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Old February 12th, 2004, 09:23 PM   #1
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Location: Hollywood, CA
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film distribution!

so how exactly do the big hollywood dealmakers get their films shown in theatres?

for example, if i were to somehow create a distributor like New Line or Miramax, how would i go about showing these films in major theatres?

i ask mainly because i do not quite understand the independent market vs. mainstream. usually the theatres showing independent films ONLY show independent films, and the mainstream theatres only show the mainstream.

how does this work? the films in mainstream theatres are generally from the top 5 or so distributors, so i suppose that means exclusive contracts are out... so what then? do the distributors find new theatres and just agree to show their films? or is it the other way around, and do movie theatres contact the distributors to license their films? how do the "mainstream" distributors gain this status and the ability to show their films virtually anywhere?

i mean, it makes sense for the largest/most powerful group to be the mainstream... but how does one get there in the first place without that chance to show something in the mainstream?

just curious... i wish i knew a lot more about how the business works.
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Old February 15th, 2004, 05:38 AM   #2
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Maybe the big distributors own the cinemas too?
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Old February 15th, 2004, 05:42 AM   #3
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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Daniel, here is your recommended reading. The Movie Business Book, ed. Jason Squire. This book answers all the questions you've asked. It's a bit dated, but while the technology of filmmaking has changed in the past 10 years, the distribution system has not, and no book is more complete or as varied in its perspectives as this one is.

(Distributors are not allowed to own exhibition venues, thanks to U.S. vs. Paramount et al. 1948.)
All the best,
Robert K S

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Old March 3rd, 2004, 01:34 PM   #4
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