International distribution for Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare keeps the film out of UK and Canadian cinemas


Last Updated on April 22, 2024

Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is now playing in theaters throughout the United States. However, the ensemble action romp, starring Henry Cavill, Alex Pettyfer, Eiza González, Alan Ritchson, Babs Olusanmokun, and Cary Elwes, is currently absent from UK and Canadian theaters. Lionsgate distributes The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare domestically. At the same time, Prime Video inked an eight-figure deal for international rights across Europe, Latin America, ANZ, Canada, South Africa, India, and pan-Asian PayTV. So, what’s the deal with The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’s international availability? Why won’t The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare get a theatrical release in these territories?

According to Yahoo!The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare won’t screen in UK cinemas. Instead, the film will stream on Prime Video in territories like the United Kingdom and Canada, robbing certain areas of the big screen experience. It’s safe to assume that Amazon plans to attract more subscribers to its streaming service by debuting The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare on Prime Video, but at what cost? Judging by the trailer, Ministry looks like the type of explosive action film made for the silver screen. Will a streaming release sour potential viewers altogether?

Here’s the official synopsis for The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare:

“Based upon recently declassified files of the British War Department and inspired by true events, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is an action-comedy that tells the story of the first-ever special forces organization formed during WWII by UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a small group of military officials including author Ian Fleming. The top-secret combat unit, composed of a motley crew of rogues and mavericks, goes on a daring mission against the Nazis using entirely unconventional and utterly “ungentlemanly” fighting techniques. Ultimately, their audacious approach changed the course of the war and laid the foundation for the British SAS and modern Black Ops warfare.”

Luckily, I have a Prime Video subscription. However, I planned to see The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare in theaters before hearing this news. This situation is a bummer, and I wonder what cinephiles overseas think about being denied the theatrical experience. Considering the film’s franchise potential, it’s an odd decision. Then again, streaming services must find a way to draw people to their service.

What do you think about this trend? If you live outside the United States, are you upset about watching Ritchie’s new film at home instead of in a theater? Let us know in the comments section below.

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He’s also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You’ll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.

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