Film distributors• A film distributor is often an independent company, who handles the distribution and marketing of the film on DVDs and movies in the cinema, responsible for getting the film to the exhibitor (cinemas).• They also choose how to distribute the film after a film release, for example, online streaming/downloading, DVDs and Blu-rays, and via TV.
Film Distributors-Main Objectives• The main objective of the distributor is to persuade the exhibitor to rent or book the film for a short time to play at their cinema. This also involves advertising the film, via posters and videos, either online or on television.• They also choose how to distribute the film after a film release, for example, online streaming/downloading, DVDs and Blu-rays, and via TV.
Other Objectives• Film distributors also:• Secure written contracts, agreeing and specifying the amount of money to be paid to the distributor from gross ticket sales.• Collect money from cinemas, DVD retailers etc.• Reviewing ticket sales by the exhibitor, to ensure that the gross sales informed by the exhibitor is precise.• Secure their share of the profits, then split the remaining money to the production company of the film, and others associated with the film. This can be a set amount depending on the scale and type of film.
Other Objectives continued• For the Exhibitors they will ensure:• That enough prints and/or digital copies of the film are sent to each exhibitor.• On the release day of the film, the exhibitors have received their copies of the film.• That the different theatres are achieving the minimum amount of seat sales and set show times.• Once the film is closed from exhibition, the copies of the films are retrieved.• That they have created enough advertising to gather enough profits for the exhibitors, themselves and the film companies.
Other areas of distribution• The production company or even the distributor may want to distribute the film in other countries, they will need to do additional distribution work:• The film will need to be dubbed/subtitled to the languages of the countries it will be distributed in.• Ensuring that they can distribute the film in that country, possibly censoring or removing certain aspects of the film to make it suitable for the other countries.• Ensuring these changes have been made before approaching foreign exhibitors.
Distribution in the UK• Many distributors exist in the UK, both for independent UK films, foreign films and traditional blockbuster Hollywood films. They must compete with other aspects of the media, as well as larger American distributors.
Vertical distribution process• This is an example of vertical distribution, a UK distributor who distributes films like this is Vertigo Films.
What Distributors consider• The first three days of a film’s showing are the most important, it has been shown that 30% of films make their largest profit in these first days.• Distributors must consider:• The type of audience and who will view it.• What people does the film appeal and speak to?• Does the ideology, characters, setting etc. attract people to watch?• Does the make up for the cost? E.g. Theatrical release, production cost.• What audiences have been attracted by similar films?• Is there any competition?• What films are being released along side the one they are distributing, will this affect their profit?
Consider continued• Will they need to change the dates and release times of the film depending on competition?• Will the release event differ between a large blockbuster and an independent film for different audiences?• Are there any well known cast members in the film?• Can these actors be used to promote the film? E.g. a red carpet event?• Is the director well known? Will he be able to promote the film as well?
Differing films and screenings• The size and profit of the screening is determined by the kind of film it is. Generally speaking, large American Hollywood films receive the largest screenings and profits, whereas independent and foreign films usually have smaller screenings or are straight to DVD, and make less profit. Countries such as France try to combat this by making 2/3’s of the film industry in France French films, to give French films a chance to make a larger profit and popularity.
Vertigo Films• Vertigo Films is a film distribution company responsible for distributing British cinema such as The Sweeney, Street Dance and many others. They also distribute foreign independent films, from America and others. They are also responsible for the hit Monsters, and were originally set up to distribute commercially-driven independent cinema. They also combat Hollywood 3D films with their own 3D distribution company, PFXE.