There are a wide range of facts, figures and details we can utilise...
As we're considering Institutions and Audiences, data is often a consideration, but there are many types of numerical figure we can utilise. Remember that generally we need at least two numerical examples for context:
- budget (eg the $12m budget of About Time can be seen as relatively low budget by WT standards, and those of the US market - it would be high for a British film! - if compared to even a moderate example such as the $30m Elizabeth). TERMS: Indie; low/mid/high budget; production values; CGI/SFX, spectacle movie; tentpole; arthouse, niche; mainstream, mass appeal; four quadrant
- box office (UK, US, global; US as % of global; Gant Rule; rise of China; compare box office across franchise; box office needs to be put into context with budget: Green Zone's $95m box office sounds positive ... until the $100m budget is considered; equally, Le Donk... getting £0 box office sounds a disaster until the £48k budget is considered - it should easily make this back from TV, VoD, DVD etc)
- screens/length of run (a major UK hit will run on 3-500 screens, US 3-5000 screens [rough figures]). These numbers are especially useful for putting Warp's problems with non-UK, particularly US, distribution into perspective:
- both Four Lions and TisEng eventually crept to $300k US takings after several months on 15 screens at peak; Tryannosaur's experience was even worse. The rave reception from Sundance opened the door to US distribution ... but unfortunately their Indie US distributor took 9 months to release it, losing any momentum from Sundance, and failed to even release a trailer in time for the release. Read more about it here. After months, it managed a mere $22k, never getting beyond 2 screens. [snippet from this post]
- Four Lions shows how good word-of-mouth can see distributors swiftly change their view on a movie's prospects; it opened on 88 screens, but was swiftly tripled to 215 screens by Optimum releasing (now StudioCanalUK) after surprisingly strong initial results
- Ratings - very simple but very key. An 18 is almost always disastrous for box office; Fifty Shades has just proven it is possible to make major money with an 18 though. Most Warp films are 15/18, most WT are 15 and below, and that simple fact helps illustrate the different approaches: commercial versus non-mainstream. We can argue that Indies get