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Sarah Palin documentary 'The Undefeated' expands to pay-per-view, DVD and even more theaters

July 25, 2011 |  7:12 am


While Sarah Palin's presidential ambitions remain an open question, the documentary about her is definitely launching a major campaign.

After a limited run in selected markets over the last two weekends, on Sunday, July 24, distributor ARC Entertainment announced a national rollout plan for director Stephen K. Bannon's "The Undefeated," which chronicles the former Alaska governor's political career before and after John McCain picked her to be his GOP running mate in the 2008 presidential election.

On Sept. 1, the film will be made available via On Demand and pay-per-view through national and regional cable and satellite operators, such as DirecTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable. After relying on....

...word-of-mouth and social media for the theatrical premiere on July 15, ARC is planning a more traditional marketing campaign for the small-screen debut. The DVD is available through online and brick-and-mortar retail outlets as of Oct. 4, with ARC estimating an original shipment of 250,000 units.

Walmart will have a "special edition" of the film, with added content.

The DVD has already been available to those who contributed $100 or more to Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC.

ARC is also expanding the limited theatrical release of "The Undefeated" to more AMC Theatres locations through August and September. In Southern California, the film premiered in the city of Orange, in Orange County, and, according to the film's official Web site, is soon to open at AMC Ontario Mills in the San Bernadino County community of Ontario.

According to the distributor's figures, the film's debut weekend ended with per-screen averages above $11,000 in top markets, a slightly higher figure than originally announced in the middle of the initial run.

The press release quotes Bannon as saying, "Given the strong audience reaction, we have determined there is overwhelming demand to get this film out broadly enough to cover the entire nation in September and October.

"In a 90-day period from August to November, we will be able to effectively cover the nation through multiple distribution modalities."

At movie-review site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has been a bust with critics, while users have given it an average of 2.3 out of 5 stars, and its page has 5,000 likes from Facebook users.

Since the 2008 election, Palin has not acted like a traditional politician and certainly not like a traditional presidential hopeful.

From her use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter -- she recently weighed in on the debt-ceiling debate via Facebook -- to her TLC series, book tours and recent "One Nation" bus tour, Palin shows little sign of suddenly turning to tried-and-true strategies.

The latest average of polls for the 2012 Republican nomination has Palin third Rick-Perry-CPAC behind announced candidates Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, and well ahead of the rest of the announced GOP field (with fellow non-candidate Rick Perry right behind her).

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer caused no ripples with his recent entry into the race, and some theorize Texas Gov. Perry will jump in sometime in August.

Unless she has been chosen for a lengthy trial, Palin should be free of her jury-duty commitment as of the end of July. There is no announcement yet whether she will either get back on the bus, make a presidential bid or both -- or neither.

GOP debates over the next couple of months are scheduled for Aug. 11 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa (site of the Iowa Straw Poll on Aug. 13); Sept. 12 in Tampa, Fla.; Sept. 14 at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.; and Sept. 22 in Orlando, Fla.

So, whether Palin or Perry decides to jump in before or after Labor Day, there are opportunities to get the message out.

In the meantime, the ongoing rollout of "The Undefeated" not only keeps Palin before the eyes of her fans and the public, it also offers a perspective on her political record to those members of the media required to view and comment on the film.


Movie review: 'The Undefeated'

Buddy Roemer elbows into a crowded GOP field

Rick Perry says he's nearing decision on presidential race

-- Kate O'Hare

Photos: Sarah Palin, Rick Perry. Credits, Bauer Griffin (Palin); Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images (Perry).