Film distributor

A film distributor is responsible for the marketing of a film. The distribution company is usually different from the production company. Distribution deals are an important part of financing a film.

The distributor may set the release date of a film and the method by which a film is to be exhibited or made available for viewing; for example, directly to the public either theatrically or for home viewing (DVD, video-on-demand, download, television programs through broadcast syndication etc.). A distributor may do this directly, if the distributor owns the theaters or film distribution networks, or through theatrical exhibitors and other sub-distributors. A limited distributor may deal only with particular products, such as DVDs or Blu-ray, or may act in a particular country or market. The primary distributor will often receive credit in the film's credits, one sheet or other marketing material.

Theatrical distribution

If a distributor is working with a theatrical exhibitor, the distributor secures a written contract stipulating the amount of the gross ticket sales the exhibitor will be allowed to retain (usually a percentage of the gross). The distributor collects the amount due, audits the exhibitor's ticket sales as necessary to ensure the gross reported by the exhibitor is accurate, secures the distributor's share of these proceeds, surrenders the exhibitor's portion to it, and transmits the remainder to the production company (or to any other [intermediary], such as a film release agent).

The distributor must also ensure that enough film prints are struck to service all contracted exhibitors on the contract-based opening day, ensure their physical delivery to the theater by the opening day, monitor exhibitors to make sure the film is in fact shown in the particular theatre with the minimum number of seats and show times, and ensure the prints' return to the distributor's office or other storage resource also on the contract-based return date. In practical terms, this includes the physical production of release prints and their shipping around the world (a process that is being replaced by digital distribution in most developed markets) as well as the creation of posters, newspaper and magazine advertisements, television commercials, trailers, and other types of ads.

The distributor is also responsible for ensuring a full line of advertising material is available for each film which it believes will help the exhibitor attract the largest possible audience, create such advertising if it is not provided by the production company, and arrange for the physical delivery of the advertising items selected by the exhibitor at intervals prior to the opening day. Film distributors spend between $3.5 billion and $4.0 billion a year in the United States alone on direct buys of advertising such as TV commercials, billboards, online banner ads, radio commercials and the like.[1] That distributor-spending figure doesn't include additional costs for publicity, film trailers and promotions, which aren’t classified as advertising but also market films to audiences.

Distributors typically enter into one of the two types of film booking contracts. The most common is the aggregate deal where total box office revenue that a given film generates is split by a pre-determined mutually-agreed percentage between distributor and movie theater. The other method is the sliding scale deal, where the percentage of box office revenue taken by theaters declines each week of a given film's run.[2] The sliding scale actually has two pieces that starts with a minimum amount of money that theater is to keep—often called “the house nut”—after which the sliding scale kicks in for revenue generated above the house nut. However, this sliding scale method is falling out of use. Whatever the method, box office revenue is usually shared roughly 50/50 between film distributors and theaters.

International distribution

If the distributor is handling an imported or foreign film, it may also be responsible for securing dubbing or subtitling for the film, and securing censorship or other legal or organizational "approval" for the exhibition of the film in the country/territory in which it does business, prior to approaching the exhibitors for booking. Depending on which studio that is distributing the film, the studio will either have offices around the world, by themselves or partnered with another studio, to distribute films in other countries. If a studio decides to partner with a native distributor, upon release both names will appear. The foreign distributor may license the film for a certain amount of time, but the studio will retain the copyright of the film. [3] When a film is produced and distributed by an independent production company and independent distributor (meaning outside the studios), generally an international sales agent handles the licensing of international rights to the film. The international sales agent will find a local distributor in each individual international territory (meaning outside of the US for a US independent film) and license the exclusive rights to the film for a certain amount of time but in the same case as the studios described above, the production company will retain the copyright of the film. This means that this distributor in a certain territory has the exclusive right to exploit the film in various media (theatrical, tv, home entertainment, etc) for a certain amount of time.

Early distribution windows

Although there are now numerous distribution techniques, in the past the studios and networks were slow to change and did not experiment with different distribution processes. Studios believed that new distribution methods would cause their old methods of revenue to be destroyed. With time, the development of new distribution did prove to be beneficial. The studios revenue was gained from myriad distribution windows. These windows created many opportunities in the industry and allowed networks to make a profit and eliminate failure. These new distribution methods benefited audiences that were normally too small to reach and expanded the content of television. With the new age of technology, networks accepted the fact that it was a consumer demand industry and accepted the new models of distribution.[4]

Non-theatrical distribution

This term, used mainly in the British film industry, describes the distribution of feature films for screening to a gathered audience, but not in theatres at which individual tickets are sold to members of the public. The defining distinctions between a theatrical and a non-theatrical screening are that the latter has to be to a closed audience in some way, e.g. pupils of a school, members of a social club or passengers on an airline, and that there can be no individual admission charge. Most non-theatrical screening contracts also specify that the screening must not be advertised, except within the group that is eligible to attend (e.g. in a membership organisation's newsletter or an in-flight magazine).

Non-theatrical distribution includes the airlines and film societies. Non-theatrical distribution is generally handled by companies that specialise in this market, of which Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC) and Filmbankmedia are the two largest:

Motion Picture Licensing Company Filmbankmedia

Representing the major Hollywood studios and independent producers. Home video media is sold with a licence that permits viewing in the home only. Until these technologies were widespread, most non-theatrical screenings were on 16mm film prints supplied by the distributor. Today, the most common business model is for a distributor to sell the exhibitor a licence that permits the legal projection of a copy of the film, which the exhibitor buys separately on a home video format. These licences can either be for individual, one-off screenings, or cover an unlimited number of screenings of titles represented by that distributor for a specified time period. The latter are often purchased by pubs and students' unions, to enable them to show occasional feature films on a TV in their bars.

Home video distribution

Some distributors only handle home video distribution or some sub-set of home video distribution such as DVD or Blu-ray distribution. The remaining home video rights may be licensed by the producer to other distributors or the distributor may sub-license them to other distributors.

If a distributor is going to distribute a movie on a physical format such as DVD, they must arrange for the creation of the artwork for the case and the face of the DVD and arrange with a DVD replicator to create a glass master to press quantities of the DVD.

Some movie producers use a process called "DVD-on-demand." In DVD-on-demand, a company will burn a DVD-R (a process called "duplication") when a copy of the DVD is ordered, and then ship it to the customer.

A distributor may also maintain contact with wholesalers who sell and ship DVDs to retail outlets as well as online stores, and arrange for them to carry the DVD. The distributor may also place ads in magazines and online and send copies of the DVD to reviewers.

Distribution credits

The primary distribution companies will usually receive some billing for the film. For example, Gone With the Wind was shown on the one sheet as "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Release". A modern example, Jurassic Park, would be the credit "Universal Pictures presents …". The Universal production logo also opened the film's trailer. In some cases, there is split distribution as in the case of Titanic (1997): "20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures present …". Both companies helped to finance the film.

See also


  1. ^ Article on Kantar Media movie advertising estimates
  2. ^ Marich, Robert. Marketing To Moviegoers: Third Edition (2013), SIU Press, p.277-78
  3. ^ Levison, Louise. (2007) "FILMMAKERS AND FINANCING". Burlington, MA: Focal Press. p. 119-120
  4. ^ Lotz, Amanda. The Television Will Be Revolutionized
Adam Yauch

Adam Nathaniel Yauch (pronounced ; August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012) was an American rapper, singer, songwriter, musician, director and film distributor best known as a founding member of the hip hop group Beastie Boys. He was frequently known by his stage name, MCA and sometimes worked under the pseudonym Nathanial Hörnblowér.

Yauch founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film production and distribution company based in New York City. As a Buddhist, he was involved in the Tibetan independence movement and organized the Tibetan Freedom Concert.

Bob Murawski

Bob Murawski (born June 14, 1964) is an American film editor as well as a film distributor of cult horror and independent films under the "Box Office Spectaculars" and "Grindhouse Releasing" labels. He was awarded the 2010 Academy Award for Best Film Editing for his work on The Hurt Locker, which he shared with fellow editor Chris Innis. He often works with film director Sam Raimi, having edited the Spider-Man trilogy, Oz the Great and Powerful, and the 2015 remake of Poltergeist. He is an elected member of the American Cinema Editors.

Curzon Artificial Eye

Curzon Artificial Eye is a British film distributor, specialising in independent, foreign-language and art house films for cinema and home entertainment.

First Look Studios

First Look Studios was an independent American film distributor, that specialized in home video releases of films and television series.

Freestyle Releasing

Freestyle Releasing is an independent film distributor founded in 2004, specializing in releasing films theatrically. Unlike most distributors, Freestyle Releasing does not put up any prints and advertising money for its releases.Freestyle has a service distribution deal with Jeff Clanagan for a line of African-American movies called Code Black.

General Film Distributors

General Film Distributors (GFD), later known as J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors and Rank Film Distributors Ltd., was a British film distribution company based in London. It was active between 1935 and 1996, and from 1937 it was part of the Rank Organisation.

General Film Distributors was created in 1935 by the British film distributor C. M. Woolf (1879–1942) after he had resigned from Gaumont British and closed his distribution company Woolf & Freedman Film Service.In 1936, J. Arthur Rank and the paper magnate Lord Portal, convinced him to make it a daughter company to their General Cinema Finance Corporation, which just had acquired the British distribution rights for all Universal Pictures titles (by buying a large chunk of Universal in the US). One year later it became the cornerstone in The Rank Organisation.

General Film Distributors kept its own name within the Rank Organisation until 1955, when it was renamed J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors, which in turn was renamed Rank Film Distributors Ltd. in 1957. Rank Film Distributors was acquired by Carlton Communications in 1997 and closed.It was C.M. Woolf's secretary who devised the man-with-a-gong trademark which was adopted by the Rank Organisation when it was founded in 1937.During the 20 years General Film Distributors had its original name, the company distributed over 450 mainstream films. A British DVD distributor, active since 2005, uses the same name but is unrelated to this company.

MPI Media Group

MPI Media Group is an American producer, distributor and licensor of theatrical film and home entertainment. MPI’s subsidiaries include MPI Pictures, MPI Home Video, Gorgon Video, and the horror film distributor Dark Sky Films. The company is located in Orland Park, Illinois, and was founded in 1976 by brothers Malik & Waleed Ali.MPI also owns the stock footage archive WPA Film Library, which offers one of the industry’s largest collections of music performances, newsreels, political coverage and pop culture footage and the British Pathe Newsreel Archive.

Mongrel Media

Mongrel Media is an independent Canadian film distributor established in 1994. It is the exclusive Canadian theatrical distributor for Sony Pictures Classics, Neon, and titles from A24, Amazon Studios, Saban Films, and IFC Films. Mongrel Media is represented in Quebec by Métropole Films Distribution. In January 2014, it also acquired Canadian distribution rights to 300 film titles from the StudioCanal library. Titles sold under the Mongrel International umbrella included Neon's Beach Rats and A24's first foreign language film Menashe.

Ocean Shores Video

Ocean Shores Video (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd.(Chinese: 海岸貢獻錄影 (香港) 有限公司 or Chinese: 海岸貢獻) is the home video division of Win's Entertainment (Hong Kong) Co Ltd. The company is owned by Television Broadcasts Limited the entertainment division of Panasonic, Pioneer and Philips was a Hong Kong based distributor of martial arts films in the 1980s.

Ocean Shores was a video company that ran major distribution rights to many of the biggest indie and later Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest movies. They concealed the rights to American releases of many classic chopsocky titles. And even had videos released in Europe under the inter-ocean label. They were never a film production company, just a video distributor. All their titles were released in full screen format suffering from bad cropping, like many of the videos released in the earlier era of video. None of their videos are cut and many feature dubbed soundtracks. These videos have become collectors items. They also had a short run of now very hard to get laserdiscs.

Ocean Shores Video was purchased by Win's Entertainment (Hong Kong) Co Ltd in 1990.

The company was founded in 1970 as Hong Kong Entertainment (Hong Kong) Co Ltd with the Beta and VHS label Diamond Entertainment (Hong Kong) Co Ltd in 1979 with the release of films on Beta and VHS including Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur. In late 1980 both the Laserdisc sister label U Best Laser World and the VHS/Beta label U Best Corporation (Hong Kong) Co Ltd were consolidated into a single entity Fitto Production (Hong Kong) Co Ltd alternating with the Charles Entertainment (Hong Kong) Co Ltd name until 1984. In 1990 with the 20th anniversary of Ocean Shores it became Ocean Shores Video (Hong Kong) Co Ltd alternating company vent by created added on new various company names including Win's Entertainment (Hong Kong) Co Ltd was launched since on 1990.

This company was the video distributor for Celestial Pictures titles until BoB and Partners (Hong Kong) Co Ltd was sold to Shaw Brothers Vision Enterprise (Hong Kong) Co Ltd/Golden Harvest Pictures (Hong Kong) Co Ltd in 2008 at which point Shaw Brothers took over distribution. After Golden Harvest sold BoB and Partners to Dentsu on 1 January 2008 Ocean Shores Video started distributing BoB and Partnerss films on video since on 1 January 2008.

In addition to DVDs, Ocean Shores was a major supporter of the HD DVD format until 1 January 2008 when Pioneer discontinued manufacturing of HD DVD players. Since 1 January 2008 Ocean Shores released Blu-ray discs; it was the last major Hollywood movie studio to do so. The label's first Blu-ray releases were Arti Sahabat films starting with Arti Sahabat The Moviein anaglyphic format on Beta and Video Home System (VHS) at Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) under on Sony Betamax.

On 30 December 2010, Ocean Shores Video acquired exclusive Indonesian rights to Arti Sahabat films starting with Arti Sahabat The Movie (co-production with Win's Entertainment (Hong Kong) Co Ltd)

Win's is the Hong Kong video distributor for STAR TV Filmed Entertainment (Hong Kong) Co Ltd releases and Media Asia Entertainment Group (Hong Kong) Co Ltd releases.

Odessa Entertainment

Odessa Entertainment Co., Ltd. (株式会社オデッサ・エンタテインメント, Kabushiki-gaisha Odessa Entateinmento) is a Japanese film distributor. It was founded as Taki Corporation Inc. (株式会社タキ・コーポレーション, Kabushiki-gaisha Taki Kōporēshon). Some of their adult anime productions were released under their Cherry Lips (チェリーリップス, Cherī Rippusu) label.


Production may be:

In economics:

Production (economics)

Outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services)

Production, the act of manufacturing goods

Production as statistic, gross domestic product

A Production lineIn ecology:

Primary production, the production of new biomass by autotrophs in ecosystems

Productivity (ecology), the wider concept of biomass production in ecosystemsIn entertainment:

FilmProduction, phase of filmmaking

Production, film distributor of a companyOtherProduction, phase of video games development

Production, category of illusory magic trick

Production, theatrical performance

Production, video production

Production, Record producer

Production, deployment environment where changes go "live" and users interact with itIn abstract systems:

Production (computer science), formal-grammar concept

Pyramid Saimira

Pyramid Saimira, an Indian multinational entertainment company, operating in 6 countries was one of the World’s fastest growing entertainment group. Its diversified businesses included Exhibition (Theatre), Film and Television Content Production, Distribution, Hospitality, Food & Beverage, Animation and Gaming, Cine Advertising, etc., which has significantly altered the profile of Tamil Nadu cinema, the Tamil film music scene and entertainment industry in India at large.

Réalisation d'art cinématographique

Réalisation d'art cinématographique was a French production company and film distributor. It produced the classic French film Grand Illusion (1937), which was the first ever foreign language film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The nomination officially went to the production company as a whole, and not to the producers as is currently the case.

Summit Entertainment

Summit Entertainment is an American film production and distribution company. It is a label of Lionsgate Films, owned by Lionsgate Entertainment and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

Tencent Pictures

Tencent Pictures (Chinese: 腾讯影业; pinyin: téng xùn yǐng yè) is a Chinese film distributor and production company owned by Tencent. It has created films based on books, comic books, animated series and video games. In 2015, Tencent set up Tencent Penguin Pictures (Shanghai), a new movie production unit, focusing on online drama and minority investments in feature films.

Tohokushinsha Film

Tohokushinsha Film Corporation (株式会社東北新社, Kabushiki-gaisha Tōhoku Shinsha) (JASDAQ: 2329) is a film distributor and production company based in Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo. It was founded in 1961 as a dubbing house for foreign films.

Tomoyo Harada

Tomoyo Harada (原田 知世, Harada Tomoyo, born November 28, 1967 in Nagasaki, Japan) is a Japanese actress, singer, and lyricist, and was a popular idol in the 80's. She was cast in numerous films and TV-series since her beginning in 1982 in the leading role of the original TV series Sailorfuku to kikanju. Her first role in a film was in 1983's Toki o Kakeru Shōjo for which she won the award for best newcomer at the 8th Hochi Film Award. She won the award for best actress at the 7th Yokohama Film Festival for Early Spring Story. Numerous other singles and albums have followed.

In the summer of 2007, Harada joined the pop electronica band "pupa" as a vocalist, at the invitation of Yukihiro Takahashi. Other members are Hiroshi Takano, Ren Takada, Hirohisa Horie, Tomohiko Gondo.

United States box office records

Box office is the revenue produced by a film while in theaters. All records here are for the United States and Canada together, a market known as the North American box office and the domestic box office, and where gross is defined in US dollars.

Due to different ways of measuring film revenue, there are various record holders, depending on the time period over which the revenue was measured, and whether or not the revenue is adjusted for inflation.

Vertical Entertainment

Vertical Entertainment is an American independent film distributor and production company founded in 2012 by producers Richard B. "Rich" Goldberg and Mitch Budin.

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