$40,000 for a film transfer or a week in 5 Landmark Theatre markets? at DVinfo.net

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Old July 9th, 2006, 01:13 PM   #1
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$40,000 for a film transfer or a week in 5 Landmark Theatre markets?

So I was reading the latest issue of MovieMaker magazine (www.moviemaker.com), #63, vol. 11 (Richard Linklater/A SCANNER DARKLY on the cover) and in the article DIY Distribution: The Future is Here, by Daniel Nemet-Nejat, they talk about the difficulties and expenses relating to getting distribution.

One thing caught my eye, though probably not in the way the author and magazine had expected. It costs, as of early summer 2006, $40,000 to rent a screen at Landmark Theatres (known for its digital presentations and passion for indie films) in FIVE markets! The cost of going from digital/HD to 35mm on a feature can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000, depending on what you have done (color correction, etc.) and where you go to have it done (Swiss Effects, DVFilm, etc.). Plus around $3,000 to $4,000 for each additional print.

So, for those of us who considered going to 35mm to get into film fests, we know that most want it digital, usually HDCAM or even minidv. (Sundance had around 60% of its movies this year shown digitally.) That's infinitely cheaper.

But let's say we don't get distribution, what to do next? Go to 35mm to get into theatres? Well, if we're even considering it, that means we may have the money. So why not just rent out a Landmark theatre for a week in five markets and spend the additional marketing money that we should have anyway, on getting people into the seats.

Now that's something to think about...If we shoot a movie well, and the movie is great, and we're putting it into a theatre, we better be darn sure our marketing ideas are helping us pay back the investments! But that's a whole different story. Buy this book, though, it's got great movie marketing ideas:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/094...lance&n=283155

heath
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Old July 10th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #2
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Heath, referring to the Landmark deal, does that mean you get 100% of ticket sales? Maybe you could charge a couple bucks a ticket to recoup costs?
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Old July 10th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #3
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Joe,

Good question; there's no mention of it. I wonder if they get $40,000 plus a percentage of ticket sales, or if it's just $40,000 straight up.

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Old July 10th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #4
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i have a friend that 4 walled his movie at 2 landmark theaters ..
he paid 5k each theater per wk - he also did his own radio & paper ads.
arranged for press screening ...
= all door $$ went to his pocket ...

for those that don't know how to advertise then you can ask theater to do the ads and that $$will come out of door ... sometimes a theater may split the ad cost with you ... it's all on the table ... you don't have much power/say unless your movie has played in another theater/market and you have some box office receipts to show how many butts were in the seats ...
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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info!

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Old July 10th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #6
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Don, how did your friend's deal work out? Upside down or no?
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Old July 15th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #7
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My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a service deal.

The producers paid IFC $400,000 to distribute their $5 million film and 80% of the $500 million it made in box office went into the producer's pockets - although they did end up cutting IFC another check just out of good will.

Peter Broderick is really big on service deals and with good reason - they offer a skillful filmmaker control over what happens with his picture. More and more indie producers are looking to put together sufficient financing to not only make the film but to market it as well. You hook up with a company that specializes in service deals - there are a few of them out there - and you pay them to rent you theatre space. You usually pick the theatres of theirs that you want to be in and the length of time. You control the marketing, the advertising, and the length of the run - in return, you get to keep the bulk of the box office.

A project I was working on with a producer who understood service deals inside and out, had a budget of $1.5 m and a distribution/marketing budget of $1m. It didn't come together unfortunately (although it is still the best unproduced, highly commercial script I've ever read and I can't believe no one has made it), but at least you have an idea of the proportions. Getting it into Landmark is only half the journey. You must also have the money to market it and get your stars on local tv.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #8
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I can probably get my stars on local TV in the market I live in, and in the papers. But like you said, that's only the beginning. Marketing/selling is one of the most overlooked things around. I've heard of filmmakers saying they only had enough money for some stickers at the fest (I'm one of them).

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Old July 16th, 2006, 12:35 AM   #9
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he also 4 walled it at a 3rd theater ...
it played only 2 weeks at one of the landmarks - lost $ there ..

but played at other landmark for 6 weeks -made $$ .. 3rd theater for 10 weeks = made $$ .. after the 2nd week both theaters offered to change to percent but he stayed with 4 wall .. with those box office $$'s he got offers from distributors ( for 2 weeks it was the highest gross per theater for all movies reporting box office receipts) ... went with small company that took the movie across 40+ cities booking 1-3 theaters per city over several month period .. he traveled to all the cities for openings sometimes took actors ..

so the bottom line is did it make $$$ ... distributor made $$ ...theaters made $$ ... i made $$ ... allot of $$$ went ???? producer says lost $$ ...

advertising is expensive .. ads runs the same if you spent $100 mil or $10 on your film .. he was spending approx 5k per week on ads in main paper of major city ( and thats 1/4 page) plus in some markets TV ads ...
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Old July 16th, 2006, 06:26 AM   #10
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That's pretty amazing to me that he made money at the other Landmark. $5,000 to the theater each week, and $5,000 in ads, means that if tix were $9.50 a head, he had to sell 150 seats per day just to break even.

Musta been a great film! Which explains why it got highest gross per theater for two weeks. What was it called?
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Old July 17th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #11
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another aproach

im sorry if this is off topic or if im just reading the thread wrong

but has anyone taken the idea of renting out a theater for a day or two and bringin there own projector

we did it here for a sports film we made

we advertised with posteres around town
the small theater costed us 350 a night to rent out and we managed to sell 200 seats at 7$ a ticket
now had we done this many nights in a row it would not have worked but the next town over was not that far ??

just a thought
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