Thursday, December 11, 2014

DISTRIBUTION: Tyrannosaur in France

Brief post to consider a useful example of Indie distribution abroad, other than in the USA. Warp managed to get Tyrannosaur quite widely distributed on DVD (not so much in cinema).
The IMDB distributor list above shows a theatrical distributor for France, but there is no record of any French box office returns on boxofficemojo: lists lower figures, a useful warning that you can't always rely on any one site for accurate information.

I can't find sales figures ( only offers these on this film to subscribers, but does provide such info for some movies), but it seems to have enjoyed reasonable success in France:

Its French distribution included a number of subtitled 'extras'

Thursday, December 04, 2014

DISTRIBUTION: Disney's Alice in Wonderland and release window row

Alice in Wonderland sparked off a huge row between distributors and exhibitors over an attempt to change the traditional release window between cinema and DVD release.
I'll be taking points from the following:

DISTRIBUTION: Warp X's Le Donk + Scor-zay-zee

Use the tag cloud to find more on distribution
KEY POINT: Cinemas continue to insist on an exclusive release window as home cinema would otherwise eat substantially into their prospects, and they have gone as far as threatening to boycott a blockbuster Disney movie when they tried to reduce this window. Frankly, they will care little what an Indie micro-budget production does, and the 'cinema release' was really a marketing stunt by Warp to attract newspaper reviews!
Scroll to the end of the post for a short list of all key points. 
Impressively, Warp secured distribution in several foreign markets, such as Norway. Note how Meadows and his previous movies are highlighted as a key selling point.

Le Donk and Scor-Zay-Zee (Meadows, 2009) is an interesting counter-example of what we conventionally see. Okay, so this micro-budget Indie (just £48k, it launched Meadows' 'five day film' concept which, at the time of release, several other well-known directors expressed an interest in, though it doesn't really seem to have taken off in the way Dogme 95 - Lars von Trier etc - once did) got limited cinematic release.

All warp trailers are embedded in 1 post tagged distribution!
Lets be clear - the vast bulk of Indie productions simply fail to get any cinematic release; almost all are straight-to-DVD or, in the worst case scenario (as the DVD release window should come before the TV release window, which can itself be split between terrestrial, satellite and streaming) straight-to-TV (maybe made-for-TV).

By the way, Working Title's debut production, My Beautiful Laundrette, started out as a made-for-TV film, but when it got a screening at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) and the critics raved about it, a swift decision was made to fund a cinematic release, from which it made a modest but significant profit, and WT would grow from this small success (including a US release).

There are no figures for Le Donk's box office, which usually suggests there was no cinematic release. It is not alone in Warp productions in getting a very, very limited cinema release, presumably a premiere and some limited London screenings.

Monday, December 01, 2014

1 in 5 homes with cinema room by 2020?

This previous post looked at NBC-Universal's $35k home rental scheme, very relevant to the theme below...
According to a recent survey, a fifth of Britons aim to have a dedicated cinema room by 2020 ... and 8% already do! The rise of home cinema has long been noted, but this is a step beyond having a large screen TV in the living room, being something closer to the setup seen in The Sopranos, the classic HBO series, where mafia don Tony brings round his cronies to sit in comfort and watch DVDs of such gangster flicks as The Public Enemy.

The rise of cinemas such as Leeds' Everyman, with its large sofa seating and tables for drinks and food (with the food menu going well beyond popcorn, and premium beer/drinks available), indicate one means by which the cinema industry is attempting to fight back against the increasing numbers staying at home for their cinema experience. Everyman's pricing strategy also quite purposefully tries to exclude many of the teens who effectively ruin the cinema experience for adults.

The site I read the home cinema stat on was pushing a new concept, the rise of corner shops and off-licenses as the replacement for dedicated video rental stores, with the demise of Blockbuster the most visible sign of their disappearance from the high street, with pressure from Netflix and other streaming services, piracy and supermarket sales all proving terminal.

The article specifically cites 'automated kiosks' - have any of you ever encountered one of these? Clearly yet another means by which digitisation is opening up further possibilities for distribution.
In 2013 70% of TV sets sold in the UK were classified as big – 26in-32in – and nearly 16% were were “jumbo” – 43in or bigger. This is up 4% from the year before, according to TV Licensing’s annual Telescope report on the nation’s viewing habits.An earlier report found that 8% of Brits expect to have a dedicated cinema room in their homes by 2020.With staying in firmly established as the new going out, and consumers abandoning FOMO, the fear of missing out, in favour of JOMO, the joy of missing out, there’s never been a better time to cash in on the sales opportunity offered by big nights in, and this year OLN is looking at how to host and sell the perfect movie night.As more and more traditional video and DVD rental shops have gone out of business in the face of competition from postal and on- demand services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix – giant Blockbuster went into administration late last year – some off-licences have stepped into the gap, offering customers DVDs for rent or sale.Automated video kiosks such as those offered by Original Video ( have taken off in the US, where they first launched in 2002 and where there are now more than 30,000 units in operation. The model is simple, with new release movies offered for a small hire charge and, according to Original Video, they can make up to £500 a week.Even if you don’t offer DVDs yourself, this is a great time of year to inspire customers to make a big night in of their film evening with an innovative aisle-end or window display – and don’t forget to lay out the snacks, as nibbles such as popcorn, crisps and sweets are a key ingredient.To get you started, we’ve lined up some classic film choices – and suggestions to drink with them.■ Casablanca: Humphrey Bogart’s Rick is a self-confessed drunkard, and in the course of the film plenty of wine, bourbon, brandy and Cognac is consumed. But when you watch Casablanca, why not have a Champagne toast along with Rick and his lover, Ilsa, played by Ingrid Bergman. They’ll always have Paris.

Hot Fuzz distribution and marketing

Not exactly a bang up to date example, but one I've been looking at for a comparison between the three Cornetto Trilogy WT/WT2 productions (also World's End and Shaun of the Dead).

TheNumbers.Com: Distribution detail and box office data.
'Post and Send': a (p)review focussed on the archetypal rural community setting. 'Hot Fuzz was filmed in historic Wells in Somerset—England’s teeniest metropolis, apparently—that has a heritage dating back to Roman times. With the cathedral and market square, it’s not hard to see why it was chosen as a stand-in for the kind of place that elicits warm and fuzzy nostalgia on sight.'
'' - posters' intertextual references: An impressively thorough post, this dissects the many specific reference points reflected in the poster campaign for Hot Fuzz, clearly showing where the influences came from by putting the HF and existing posters side by side.
'TheWells' - how HF has sparked a tourist boom for the village it was set in!
'DillyMilly' - student blog post: usefully draws together several posters and trailers.
Student Prezi on HF Marketing: Not the best example you'll ever see, but useful e.g. of a Prezi nonetheless, something you should use for at least one Eval response.
MarketingMagazine - agency looks for product placement brands:
Exposure has been set the task of creating awareness below and above the line. Producers Working Title and Universal Pictures are now looking for partners for the movie."The film is a British take on an American cop movie and we are looking for brands that are British and are aimed at the 16- to 24-year-old male market," said Annie Kearney, senior account manager, Exposure. "Snack foods, FMCGs and entertainment brands including Heinz and Blockbusters have the right profile that we are looking for. We want brands that embody the irreverence of the film," she added.
CommonSenseMedia - alternative film ratings for parents: a US site that carries parental and kids' reviews, and generates a specific age rating recommendation from these, and its own editorial ratings
Parents need to know that what at first seems like a British parody of American cop flicks turns into a much bloodier (and funnier) homage to blow-'em-up blockbusters. The gun play and cartoonishly graphic violence rivals that of any Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer production, but at least the bulk of the gore is confined to the last third of the film. Like Shaun of the Dead, which was made by the same director and stars, this movie is full of colorful foul language, but it doesn't have the raunchy nastiness of similar movies. Expect cinema-savvy teens to want to check it out. - releasing interactive Shaun screenplay to market World's End: There are several posts linked through here; another flags up director Wright's use of UGC: 'Wright posted a link to a video that includes scenes from all three of his films on his twitter account today. Youtuber Joel Walden mashed up the different scenes from Wright’s movies into one 2:19 minute video. Hit the jump to see it.  [Read more…]'
OfficeNews - drinks to view Cornetto flicks with...: Something a bit different, a site flagging up the growth of DVD rentals within existing shops (off-licenses, mini-markets etc) as a replacement for the gradually dying video rental store, and suggesting drinks accompaniments for a range of films:
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End may be more associated with Cornettos than alcohol, but they’re all about beer and pubs. We recommend lager with Shaun of the Dead and bitter with The World’s End, with a cranberry juice in between for Hot Fuzz’s abstemious hero, Nick Angel.