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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Legion M: Where Fans Own the Story


Do you ever use fruits to critique films? You likely don’t use real ones, but you’ve probably used Rotten Tomatoes to check a movie’s overall quality. High Rotten Tomato ratings seem to be few as of late, but “Mandy,” a new film coming to the Tower Theatre on Sept. 14, exceeds expectations. With a current Tomatometer ranking of 97%, the heavy metal action-horror film is one you’ll want to see for yourself.

Legion M partnered with RLJ Entertainment, SpectreVision, Umedia and XYZ Films for the film’s anticipated September release. As the first crowdfunded entertainment company in history, Legion M helps fans to invest in and be a part of Hollywood, something Jeff Annison, cofounder and president, believes to be incredibly valuable in the industry.

“It’s very rewarding for fans to invest and own to be a part of it,” Annison said. “… When our movie comes out, we know there’s a legion of people who are invested in it, financially and emotionally … and we know these people are going to come out and bring their friends.”

A fan-owned business model only became a possibility when the JOBS Act passed. Before then, only the wealthiest one percent of the population could invest in the early stages of a startup. However, the new rules established by the JOBS Act empowered anybody to become a shareholder. Cofounders Annison and Paul Scanlan took advantage of this equity crowdfunding immediately.

“Literally at 9:00 a.m. on the day the law went into effect,” Annison said, “we launched the first crowdfunding company in history.”

Arguably the most successful fan-owned company since the enactment of the JOBS Act, Legion M has several fruitful projects to their name which make their goal of one million shareholders a real possibility. “Colossal,” starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis, and “Bad Samaritan,” starring David Tennant, are two of several projects funded by Legion M.

“Mandy,” which stars Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage, thrills audiences through an incredible heavy metal score and gory plotline. Red Miller (Cage) and Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) peacefully lead a life together. When a cult led by Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roach) completely uproots their existence, Miller seeks vengeance in a bloody phantasmagorical revenge scheme.

While the film itself isn’t officially released until Friday, “Mandy” has already received high praises. Debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, “Mandy” was held in critical acclaim and became one of the Festival’s best-received films.  The movie also garnered a four-minute standing ovation at the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.


Perhaps this is why over 200 theaters across the country are premiering the film early on Sept. 13. Fans can even expect to see a pre-recorded Q&A with Cage and director Panos Cosmatos after the movie. Supporters can also look forward to free “Mandy” memorabilia. Legion M will coordinate meetups at movie theaters across the nation this Thursday. Registered attendees will receive one of two limited-edition “Mandy” collectible pins, something the company has never done before. If interested, fans can join or coordinate a meet-up at Legion M’s website.

If you can’t make the Sept. 13 showing of “Mandy,” some theatres will be showing it on Friday. Plus, “Mandy” will be On Demand Sept. 14, so you can experience the thrilling action-packed movie right at home. To learn more about ways to watch “Mandy,” head to Legion M’s website.

Take the time to view the beautifully captivating film this upcoming week. “Mandy” is a stunning, moving and “surprisingly emotional” film, according to Annison — a wide array of traits for a movie. You’re more than likely to find something you like about it, and who knows, it might just become your favorite film of 2018. Be advised that there is blood and violence in “Mandy,” which might not be suitable for everyone. Tickets can be purchased for the one-night-only theatrical event on Sept. 13 here.

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