I came across this and confirmed it with Uwe Boll that he did indeed write it. I am quite curious to see what others think. I found it interesting.
From Uwe BOLL , Producer-Director of a lot of video game based movies like HOUSE OF THE DEAD, ALONE IN THE DARK, BLOODRAYNE, IN THE NAME OF THE KING, POSTAL, FAR CRY , who raised 275 million EURO in Germany for his movies and went public with his BOLL AG as a world sales company.
Since 2004 the price for movies in the international film market went down 85%. In other words: a movie like my movie BLOODRAYNE in 2004 in Japan for example got $1 Million and now the minimum guarantee is for $150,000.
Mark Gill just wrote: "This time the sky is really falling!"
Movies like GUERILLA from Soderbergh or winning films from the Sundance Film festival stay unsold or recoup under 20% of their production costs. Not 9 out of 10 movies losing money: 49 out of 50 movies losing money.
What is happening? What is going on? What to do? How to survive?
Lets summarize some facts:
* 20 years ago maybe 3 movies came out every week. Now 6 to 10.
* 1990 you could make a big movie for $10 Million and you could release it big for $5 Million. Now a medium movie cost $75 Million + and the US-release $40 Million + in p&a. How do you want to release your medium movie if nearly every week is a $200 Million movie starting with $80 Million p&a on 8000 screens?
* I started my $60,000 movie GERMAN FRIED MOVIE with 5 prints 1991 in German theaters with $20,000 $ in p&a and sold 20,000 tickets over a period of 4 month. Now the new Julia Roberts movie sold under 70,000 tickets with $1 Million in p&a. And this is not one special example –this happens to 9 out of 10 medium movies. And here again: movie number 10 is also not making money – the disaster is only smaller.
* In earlier days you had 5 to 10 Event Movies per year. Now you have 40. And they destroy the medium movies. Not because they are good! Because they are so expensive and spending so much money in p&a to win their weekends and to win 20 market share.
* Even if the Majors now omitting their medium product and go only for Event Movies – they also lose money. If they spend $150 Million in making a big movie and $70 Million in p&a for USA/Canada only – they would need $440 Million BOX OFFICE in USA/Canada to recoup this movie. No movie made this amount of BO in 2007 at all and they released 179 movies. The reality is that in 2007 only 9 movies out of 179 made this amount WORLDWIDE in the BO. And for Worldwide p&a you must spend another $30-$50 Million per movie. In fact: from 179 Major Movies per year almost 80% are not even making their p&a costs in the theaters back and 70% will lose money even after DVD and TV and foreign sales. And the other 30% are not compensating this 70%.
* Also DVD releases cost money and not all revenues going against the production or p&a costs – there are also distribution fees of 10 to 20% first due.
* The so called WORD OF MOUTH movies are Major Set Ups like BORAT or JUNO with a p&a spend of a minimum of $30 Million per movie. The Oscar Movies are Image transfer investments: THERE WILL BE BLOOD was a $42 Million p&a spend with less then 40% returns of the p&a.
* If a Major Company makes profit in their film unit – then because of booking costs in other departments, direct to DVD business, totally over paying TV Rights – so that their profitable TV Stations make less profits. In paying $50 Million for US TV Rights for a movie – you help that film but you damage the balance sheet of the TV Channel.
* The Major Companies are controlling the theatrical distribution and they determine what movies get played where and what movie gets trailered. We all know that playing the trailer in the theaters is the MOST IMPORTANT and CHEAPEST advertising tool. The audience clearly goes only in the movies with the biggest advertising campaigns. This is the reason why all the independent distributors cannot work successful: they have the smaller movies, less p&a, less press attention and no support from the exhibitors.
* In 1999 piracy maybe destroyed 5% of the revenues – now 40%. Why? Because tons of territories in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe are selling more pirated DVDs as legal DVDs. Illegal Downloads are taking 20% of Theatrical and HV revenues of movies away everywhere. Legal Downloads to rent or to own are not compensating anything – people don't want to pay for downloads. A $1 billion gross in downloads means a loss of $9 billion in DVD sales.
* In TV there are less and less spaces for films. Every channel is showing casting and reality shows: Superstar, Idol, Cooking, Handyman shows are invading the channels.
* International local product (often financed with subsidies) blocks spots in TV for movies. Alone in Germany 80 German speaking theatrical movies are getting out every year.
* After stock market money and German tax shelter money (around $30 billion between 1996-2006), hedge funds and investments from rich guys like Mark Cuban etc. now it looks like that less and less banks and people are investing in movies because they see what is going on in reality.
Solutions and ideas for the future – and of course everything that I write below are illusions. So lets say at this time if I was a CEO of a Major …or Rupert Murdochs Consultant…. I would recommend …
1. It’s proven that actors are totally overpaid. Some beach boys getting hyped up and absurd amounts paid for saying 5 lines per day and letting the stunt guys doing the hard work. If the studios would in general not pay more than a max of $3 million for a star per movie – the stars would work for that money if nobody offers more. It’s also absurd to pay medium names more as $250,000 per movie.
2. Film-Unions are not helpful in a market where everything is in the toilet. And I talk here not about TV – I talk about the independent film market. Why a waiter in L.A. cannot work as an extra or actor for $50 a day on a major movie? Or sell his script for $5,000? Better you get small money and you work in the business you want to work in as you work for small money as a waiter. Why Producers must pay 5% to a SAG and WGA from GROSS if their movies are making even half of the money back. Actors and Writers are paid up front – why are they also getting also GROSS POINTS? Who thinks about the investors?
3. Why not put Pirates in jail for 10 years?
4. Why is SHOWTIME or HBO paying for independent movies at $20,000 and for medium movies produced by the Majors millions. TV-Channels must show more movies and pay fair prices for independent product.
5. Theaters must show more trailers for smaller movies.
6. The majors must agree to reduce the p&a – because the p&a makes movies unprofitable.
7. TV-and Radio channel must report more about small movies.
I will stop here before I start writing about totally overpaid agents, managers, agents and studio executives in L.A. living in air balloons as long they can rip money out of the world or the Major companies. If I would run a studio I would do the same movies for half of the production costs in throwing the coke heads out and cutting the bullshit of breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings with idiots who never made a movie in their life.