"Show Me The Money" - The Profit Potential

It goes like this:

Domestic Theatrical Distribution Profits: Film Production Company receives 50% of net profits (after Distribution expenses of film prints or digital copies, advertising, publicity materials, etc.). However, the Film Production Company will typically negotiate for cash advance with a Domestic Theatrical distributor.
  • 'Window Sales' Profits: If a theatrical distributor has placed at least 25 prints in 25 theaters in 25 major markets a minimal advertising budget of $150,000. The movie company can then cash in on:  DVD, On Demand, Video, Pay Per View, Pay Cable, Basic cable and Broadcasting. The movie company gives a one to four-month exclusivity (known as the window) to maximize revenues.

What happens if there is not a Domestic Theatrical Release?

Foreign Sales: There are 35 nations that purchase films from America even if the film has never been released in United States movie theatres. This is known as 'made-for-foreign marketplace.' The object is to retain all foreign rights, and monetize by either licensing the film one by one, for exampel selling at the major film markets, or contracting with one International distributor to sell to all countries.

Sell-Through: Again, even if a film does not play US movie theatres sell-through sales can be made at Wal-Mart, Target etc. Pay-per-views from DirectTV, Dish Network, $9.95 downloads (CinemaNow, Movielink, etc.), $3.95 rentals (Blockbuster - distributes straight-to-DVD films), Netflix, etc. Even if a film does not get a theatrical distribution, a film can still go directly to the DVD world of sell-throughs, downloads and rentals and make one's own sales and profits.