A film distributor is a company or individual responsible for the marketing of a film, this process is lengthy because it will be difficult to compete against other companies. The film distributors have to aim and identify the movie to a extensive target audience in order for them to maximize profit for the particular movie, but also baring in mind that their movie can only be launched once. Furthermore, the distributor needs to be confident of the ideas and assured that they will level or exceed the profit target.
When releasing a film there are particular steps entertainment companies take in order to maximize profit. They release movies for theatrical release (Cinema), for home entertainment and television release. They do this by setting a release date for a movie so that the target audience can view it. Moreover, theatrical releases mean viewers can only watch the film certain period of time before it is removed. This is important for the initial exposure of the movie, this determines how successful the movie will be in the future. However, home entertainment includes DVD’s and Blu-Ray sales, this is the most divers way to distribute films and allows them to explore new ways to maintain profit and growth prospects. Finally, the television release is where you can pay and choose exactly what you watch when you want to watch it, rather than following the traditional way of viewing television.
The Film Distribution Process
- Firstly, the film idea is put forward to the distributors; this is where the advertising and promotion for the film begins.
- The next thing that happens is the company makes the decision on whether they want to purchase the rights for the particular movie.
- Then if a company or individual does decide they are going to purchase the rights to a movie, the movie cast is then put together. This includes; the producer, the director and the actors starring in it.
- After this is all completed the movie is then created and is sent to a studio, the studio then decides whether to make a license agreement with the film distributor.
- The distribution company then decides on the number of copies of their movie they are going to create. Once they have made an agreement they then advertise and show selected cinemas their movie i order for them to buy it.
- If the selected cinemas purchase the movie, it is then shown for a certain period of time before it is then taken down. Finally, the film is sent back to the distribution company and payments are made for the lease agreement.
- Film festivals are a great way for independent film makers to advertise and promote their films. This could potentially be successful and if distributors are interested they could come to an agreement on sharing the profit.
Below I have listed a few examples of film distributors.
- Warner Bros.
- Lions Gate UK
- 20th Century Fox Film Co. Ltd.
- Universal Pictures