Why are box office numbers public, but not VOD, DVD, and PPV? A call for indie analytics
Indie film consultant Brian Newman (@bnewman01) has posted a call for better analytics in order to figure out the future of independent film. To Bryan, "the biggest problem facing the indie film field is the lack of transparency around the numbers. Which numbers? All of them." I wholeheartedly agree and this is exactly why I'm trying to share my own metrics -- for now, it's just blog revenue, but in the near future it will be video views/income as well.
Some salient questions from Bryan:
- Is there any correlation between playing a regional film festival (for word of mouth) and eventual box office (or ancillary) performance in that market?
- What has been the total investment by foundations and donors (even approximate) annually into documentary films, and what has been the return on this investment, purely in dollars?
- An analysis of the top five DIY "success stories" over the last ten years. For example, if you assigned the federal minimum wage to everyone involved, totaled their hours worked on self-distribution for the entire distribution cycle of each film and subtracted this (plus marketing and other hard costs) from their returns, did any make more money back than their best minimum guarantee from a distributor? How many are still making films 5 and 10 years later?
And my favorite:
- What percentage of successful indie films (pick a measure of success, any measure - box office, awards, festivals played, etc.) are made by film school graduates? From which schools? How many graduates are working in film, in any capacity, five and ten years after graduation?