Indie Producers Finding Salvation In Video-on-demand
With fewer moviegoers buying tickets to see independent films, the producers of those films are turning to video-on-demand in the hope of salvaging their business, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Tuesday). The newspaper noted that independent films accounted for 19 percent of the box office in 2010, down from 33 percent in 2001, according to a study conduced for the Journal by Nah Information Services. On the other hand, spending on VOD hit $1.8 billion in 2010, up 21 percent from the previous year. One independent distributor, Magnolia Films, which is owned by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, has been at the forefront of video-on-demand deals, releasing a dozen movies a year on VOD before they are even screened in theaters. Its All Good Things earned $4 million from VOD last year and only $367,000 from ticket sales. IFC released the Natalie Portman drama The Other Woman on VOD earlier this month -- more than a month ahead of its theatrical release, while Starz, which recently sold 25 percent of itself to The Weinstein Co., is reportedly considering releasing some films on VOD exclusively and barring distribution of them anywhere else.