Movie 43: not quite a failure

So, apparently it\’s entirely awful as a movie. But Hollywood runs on money, nothing else:

the low-budget $6 million (£3.8 million) project

OK.

None have, however, stepped forward for the usual blitz of media interviews and red carpet appearances to promote a new film. Nor was Movie 43 even given an advance press screening before it opened in cinemas in Britain and the US last weekend.

And they\’ve not done the usual doubling of the budget in marketing expenses.

Cinema-goers were just as underwhelmed. The film took barely $5 million (£3.2 million) on its opening weekend in America and less than £800,000 in the UK.

And, approximately, you halve that to get the amount going to the actual movie rather than the cinemas.

So in the first weekend it\’s taken over half its budget. That\’s not bad actually. The film is in serious danger of actually making a profit there.

Which, by the money standards that Hollywood works on, makes it a success.

6 comments on “Movie 43: not quite a failure

  1. David is correct. For directors and writers, creating a cult film is ideal. For producers, it’s terrible. Not only do you not make any money, you also get blamed for the fact that you failed to sell it first time round.

  2. “So in the first weekend it’s taken over half its budget. That’s not bad actually. The film is in serious danger of actually making a profit there.”

    Er, no. First, we don’t know the budget of the movie – the (unlikely) US$6 million figure is the director’s retort to critics. Second, although it’s true that cinemas take about half the box office gross, that’s after sales tax (shall we say 20%?), so the net is 40%. From that, the local distributor (who books the film into cinemas) will take (let’s say) an additional 20%, leaving 32%. But before any revenue is remitted, all the distributors’ costs are deducted, including promotion and advertising, which are substantial items.

    As a result, a very (and I mean very) rough rule of thumb is that 5% of box office gross flows back to the financiers. Half of this will conventionally be paid to the creative talent.

    So in order for a film with a budget of $6 million to break even from the financiers’ point of view, it has to take a box office gross of some $200 million.

  3. My conclusion is of course complete bollocks. Where I said 5% I meant 15%. A $6 million dollar movie needs to take $30 to $40 million box office gross to break even.

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