Sunday, November 20, 2016

TFE THE FILM ENTREPRENEUR: A Newsletter for Independent Filmmakers and Investors


TFE THE FILM ENTREPRENEUR:
A Newsletter for Independent Filmmakers and Investors
Louise Levison, Editor and Publisher        

 Vol. 22,   No.  10                                                                                                                                                    OCTOBER  2016

 
DIGITAL SALES CONTINUE TO CLIMB
Overall U.S. entertainment spending continued to expand at the rate of 2.5 percent with a total of $13.1 billion, 2.5 percent higher than last year’s $12.7 billion, reports The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).  Digital sales were $7.5 billion for the first nine months of the year, 15 percent ahead of the same period last year.  Much of the growth came from subscription streaming, which Home Media Magazine notes primarily was due to Netflix.  Electronic Sell-through and VOD also showed growth of 7.5 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.  Despite ongoing predictions of the end for packaged goods (i.e. discs), spending on Blu-ray discs jumped nearly 6 percent.  The DEG also points out that consumer adoption of 4K Ultra HD technology helped spur growth. 
Highlights for the third quarter 2016 are:

  Total U.S. home entertainment spending was nearly $4.2 billion for the third quarter, bringing the year-to-date total to more than $13 billion.

  Consumers continued to transition their collection of filmed entertainment to digital with Digital HD – or Electronic Sell Through (EST) – up nearly 10 percent over the same period last year.

  Blu-ray Disc continues its positive trend, up eight percent for the year.

  Video-On-Demand (VOD) platforms continued to grow, up about five percent in the quarter from a year earlier driven by strong growth of iVOD.

  An additional two million 4K Ultra HD TVs were sold in the U.S. market, up 104 percent from the third quarter of 2015 and bringing the total number of sets purchased to 9.9 million.  Seventy two 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray title releases are now available.

  HDTV penetration is approaching the total number of U.S. households.  The DEG estimates that 85 percent – 104.5 million - of all U.S. homes have at least one HDTV. Blu-ray playback devices (including set-tops and game consoles) are in nearly 87 million U.S. households.  (Note: With only one manufacturer in the market place, the DEG cannot report sales figures for Ultra HD Blu- ray players.) 

For more details go to:



NEW CHINESE ARTHOUSE CIRCUIT
Major news for North American and other filmmakers is a potential opportunity to distribute their films through a new arthouse circuit in China’s mainland.  China Film Archive (CFA), a state-owned organization based in Beijing that organizes film festivals and screenings has formed a consortium called the National Arthouse Film Alliance (NAFA) with Huaxia Film Distribution, Wanda Cinema Line, Bill Kong’s Broadway Circuit, Jia Zhangke’s Fabula Entertainment and ticketing platform Weying Technology.  French mini-conglomerate MK2, which has a co-production agreement with Fabula, is also a partner in the network, according to Variety.  The system currently includes 100 cinemas operated by Wanda, Broadway, Lumière Pavilions, Qujiang Film and Television and regional circuits in Jiangsu, Chongqing and Hubei provinces, among others.   “Many cinemas are interested in joining the circuit…we hope to increase it to around 500 screens,” China Film Archive Director Sun Xianghui told Screendaily.  The mechanism for import is unclear and at least one report says that CFA will be able to offer both revenue-sharing and flat fee terms to rights owners.  Still, all films will have to pass China’s censorship system.

With the box office slipping even though the number of screens has been increasing, it is clear that economic changes are not the only reason.  In hard times, people go to the movie theater.  On the other hand, they can get tired of seeing just the 34 revenue-sharing films ― mostly blockbusters ― that China has allowed in through its World Trade Organization quota system agreement of 2012.  “There’s a younger generation growing up in China, and while, right now, they might want big blockbusters and broad local comedies, their tastes are changing. An audience for films outside the Hollywood mold is starting to emerge,” says Rikke Ennis of Zentropa told The Hollywood Reporter.  “This is a very important initiative.  Maybe we will now get to see films by Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers in China,” Isabelle Glachant, an Asia-based film producer, seller and operator of Asian Shadows told Variety.  Jia also is seeking to open up China’s video sector to auteur content.  The service was supposed to launch in June, but Jia and his team are curating the selection carefully, resulting in only 20 titles being secured so far.  Jia now anticipates that the platform will go live by December.  “Jia Screen is not just for Chinese young directors,” he told Variety. “We also want to introduce international filmmakers to Chinese audiences. It is a bilateral communication.” 

New Censorship Law

As TFE was going to press, China also announced the new “Film Industry Promotion Law” governing the film industry a move that some said would simplify the process of approving and censoring films.  The law, which was 12 years in the making, will take effect in March 2017.  The legislation is aimed at better regulating the world’s second-largest film industry, which grossed US$6.8 billion last year.  It provides stiff penalties for box-office fraud and piracy, which will make Hollywood and other outside film companies happy; however, the law also states that its aim is to “spread core socialist values” and enrich the masses' spiritual and cultural life.  In addition, it forbids content that stirs up opposition to the law or constitution, harms national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity, and set ground rules for the industry.      http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1295250-20161107.htm   TFE will revisit this subject in the November issue along with any new information from AFM’s China panel as to how its restrictions may affect specialty filmmakers both inside and outside of China.  

RIO FILM FESTIVAL
The 18th edition of the Rio Festival, which took place October 6th to 16th-12th 2016, presented about 250 projects from more than 60 countries.  Première Brasil, the only competitive section of the festival, presented more than 50 titles, from both national and international audiences, including feature-length, short and documentary films.  The concurrent Rio Market ran from October 5th to12th with more than 50 panels, 20 workshops and master classes.

AND THE WINNERS ARE . . .

AWARD
FILM
WINNER
Best Fiction Feature
The Other End
Felipe Sholl
Special Jury Prize
Whirlpool
José Luiz Villamarim
Best Director, Fiction
A Woman And The Father
Cristiane Oliveira
Best Actress
The Other End
Karine Teles
Best Actor tie
 
Comeback
Whirlpool and Under Pressure
Nelson Xavier
Julio Andrade
Best Supporting Actress
A Woman And The Father
Verónica Perrotta
Best Supporting Actor
Under Pressure
Stepan Nercessian
Best Cinematography tie
The Desert of Super Dara
A Woman and the Father
Fernando Lockett
Heloisa Passos
Best Editing
Era o Hotel Cambridge
Marcio Hashimoto
Best Screenplay
Russian Red
Martha Nowill, Charly Braun
Best Documentary
Fight Of The Century
Sérgio Machado
Best Director, Documentary
           Honorable mention
The Desert Of Super Dara Curumin  
Sérgio Oliveira
Marcos Prado
Best Short
           Honorable mention
The Parking Lot
Demonia – A Melodrama in Three Acts
William Biagioli                Fernanda Chicollet              Cainan Baladez
NEW TRENDS PRIZES
 
 
Best Feature Film
Then I Died
Bia Lessa and Dany Roland
Best Short
Don’t Promise Me Anything
Eva Randolph
Special Jury Prize
Fix Up, Look Sharp
Emílio Domingos
Honorable mention for Performance
Janaína Overdrive
Layla Kayã Sah
FIPRESCI AWARD: Best Latin American Film tie
Dark Skull
Era o Hotel Cambridge
Kiro Russo                           Eliane Caffé.
 
Felix Award (Film that best recognized LGBT themes)
 
 
Best Fiction Film
Rara
Pepa San Martin
Best Documentary
Divine Divas
Leandra Leal
Special Jury Prize
Love Snaps
Daniel Ribeiro                 Rafael Lessa
Suzy Capó Felix Personality Of The Year
Lea T

 

WHAT I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED RAINDANCE

By Eliot Grove, a Canadian-born film producer who founded both the Raindance Film Festival in 1993 and the British Independent Film Awards in 1998.

1. Success Doesn't Happen Overnight                                                                                       
2.  ...The Movies You Create Now Will Continue to Work for you                                                          
3. There's Always Something New                                                                                                          
4. There's More to a Successful Filmmaker Than a Film                                                                    
5. Shooting and Editing Aren't the Only Skills a Filmmaker Needs                                                 
6. Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones                                                                                                 
7. Making an Investor Happy is Hard Work                                                                                     
8. Sometimes Film-making is Easier Than You Think


NUMBERS! NUMBERS! NUMBERS!

LOW-BUDGET INDEPENDENT FILMS ($9.5 M and under)

 

FILM
DISTRIBUTOR
REVENUE
COST
 
 
thous. $
thous. $
Anthropoid*
Bleecker Street
2,964
9,000
Blair Witch*
Lionsgate
19,138
5,000
Dark Horse, The
Broad Green Pictures
906
2,100
Darkness, The
High Top Releasing
10,754
4,000
Grandma
Sony Pictures Classics
6,980
600
God’s Not Dead 2
Pure Flix
20,773
5,000
Hello, My Name Is Doris
Roadside Attractions
14,445
1,000
Hillary’s America
Quality Flix
13,099
5,000
Lady in the Van, The
Sony Pictures Classics
10,021
5,500
Lobster, The
A24
9,078
4,500
Love and Friendship
Amazon/Roadside Att.
14,017
3,000
Meet the Blacks
Freestyle Releasing
9,096
900
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life*
Lionsgate
18,566
8,500
Moonlight*
A24
1,499
5,000
Race
Sony Pictures Releasing
19,115
5,000
Southside With You*
Roadside Attractions
6,304
2,000
Swiss Army Man
A24
4,210
3,000
War Room
Sony Pictures Releasing
67,790
3,000
Witch, The
A24
25,139
3,500

 

*Still in North American distribution as of October 31, 2016.  Revenues are from boxoffice.com and boxofficemojo.com.  Negative costs (production prior to prints and ads) are approximate, based either on industry estimates, and published interviews with filmmakers or personal conversations with filmmakers.


MORE NUMBERS! NUMBERS! NUMBERS!                                                            HIGH-BUDGET INDEPENDENT FILMS (Over $9.6M)

FILM
DISTRIBUTOR
REV.
COST
 
 
thous. $
   thous. $
Bad Moms*
STX Entertainment
112,514
20,000
BFG, The*
Disney
55,436
140,000
Café Society*
Lionsgate/Amazon
11,078
30,000
Choice, The
Lionsgate
18,730
10,000
Criminal
Lionsgate/Summit
14,709
31,500
Deepwater Horizon*!
Lionsgate/Summit
20,223
110,000
Don’t Breathe*
Screen Gems
84,742
9,900
Florence Foster Jenkins*
Paramount
27,154
29,000
Hell or High Water*
Lionsgate
25,764
12,000
Gods of Egypt
Lionsgate
31,153
140,000
Infiltrator, The*
Broad Green Pictures
15,431
28,000
Kubo and the Two Strings*
Focus Features
46,743
60,000
Kung Fu Panda 3
DreamWorks Animation
143,529
120,000
London Has Fallen
Focus Features
62,524
60,000
Mechanic: Resurrection*
Lionsgate/Summit
20,935
40,000
Mother’s Day
Open Road
32,493
25,000
Nerve*
Lionsgate
36,914
40,000
Nice Guys, The
Warner Bros.
36,262
60.000
Now You See Me 2*
Lionsgate
65,075
90,000
Risen
Sony Affirm
36,880
20,000
Triple 9
Open Road
12,639
20,000
Young Messiah, The
Focus Features
6,420
18,500

*Same references as Low-Budget Table

LARGE FORMAT FILMS
 

FILM
DISTRIBUTION
REV.
COST
 
 
thous. $
thous. $
Apollo 13: The Imax Experience
IMAX
1,737
n/a
Beautiful Planet, A*
IMAX
6,874
n/a
Born To Be Wild 3D*
Warner Bros./IMAX
25,049
 
 
 
 
n/a
Bugs!
SK Films, Inc.
18,114
9,000
Deep Sea 3D
Warner Bros.
46,216
1,000
Galapagos: The Enchanted Voyage
IMAX
18,557
 
7,000
Ghosts of the Abyss
Buena Vista
17,041
13,000
Haunted Castle
nWave
13,652
n/a
Hubble 3D*
Warner Bros.
51,716
 
 
 
 
n/a
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar*
Warner Bros.
10,673
 
 
 
 
 
 
n/a
James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge
DisruptiveLA
236
 
n/a
Jerusalem 3D
National Geographic
7,880
 
 
 
n/a
Journey to the South Pacific
IMAX/MacGillivray
7,144
 
 
 
 
n/a
Magnificent Desolation
IMAX
34,109
3,000
NASCAR 3D
Warner Bros./IMAX   
21,337
10,000
Ocean Wonderland 3D
3D Entertainment
11,035
3,000
Roving Mars
Buena Vista
10,408
1,000
Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adventure
National Geographic
23,746
n/a
Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World
3D Entertainment
6,097
n/a
Space Station 3D
IMAX
93,212
 
 
1,000
Thrill Ride
Sony Classics
18,795
9,000
To the Arctic 3D
Warner Bros.
14,445
 
 
n/a
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous
IMAX
53,347
14,500
U2 3D
National Geographic
10,362
13,000
Under the Sea 3D
Warner Bros.
35,097
 
 
 
n/a
Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
National Geographic
898
n/a
Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
Shadow
3,058
n/a
Wild Safari 3D
nWave
16,621
4,500

 
* Same references as Low-Budget table.

NEED MONEY FOR A MOVIE?  DON’T GO IN EMPTY-HANDED.  HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN.

The benefit of using a reliable business plan to raise financing for a film is that it allows the investors and the filmmaker to gauge the potential success of a film.  A polished business plan with projections based on the worldwide results of other films and with clear explanations about the industry, markets and production personnel attached to the film is far more effective than an incomplete document that leaves prospective investors wanting more information.  Contact Louise Levison at louisel@earthlink.net to find out how you can put her 28 years of experience as a Film Business Consultant to work creating a business plan for your film.
Levison, the President of Business Strategies, is a highly respected financial consultant in the entertainment industry, specializing in creation of film business plans.  Her clients have raised money for low-budget films including The Blair Witch Project, the most profitable independent film in history, and for companies raising as much as $300 million.  She is the author of Filmmakers & Financing: Business Plans for Independents, currently in its revised and expanded seventh edition (A Routledge/Taylor&Francis book, 2013).  The sixth edition of the book continues to be available in Mandarin from www.hindabook.com in Beijing, China.  Levison also is editor of the online newsletter The Film Entrepreneur: A Newsletter for the Independent Filmmaker and Investor.  Among other clients’ projects are The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran’s), Unlimited (Nathan Frankowski), Burning Bodhi, Greater, The Redemption of Henry Miller, Emoticon ;), Moving Midway, Redemption Road, Haunted (2012), The First of May, The Open Road, Aluna, Yak: The Giant King, Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, My Father and the Man in Black and Michael Winslow Live.  Among her corporate clients are Danny Glover’s Louverture Films (2008 nominee for Best Documentary Academy Award Trouble the Water), The Pamplin Film Company (Hoover), Hurricane Film Partners, LLC and Tokuma International Ltd (Shall We Dance, Princess Mononoke).  Levison is an Instructor in the Extension Program at UCLA.  She also has been a Visiting Professor at the Taipei (Taiwan) National University of the Arts, Chapman University (Orange County, CA) and the University of Montana (Missoula).  Levison has presented seminars and/or been on panels at festivals and markets around the world.  (Additional information is available at http://www.moviemoney.com).     
THE FILM ENTREPRENEUR is published by Business Strategies
 Louise Levison, Editor
 11231 U.S. Highway 1 #308
 North Palm Beach, FL 33408
 Phone:  (818) 427-7108
 E-mail:  louisel@earthlink.net; http://www.moviemoney.com    @predictfilm

Copyright © Business Strategies OCTOBER 2016 (http://www.moviemoney.com). 

                                                                        No reproduction without permission

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