapon: Their national partnership with USA Swimming was invaluable in connecting with local swim teams across the country who hosted and attended screenings.

Steps to Success

  • Team: Filmmaking team led by director Christo Brock self-distributed their film solely through Tugg
  • Outreach: A dedicated outreach coordinator was brought on for several months
  • Audience: 450+ K-12 swim teams used events to bring the community together and support local athletics
  • Contributions: Swim teams raised thousands of dollars through Event Page donations
  • Network: A strong, national partnership with USA Swimming was fostered during production and came to fruition during distribution
  • Window: Exclusive Tugg Theatrical & Non-Theatrical window for nearly a year
  • Post-Tugg: The team used attendee contact info from Tugg screenings to help drive ancillary and DVD sales
  • Results: Touch the Wall is one of the most profitable cinema on-demand campaigns in history

Icon-StatsThe Stats

$765,000+ Gross Revenue
360+ Tugg Theatrical Events
56,400+ Theatrical Attendees
125+ Non-Theatrical License Sales


MartinLuther-posterDocudrama; Campaign Launch: February 2017
Self-Release / Theatrical / Non-Theatrical

The rousing adventure story of Martin Luther’s life, following his bold quest for truth—a journey that would reshape the church and the world.

★ The Goal: Reach audiences across the country to host screenings in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation
★ The Secret Weapon: The ability to host screenings in both theaters and churches

Steps to Success

  • Team: Mike Trinklein and Steve Boettcher partnered to reach Lutheran churches and key influencers around the country in support of bringing the film to their respective cities.
  • Outreach: Worked with local church groups and communities to drive interest, further supplemented by partnering with a large national group to expand the reach.
  • Audience: 450+ Lutheran churches used events to bring the community together for screening events, and to celebrate the 500th Reformation Day. Some audiences enjoyed the events so much that they hosted encore Tugg events!
  • Network: An engaged church network of Lutheran churches, schools and affiliated organizations.
  • Window: Exclusive Tugg Theatrical & Non-Theatrical window for nearly one year.
  • Results: Following the initial success in screening events, the release was expanded even further through promoters hosting multiple Tugg events, schools purchasing educational licenses through Tugg EDU, a PBS broadcast premiere, a run at 45 Marcus Theatres locations, and an addition to Netflix. After nearly a year of engagement, over a thousand Lutheran groups saw Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed the World in the venues they preferred.

Icon-StatsThe Stats

550+ Tugg Theatrical Events
70,000+ Theatrical Attendees
830+ Non-Theatrical License Sales


angels-perch-posterNarrative; Campaign Launch: June 2013
Self-Release / Theatrical / Non-Theatrical

A man returns to his small West Virginia hometown to deal with his grandmother’s worsening Alzheimer’s, only to find that his own painful memories are keeping him from moving forward in his life.

★ The Goal: Connect directly with their audience and recoup production investment
★ The Secret Weapon: The film team knew their audience and where to find them, built relationships with partners early on, and nurtured those connections over the course of their production and throughout their release.

Steps to Success

  • Team: Early in their festival application process, the filmmaking team decided to launch their own theatrical tour
  • Partnerships: Strong partnerships with local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association helped to promote screenings
  • Audience-Building: Developed a healthy list of contacts during every phase of production, including during their crowdfunding campaign; Encouraged supporters to attend screenings and spread the word about the film’s digital release
  • Extended Run: Successful Tugg events led to 5-week run at a theater in Florida and shorter runs at other independent theaters
  • Merchandise: Sold merchandise on the tour that represented a significant portion of revenue
  • VOD: Successful theatrical tour led to VOD distribution deal with Gravitas Ventures
  • Results: After distributing their film, the filmmakers started Film Ignite to help other filmmakers launch their projects

Icon-StatsThe Stats

223+ Theatrical Screenings (24 of them Tugg screenings)


BloodBrother_PosterDocumentary; Campaign Launch: October 2013
Theatrical / Non-Theatrical

A celebration of the unmistakable power of love in this story of Rocky Braat’s decision to move to India and restart his life among HIV/AIDS orphans.

★ The Goal: Create social change through grassroots screenings
★ The Secret Weapon: Not only was the film well-made, but also, the film team put its social change goal and efforts at the forefront of its release, providing ample reason for organizations and partners to lend support.

Steps to Success

Visit our Campaign Checklist to learn more about Blood Brother‘s release strategy

  • Awareness: Award-winning film that received accolades from Sundance and New York Times Critics Circle and a Thunderclap timed for World AIDS Day reached over 206,000 people on social media
  • Outreach: A dedicated impact producer was brought on for several months
  • NT / Edu: Actively engaged organizations, community groups, and educational institutions to host screenings
  • Social Impact: Filmmakers donated their profits from each ticket to support HIV/AIDS initiatives
  • Network: Meaningful partnerships with national organizations like Mylan and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
  • Window: Exclusive Tugg Theatrical & Non-Theatrical window for more than a year
  • Integration & Tools: Integrated Tugg’s API and messaging into film’s website and provided robust resources to screening hosts
  • Results: A vocational training center and home for HIV-positive children was built with film proceeds

Icon-StatsThe Stats

100+ Tugg Theatrical Screenings
100+ Tugg NT / Edu Screenings
$194,000+ Gross Revenue ($112K Theatrical, $82K Non-Theatrical)
10,400+ Theatrical Attendees


unbranded-posterDocumentary; Campaign Launch: September 2015
Self-Release / Theatrical / Non-Theatrical

Four young Cowboys hatch an outrageous plot to adopt, train, and ride a string of wild mustangs 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada through the wildest terrain of the American West.

★ The Goal: Have events function as buzz builders to benefit ancillary sales
★ The Secret Weapon: The film team cultivated relationships with key partners and built an audience during production. These supporters championed the film by attending and hosting screenings as well as purchasing the film and its merchandise.

Steps to Success

  • Team: Gravitas Ventures and mustang advocate and “mastermind” behind the movie, Ben Masters, were hands-on with this multiple festival award-winner’s release
  • Strategy: Host dozens of one-night screenings on the evening prior to its day-and-date release
  • Organic Interest: Fans and Kickstarter backers hosted their own screenings
  • Non-Profit Partnership: A partnership with the Mustang Heritage Foundation led to 70+ encore events on one night that raised thousands of dollars for the organization
  • Post-Tugg: 15,000 attendees were emailed the morning after the Tugg premieres with links to purchase the film and related merchandise from unbrandedthefilm.com
  • Results: The film quickly became one of the most popular documentaries on iTunes and Netflix

Icon-StatsThe Stats

30,000+ Tickets Sold
230+ Tugg Theatrical Events
#1 iTunes Documentary at Peak


Honor Flight PosterDocumentary; Campaign Launch: December 2012
Self-Release / Theatrical / Non-Theatrical

A heartwarming documentary about four living World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime.

★ The Goal: Celebrate the Greatest Generation through nationwide theatrical and non-theatrical campaigns to raise awareness and funds for the Honor Flight Network
★ The Secret Weapon: Freethink Media developed and executed a multifaceted grassroots campaign that focused on leveraging partnerships.

Steps to Success

Visit our detailed Honor Flight Case Study for theaters, which outlines how cinemas Promoted their own Tugg screenings of the film. For more information, read our Q&A with Director Dan Hayes.

“The most important step is finding a great host who’s “a super connector,” who’s got a lot of relationships in the community and has time to get the word out.” – Director Dan Hayes

  • Team: Robust grassroots campaign developed by Freethink Media and managed by an impact producer
  • Outreach: The impact producer worked on the screening campaign for several months
  • Record-Breaking: Holds a Guinness World Record for the largest attendance at a film screening: 28,442 attendees
  • Contributions: Local Honor Flight chapters used screenings as fundraisers
  • Network: National partners included Honor Flight Network, AARP, Dept of Veterans Affairs and US Chamber of Commerce
  • Window: Exclusive Tugg Theatrical & Non-Theatrical window for several months
  • Exposure: Marcus Theaters decided to facilitate a weeklong traditional release around Veterans Day in collaboration with Tugg and SnagFilms
  • Results: Nearly three years after its release, the film continues to hold screenings, especially around military awareness days

Icon-StatsThe Stats

14,900+ Theatrical Attendees
120+ Tugg Theatrical Events
$200,000+ Gross Revenue ($155K Theatrical, $45K Non-Theatrical)
110+ Non-Theatrical License Sales


HTA-Poster-VerticalDocumentary; Campaign Launch: November 2015
TheatriCast / Day-and Date Release

The inside story of six fighters – six of the fastest motorcycle racers of all time – and of the fates that awaited them at the peak of the sport.

★ The Goal: Allow fans to experience a highly spectacular motorcycle racing movie with a full 5.1 surround sound mix on the big screen
★ The Secret Weapon: Launched an initial theatrical footprint in noted cities containing a large percentage of motorcycle enthusiasts to capture immediate fan interest. Then shifted the call to action to encourage fans to bring the film to their community. The filmmaker’s team utilized their prior experience with making films on this subject and their contact base within the motorcycle industry to promote the film effectively in traditional and social media.

Steps to Success

  • Team: Produced by Brad Pitt and directed by Mark Neale, this film was distributed by TheatriCast, an Event Cinema partnership between Tugg and Different Drummer
  • Outreach: A dedicated outreach coordinator was brought on for several months
  • Expansion: Initial release was expanded to Canada and additional locations in the US
  • Audience: Fans continued to host their own screenings after the film’s digital release
  • Window: Released day-and-date and rolled out theatrically in 31 cities with several sold-out events
  • Post-Tugg: The team used attendee contact info from Tugg screenings to help drive ancillary and DVD sales
  • Results: Film reached #4 on iTunes for documentaries

Icon-StatsThe Stats

5350+ Theatrical Attendees
$68,000+ Grossed in One Night
8000+ Tickets Sold
30+ TheatriCast Events
20+ Additional Fan-Hosted Theatrical Screenings
#4 Peak iTunes Documentary Chart Position


utes-posterRealD 3D Documentary; Campaign Launch: May 2014
Focus Features Studio Release / Theatrical

A chronicle of the love, community, and life of festival goers during Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, the largest music festival in the US.

★ The Goal: Have events function as buzz builders to ultimately benefit ancillary sales
★ The Secret Weapon: This 3D doc brought to life the EDC experience and helped longtime Insomniac fans share their EDC memories. Tapping into that network enabled events to be truly unique; attendees sang and danced to the music featured in the film, dressed up in costume, and attended after-parties to make new friends.

Steps to Success

  • Strategy: 70 City Tour via word-of-mouth and promotional screenings in advance of the theatrical release and Electric Daisy Carnival 2014
  • Cross-promotion: A trailer featuring Insomniac Events played before 50 screenings, encouraging the engaged audiences to attend upcoming music festivals
  • Incentives: Event hosts were entered into a sweepstakes to win tickets to Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival in 2015
  • Ancillary: Screening attendees were emailed a coupon for the DVD
  • Premieres: Five geo-targeted Tugg premieres launched the nationwide campaign and these events featured exclusive after parties for attendees at local EDM clubs
  • Post-Tugg: The team used attendee contact info from Tugg screenings to help drive ancillary and DVD sales

Icon-StatsThe Stats

10,200+ Theatrical Attendees
71 Theatrical Screenings
1.32M+ Facebook Likes