WJEC AS FILM STUDIES - FM2 British and American Cinema - Film Distribution

The following revision resource has been created using AS Film Studies: The Essential Introduction by Sarah Casey

This resource will help you revise:

- Release patterns

- Film distribution 

- Film marketing

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Preview of WJEC AS FILM STUDIES - FM2 British and American Cinema - Film Distribution

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AS Film Studies
FM2 British and American Film Revision
Release patterns
A film might be given a "general release" right across the country or it might have a "select
release" to a few cinemas in a few cities where the audience is felt right for a particular film.
A "saturation release would indicate that the effort has been to put the film out immediately
to as many cinemas as possible - to saturate the market.
A film is usually release first of all within its country of origin before moving out to other
countries in a development fashion, although it is now possible for a big Hollywood film to
have a single global release.
Whatever pattern is adopted, the key point to recognise the way in which the market
analysts will have worked together to try to decide upon the strategy that will be best
suited to maximising box-office returns on their product.
A film goes through:
a production phase
a distribution pase
an exhibition phase
This involves making sure a release pattern is put into place that will enable the product to
reach the widest and largest audience possible. Of course, film distributors may be small
firms specialising in certain types of film or multinational corporations with global networks
of offices, and the products they deal with and the markets they focus on will vary
Distributors must create an awareness that their film will be coming to a cinema near you.
They must also persuade an audience that they want to see the film.
The key roles of a distributor are:
Acquiring a film
Negotiating the number of prints made to be release to the exhibitors
Negotiating when print should be released to the exhibitors
Summer - Blockbusters
Autumn - Horror
Christmas - Family/ Kids
Dec/Jan/Feb - Award seekers
Arranging the transport of the prints to the cinemas in negotiated territories
Providing trailers and publicity material for exhibitors
Providing advertising and publicity to promote the film
Arranging promotional partnerships to tie in with the film

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AS Film Studies
FM2 British and American Film Revision
Dubbing and/or subtitling for foreign language films
A distribution company breaks down into three departments:
Film sales
Print department
A distributor works out a budget to ascertain how much money they will spend on
distributing a film.
The budget us calculated by taking into account the estimated rentals the distributor will
receive, the potential ticket sales and the cost of generating audience awareness for a film
- marketing (this varies from film to film).…read more


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