Recent articles on the Film Data Blog

Each week I look at a different film industry topic, focusing on the data and statistics to reveal what's really going on.

How many festival-nominated movies get theatrical distribution?

This weekend, I was having lunch with friends and they recommended a movie they had seen at the Locarno Film Festival earlier in the summer. I came home and looked it up, only to discover that there were no plans for the film to be released theatrically in the UK.

I have previously studied how many Cannes-nominated films reached UK cinemas and found it to be quite high (84% of movies nominated in 2015).  This got me thinking: how representative of the festival circuit is Cannes?

Cannes is probably the best-known and most prestigious festival in the world, so we would expect that more of their nominated movies get a full release than films at other festivals.  But by how much? Let’s take a look.

How many …
Read full article

How important are quality and cast for dramas?

Today, I’m sharing another project I carried out for the American Film Market along with Bruce Nash from The Numbers. In this article, we’re going to look at the performance of dramas, and what it takes for them to be successful.

The moniker ‘drama’ is often maligned by distribution professionals as not being a real genre.  There is some truth to this claim – many films which lack a clear genre are simply labelled as dramas, and drama is a rather broad classification (i.e. any moment in life can technically be labelled as drama, whereas not every event can be classed as romantic, sci-fi, western etc).

The main purpose of genre classification is to set the audiences’ expectations.  What will they get in return for …

Read full article

Three ways to increase your chances of success when making a family film

Four times a year, the American Film Market asks Bruce Nash and I to crunch the numbers on a topic relevant to the segment of their audience that are low budget producers.  In the past, we’ve looked at topics such as what types of independent films make the most money, patterns among breakout hits at different budget ranges ($3m to $10m, $10m to $20m and $20m to $50m), what VOD audiences watch, and which movies travel best.

This year, they have asked us to focus on four different genres and look at what producers can do to increases their chances of financial success.

First up – family films.

The genre classification ‘family’ is an interesting one.  Some genres are defined by their content (such as …

Read full article

Are romantic comedies dying?

Today’s article is in response to a question from Jack Malvern at The Times.  He got in touch to ask if fewer romantic comedies were being made.

There has been press speculation that the “rom-com” genre is moving away from the big screen and onto subscription VOD platforms such as Netflix.  So I agreed to take a look.

For today’s research, I am referring to “rom-coms” as films with both the genres of “Romance” and “Comedy”.  There’s more on that classification in the Notes section at the end of the article.

I built datasets of all movies made between 1980 and 2017 (190,544 movies), identified which had grossed at least $1 at the US box office (13,159 movies) and out of those I included any which …

Read full article