Social Navigation

Broadcasters and Theatrical Distributors Begin Business Together – The Hollywood Reporter


Has the war between live and theatrical broadcast reached a breakthrough?

After years of battling over releases, exclusive windows and worldwide rights to the most sought-after independent films—the battles were fought hard in Cannes—theatrical distributors and online platforms put down their weapons and started working together.

Highly anticipated Martin Scorsese Moonflower Killerswhich will premiere out of competition in Cannes on Saturday, is an AppleTV+ production that will be released to cinemas via Paramount Pictures, and is a theatrical collaboration that Apple will repeat with Ridley Scott’s Napoleon Epic, which Sony will join in cinemas worldwide in November, ahead of its launch on AppleTV+. This follows the successful theatrical arc of Amazon Studios’ sports biopic airwith Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, was released by Warners worldwide, grossing $90 million at the box office before it moved to Amazon Prime.

“If you were here in Cannes a year or two ago, the narrative was flowing versus the theatrical performance, that’s all everyone was talking about. But I think the next narrative is flowing And theatrical,” said Imax CEO Richard Gelfond, speaking at a luncheon in Cannes on Wednesday. “I think operators realize that it’s not just about the money. [from box office] They get it, but the awareness that the theatrical release gets them. I mean last year, Top Gun: Maverick (which had its international premiere in Cannes) was the number one theatrical film and the number one film on streaming, because of the awareness it got from being in theaters.”

at Sundance just two years ago, when Apple paid a record $25 million to buy the global rights to coda, and eventual Academy Award winner Sian Heder, sparked concern and outrage among independent theatrical buyers around the world. Many of them—Eagle in Italy, Gaga in Japan, Sun Distribution in Latin America—pre-bought the mass-promotional tool of their native lands, only to see themselves outbid, and bought out by the tech giant with big pockets. There was concern that the entire business of international advance sales, in which independent distributors finance an independent film before it was even made by promising to acquire local rights, might be in jeopardy.

It was a huge problem, says Todd Brown, XYZ’s head of international acquisitions. .

The days of global acquisitions aren’t entirely gone — see AppleTV+’s $20M global deal to buy John Carney’s Flora and his sonor Amazon’s worldwide purchase of Kenneth Dagatan’s Filipino drama in my mother’s skin – but it is no longer the default option. While buyers complain about the “kill fee” now written into pre-sale contracts, which allows the sales company, after a movie is made, to flip a movie onto a platform for a bigger number and pay independent buyers with less fuss, streaming companies “are getting less Aggressive and more careful about what they buy,” notes one veteran independent freelance exec. While major platforms around the world often take on the films they get for North America, in the global market they have been willing to share rights and windows with India.

“The platforms, for example, don’t offer big global deals for independent European films anymore,” says Manon Barat, a former Film Factory Entertainment executive who recently joined XYZ to oversee sales of the brand new New Visions. “So now there are windows that all independent distributors with rights can get. You can have a Spanish movie and maybe Netflix will only get the first window in Spain, leaving things open to working with independents.”

Arthouse Streamer Mubi has placed the combination of streaming and theatrical release at the heart of its business model. Moby’s Big Deals at Cannes – Un Certain Regard Film Pick-up delinquents to multiple territories, including North America, the UK, Italy and Latin America, with domestic rights as well as multiple Turkish, Latin American and European rights to British director Molly Manning-Walker’s debut feature. how to have sex – It includes plans to bring the films to cinemas in key regions, including the United States and the United Kingdom

“There are also fewer chances of going with one partner taking worldwide rights,” notes Moritz von Krudener, managing director at Beta Group, whose film division, Beta Cinemas, sells the Helena Bonham Carter film. the proposal in Cannes. “But this is it [actually] A great opportunity for those who can be flexible, combining partners and funding from multiple sources. I think this is the right time for the independents.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.