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March 8, 2014

What are average film distribution fees?

Film Industry Survey 2014This is the sixth of ten articles revealing the results of my survey of 1,235 film industry professionals. More details of the survey and my methodology can be found here and for any questions or clarification please contact me.

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Key Findings – Film Distribution Fees

  • The industry feels that the average Sales Agent commission is 19%
  • The industry feels that the average International Distributor commission is 27%
  • The industry feels that the average US Distributor commission is 30%
  • The industry feels that the average Cinema / Movie Theatre commission is 44%
  • According to those working in Sales & Distribution, the cinema share is 49%
  • There is a clear trend of each sector reporting that their fees were lower than the rest of the industry thinks. For example, those in Exhibition report that cinemas take a 43% fee, whereas those in Sales & Distribution put the cinema share at 49%. This is quite telling as they are selling to each other so one would expect their guesses would align.
  • As well as providing low estimates of their own fees, both sectors reported high estimates for the other. For example, Exhibitors feel that the average fee charged by a US distributor is 36%, whereas those working in Sales & Distribution put that figure at 28%.

What are the average film distribution fees?

What is the film distribution fees that the following film parties keep from revenue

Breakdown by sector

The figures presented above mix all industry sectors together and while this gives us a  broad overview of opinion it is far more useful to split the results by sector. This allows us to focus to the sectors who are more likely to have up-to-date first-hand knowledge and to study the difference of opinion between sectors. There is a clear trend of each sector reporting that their fees were lower than the rest of the industry thinks. For example, those in Exhibition report that cinemas take a 43% fee, whereas those in Sales & Distribution put the cinema share at 49%. This is quite telling as they are selling to each other so one would expect their guesses would align. As well as providing low estimates of their own fees, both sectors reported high estimates for the other. For example, Exhibitors feel that the average fee charged by a US distributor is 36%, whereas those working in Sales & Distribution put that figure at 28%. What is the film distribution fees that the following film parties keep from revenue

About the survey

The survey involved 1,235 film industry professionals, all of whom have attended at least one of the three major film markets (Cannes, Berlin or AFM) within the past five years.  I asked questions on a variety of hot topics including piracy, the appeal of 3D, gender, and how optimistic industry professionals are for 2014. More details of the survey and my methodology can be found here and for any  questions or clarification please contact me.

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7 Responses

  1. David Peterson (@david_peterson) March 11, 2014 at 1:19 am #

    Interesting results. If I was a cynical man, I might suspect that the ‘gap’ in expectations between Sales & Distro and Exhibition might result in a substantial percentage of revenue disappearing mysteriously. But I’m sure those accountants in Hollywood know their numbers.

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