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Old 05-29-2017, 03:39 PM   #1
The Mastermind
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Finding Comparative Films with a $2K-$3K Production Budget for a Business Plan.

Hello.

I'm writing a business plan for a series of what could be considered "ultra-low budget films" that I want to produce for about $200,000 to $300,000 each. To attract some investors, I want to put together a forecast for these movies' potential revenue. To do that, I'm supposed to compare how films similar to mine in genre, theme, budget, etc., performed when they were released.

But it's hard to find, searching online, comparative films that were made at that budget, along with their box office and other revenue information. Sites like IMDb, BoxOfficeMojo and The Numbers have been helpful at finding movies that are comparative in genre, theme, etc., but not that budget. Those movies had budgets that were far, far higher.

Perhaps I'm not using effective enough search terms in Google. Or maybe I just haven't seen the right website, yet?

Do I need to hire someone who may have "insider information" specifically for this task. If yes, who? (I prefer to not hire someone just for this, but will consider it if that's really the best option.)

Also, many sources online are focused on domestic theatrical box office receipts. That's a good start but what about revenue from other media and territories, such as streaming, disc sales and revenue from outside the US and North America? Where are the sources I can turn to for that information?

Those who put together a successful plan for low budget films: how did you handle the forecasting and comparisons?
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:19 PM   #2
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Anyone have some helpful advice on this?
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:44 PM   #3
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I'm not sure who you can hire, but it's going to be difficult because published numbers are almost exclusively from theatrical releases and movies in that budget range very (very) rarely get a theatrical release.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:37 AM   #4
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Almost all films in that range never make any money. And as Mara pointed out,
those films don't get theatrical release. Streaming revenue is notoriously difficult
to come by. That's one of the issues that caused the WGA to almost strike - no
one was willing to give up those numbers.

I suggest you contact a sales rep for some numbers. I know from experience that
there is almost no "foreign" market for films in that range anymore. And without
a marketing budget of just about 60% of your budget (for each movie) even VOD
and a Netflix or Amazon sale won't turn into revenue.

Please keep us informed on your progress, okay? It will really help others.
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mastermind View Post
Hello.

I'm writing a business plan for a series of what could be considered "ultra-low budget films" that I want to produce for about $200,000 to $300,000 each. To attract some investors, I want to put together a forecast for these movies' potential revenue. To do that, I'm supposed to compare how films similar to mine in genre, theme, budget, etc., performed when they were released.
Your thread title says $2,000 to $3,000 but your post mentions larger numbers. Which is it? I can give you information about the lower range.
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Director View Post
Your thread title says $2,000 to $3,000 but your post mentions larger numbers. Which is it? I can give you information about the lower range.
Give it up! It will be helpful.
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:48 PM   #7
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I shot "Leap: Rise of the Beast" in the summer of 2010 on a Canon T2i with kit lens. It's a low budget Christian action flick that aspired to pay tribute to the Bourne films. Total budget was ~$2000, half of which went toward the camera, lighting gear, hard drives and a Blue Yeti mic for the ADR (we didn't record sound on set). The other $1000 went towards props, food for actors, gas money and renting one location at a Super 8 motel.

We premiered the film at a local theater and made around $1000 in ticket sales. A year later, we did a limited DVD release (which cost $500) and made another $1000. Everything was self distributed. in 2012, I uploaded the movie to my YouTube channel and monetized it. To date, the film has almost 600,000 views and made $2100 on YouTube through ad revenue.

If you run the numbers, we've made $4100 on a $2500 indie film. Not super great numbers, but we made money none the less.

Hope that helps out with the low budget stuff. Again, this was all self distributed and I haven't really tried to promote it at all. Happy to answer questions.
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:53 PM   #8
Lucky Hardwood
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Thanks for the numbers, El. It is extremely helpful to see real world numbers from people who made them.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:32 PM   #9
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Excellent info.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Director View Post
Your thread title says $2,000 to $3,000 but your post mentions larger numbers. Which is it? I can give you information about the lower range.
The thread title should should $200,000 to $300,000. Sorry about that.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Director View Post
I shot "Leap: Rise of the Beast" in the summer of 2010 on a Canon T2i with kit lens. It's a low budget Christian action flick that aspired to pay tribute to the Bourne films. Total budget was ~$2000, half of which went toward the camera, lighting gear, hard drives and a Blue Yeti mic for the ADR (we didn't record sound on set). The other $1000 went towards props, food for actors, gas money and renting one location at a Super 8 motel.

We premiered the film at a local theater and made around $1000 in ticket sales. A year later, we did a limited DVD release (which cost $500) and made another $1000. Everything was self distributed. in 2012, I uploaded the movie to my YouTube channel and monetized it. To date, the film has almost 600,000 views and made $2100 on YouTube through ad revenue.

If you run the numbers, we've made $4100 on a $2500 indie film. Not super great numbers, but we made money none the less.

Hope that helps out with the low budget stuff. Again, this was all self distributed and I haven't really tried to promote it at all. Happy to answer questions.
So, you still made a profit. That's good news. I always figured it's possible to at least earn back the money spent and even make a bit of a profit, plus earn a little recognition, even for ultra-low budget films, though it takes some tenacity. It's really nice to see a success story like yours.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mlesemann View Post
I'm not sure who you can hire, but it's going to be difficult because published numbers are almost exclusively from theatrical releases and movies in that budget range very (very) rarely get a theatrical release.
Yes, I've noticed that the published numbers focus mostly on theatrical, as if that's the main source of revenue, when, in fact, ancillary income often accounts for more of a film's total earnings. Income from streaming and other platforms are hard to come by publicly. Yet, when presenting the financials in a business plan we're expected to factor in such figures. Not a good way to forecast performance.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
Almost all films in that range never make any money. And as Mara pointed out,
those films don't get theatrical release. Streaming revenue is notoriously difficult
to come by. That's one of the issues that caused the WGA to almost strike - no
one was willing to give up those numbers.

I suggest you contact a sales rep for some numbers. I know from experience that
there is almost no "foreign" market for films in that range anymore. And without
a marketing budget of just about 60% of your budget (for each movie) even VOD
and a Netflix or Amazon sale won't turn into revenue.

Please keep us informed on your progress, okay? It will really help others.
I also think a sales rep would be the best option at this point to obtain some figures. I don't think I can realistically expect to obtain a larger amount of funding (even this amount will be a challenge). So, I'll have to figure out ways to make this work.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:53 AM   #14
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Not in the same ball park and their approach is different, but did you look at the Asylum?
http://www.imdb.com/company/co0042909/
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:32 PM   #15
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Not in the same ball park and their approach is different, but did you look at the Asylum?
http://www.imdb.com/company/co0042909/
Thanks for the reference, Walter. It appears their films are roughly in the same budget range that I'm looking for. How did you find/hear about them?
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