Remember the influencer-star-studded tween comedy “Chicken Girls?” How about the cheesy influencer hospital drama “Attaway General?” It’s easy to turn your nose up at creator film and TV projects like Brat TV. But if viewers watch creators for a fifteen-second TikTok, the thinking goes that they’d want to see their faves in a full-length TV show or movie, too.
Creator+, an ambitious pay-per-view app slash film studio, never professed to be the next A24. Established in 2021, the Creator+ mission statement was simple: putting digital talent in front of the camera with modestly budgeted Wattpad movies and then reaping the financial rewards. But now, it looks like their Hollywood dream is already over as the owners of Creator+ prepare to sell up.
Entrepreneurs Benjamin Grubbs and Jonathan Shambroom co-founded the business venture and told Business Insider in a 2021 interview that they planned to release six movies throughout 2022. Their intention was to do this through direct pay-per-view streaming on their Creator+ website and also in streaming deals from the likes of Amazon.
But then 2022 came and went. And, by the looks of things, only three out of the six promised movies wrapped.
Also notable was the fact that Creator+’s headline movie, “The QB Bad Boy and Me,” based on the Wattpad novel of the same name, was not among them. Its promised social media star, Noah Beck, finally provided an update on the film in July 2023. He revealed that after numerous pushbacks, he was due to start filming in August.
“I know the script like the back of my hand now because it’s been pushed,” he said. “We were supposed to start filming this time last year. So it’s been pushed due to, you know, all things Hollywood.”
But there has been no public update on the movie. And as of Feb. 7, 2024, Creator+ confirmed to Business Insider that they were winding down operations.
“The company reviewed acquisition offers for various aspects of its business — completed films, films in development, technology, brand IP, etc. — in Q4 2023 and is expected to conclude a transaction related to these assets in Q1 2024,” Grubbs said in a statement to Business Insider.
Creator+ isn’t the first influencer-driven startup to dry up, and it certainly won’t be the last. But will we see Noah Beck as a quarterback anytime soon? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Nonetheless, what this shows us is that while influencers might look like movie stars, looks aren’t always enough. Other streaming ventures have failed in the past, like Vessel and Fullscreen Media‘s subscription service.
All in all, creators have plenty of talents and expertise to offer the world. But maybe it’s time to retire the desire to break Hollywood.