Distribution and Exhibition<br />Further info<br />KKS<br />
Distribution is about releasing and sustaining films in the market place<br />Vertical Integration - the three stages are seen as part of the same larger process, under the control of one company<br />Horizontal - distribution is necessarily a collaborative process, requiring the materials and rights of the producer and the cooperation of the exhibitor to promote and show the film in the best way possible<br />What is Distribution?<br />
Acquiring legal rights to show a film<br />The major US studios generally have their own distribution offices in all the major territories<br />By contrast, independent producers have to sell their films to different distributors in each territory<br />‘Local’ distribution – one country – not 90+ territoriesCinema, DVD, TV rights<br />A local distributor will conventionally share profits equally with the producer for the theatrical leg, pay back higher royalties for broadcast rights, and lower for video/DVD#<br />
When and How?<br />Scheduling – Fridays<br />Film Distributors Association – oversee process<br />Seasonality, light weekends, other releases – optimum success<br />10 releases a week<br />Marketing Campaign – most expensive part<br />Release Dates<br />
In your experience, how are films marketed?<br />Posters/adverts in newspapers/TV/ Trailers<br />New Technologies<br />Viral<br />Synergies<br />Above the Line/Below the Line<br />Film Marketing<br />
Many independent distributors in particular do not have press departments, and will consequently hire a press agency to run a pre-release campaign.<br />A distributor will consider the use of advance public screenings to create word-of-mouth and advance 'buzz' around a film.<br />
Specialised films 10 prints or less (key independent cinemas) prints 'toured' over a 6-month period to all parts of the UK. <br />Mainstream films – 200+ prints, simultaneously screening in all major UK towns and cities.<br />Prints<br />
Transportation<br />35mm - £1000<br />Prints hired by exhibitor<br />Easily damaged<br />Expensive to store<br />More bought for first few months then destroyed - waste<br />Logistics - prints<br />
Film distribution has its own unique procedures.<br />Success or failure of a cinema release determines how the DVD and TV releases will be handled subsequently.<br />In the international film business, the rights to screen a film are sold in respect of distinct ‘territories’ such as the UK.<br />Film Distribution in the UK<br />
Most Hollywood films are distributed directly by the studio which financed the film.<br />In the UK the cinema box office is dominated by a handful of major distributors. <br />In any year, the 5 major distributors will account for 90% of the box-office rentals.<br />Film Distribution in the UK<br />
A Hollywood blockbuster is released ‘wide’ with one or more prints sent to each multiplex. Typically 400-500 prints, each costing £1000. So, a significant investment.<br />The wide release depends on blanket promotional and advertising coverage for the first weekend to create a ‘buzz’ about the film.<br />Free trailer packages and electronic press kits are sent to radio and TV stations and newspapers. Preview screenings for journalists are arranged. Stars give interviews and newspaper and TV advertising guarantees exposure.<br />Cost – over £1m but rely on opening £2m or more at box office <br />Typical Practice: Wide Release<br />
Digital Distribution<br />Digital projection, especially when married to the increasing use digital formats in production, can now replicate - if not surpass - the image quality of conventional 35mm cinema presentation<br />Cheaper<br />Send films as computer files to cinemas across the UK – piracy<br />Digital Projection<br />The compressed and encrypted files sent directly to cinemas to be downloaded, de-encrypted (unlocked) and opened as files for screening with digital projection equipment.<br />The shortened first-run period will allow distributors to release on DVD earlier<br />
DSN sites supports new facilities in 211 screens across the country (out of a total of just over 3,300), small but important step change towards full digital cinema.<br />Digital Screen Network<br />
The Exhibitors (cinema chains) in 2004:<br />Only Showcase remains in American hands, but all the other chains are deeply committed to distributing American films.<br />
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