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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » $350 vs. 35%

   
Author Topic: $350 vs. 35%
Cody Martin
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 214
From: Edinburgh, IN, USA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 01-06-2006 10:06 AM      Profile for Cody Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Cody Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello board,

At the theatre we have a quick question. I don't help much with the booking but I was wondering when the booker tells you $350 vs 35%, does this mean if you make more than 350 they get 35% of all box office moneys minus the $350 guarantee or do they get 35% of all box office moneys(guarantee not subtracted) if you make more than 350.

Thanks,
Cody

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Matt Fields
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 540
From: Jackson, Ohio, United States
Registered: Jun 2005


 - posted 01-06-2006 10:44 AM      Profile for Matt Fields   Email Matt Fields   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We don't have guarantees in Ohio but I think it means the studio gets either $350 or 35% of the gross, whichever is higher.

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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1112
From: Hampton, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 01-06-2006 11:40 AM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Matt is correct.

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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 01-06-2006 09:15 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Whoa...so everything is flat rate in Ohio?

--jhawk

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Matt Fields
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 540
From: Jackson, Ohio, United States
Registered: Jun 2005


 - posted 01-06-2006 11:58 PM      Profile for Matt Fields   Email Matt Fields   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All new films are a percentage. Older movies are usually a flat rate. The guarantee "either/or" setup is illegal for some reason.

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Cody Martin
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 214
From: Edinburgh, IN, USA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 01-07-2006 07:33 AM      Profile for Cody Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Cody Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you guys. I figured you would pay whichever was higher, but I just wanted to make sure.

Thanks,
Cody

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2353
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-07-2006 02:33 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cody, just to make sure you are absolutely clear, that 35% is of the gross, which means the ticket price MINUS any sales taxes you have to pay on the tix. It is something frequently overlooked by newbies.

Also, everything is negotiable, so after you are established, you can usually get rid of guarantees..

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John McConnel
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 118
From: Okmulgee, OK USA
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted 01-08-2006 03:50 PM      Profile for John McConnel   Author's Homepage   Email John McConnel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Regarding the negotiability of terms, the guarantee is the part of the deal that isn't adjusted. Or, at least, is very, very seldom adjusted.

Perhaps Cody could change the styling of the terms, and drop the guarantee, but still pay money up front to assure the distributor that payment of film rental will be made. Instead of $350 vs 35%, change the terms to 35% with an advance of $350. With this styling, if the film rental were less than the advance, credit would then be available to apply to the next picture.

It is likely, however, that minimums would still be enforced, two examples of which are $150 for Paramount, and $200 for Buena Vista. But then even this is occasionally negotiable.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5198
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 01-09-2006 03:53 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And of course that 35% is not a fixed rate either, depending on the market, here in NYC, for example, newer and/or more popular titles can demand higher guarantees and percentages. I think the highest I ever paid for a title was FANTASIA at $1000 against 50%. And the same for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, but they were right on the heals of the break. Most times the guarantees vary more widely that the percentages -- I haven't seen $150 in years, but $250 on the low end to $600 on the high end, except Buena Vista (Disney) of course -- the Mouse loves the sound of the Grand. When you do a double feature, the guarantee will still be $35 if they are from the same distributor; if they are from different distributors, then they will usually split the guarantee 17.5% and 17.5% each.

But for the above I'm talking about theatrical bookings. If you go to non-theatrical houses like Swank -- you would think non-theatrical would mean LOWER prices, but it doesn't. At Swank, 50% is the LOWEST percentage you can get and they go up from there on the newest titles. This is a high price to pay given the fact that any picture booked non-theatrically means you cannot advertize. Besides, Swank only goes to the studio bookers and books the same prints you would get if you booked it directly. So you are paying for a middleman (Swank). I would suggest you always try to book as a commercial, theatrical cinema when you can. But if you are a school or a museum, you may not have a choice as Swank has contracted the rights to book to those "non-theatricals" and the studio won't book directly to you.

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Carl Martin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1395
From: Oakland, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 01-09-2006 05:01 AM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
just how exactly is "theatrical" defined, anyways?

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2353
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-09-2006 08:51 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Carl Martin
just how exactly is "theatrical" defined, anyways?

It varies depending on the distrib you deal with. But if you are going through the two biggies Swank and Criterion it essentially means you cannot advertise the film commercially or to the general public. You can, however, "promote" the film within your group. You can also send out press releases.

BTW, Many people are under the misimpression that if they do not charge admission, they can just go to Blockbuster and pick up a DVD and show it. You still need to pay non-theatrical exhibition fees. I know this isn't a problem when dealing with 35mm, but considering the quality of some of the Swank prints, the DVD's are tempting.

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Carl Martin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1395
From: Oakland, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 01-09-2006 06:48 PM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
so, if i understand correctly, if you are non-theatrical, you pay more for your rental, can't advertise it, and maybe get a crap print. i guess the thing to do is, by whatever means necessary, to get yourself classified as theatrical.

carl

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2353
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-12-2006 04:40 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Carl Martin
so, if i understand correctly, if you are non-theatrical, you pay more for your rental, can't advertise it, and maybe get a crap print. i guess the thing to do is, by whatever means necessary, to get yourself classified as theatrical.

Yup. Of course the theory behind non-theatrical is to supply schools, libraries and film societies, which, generally, don't have 35mm capabilities. And also don't charge admission, so the non-theatric distrib gets its money up front.

Obviously theory and real life don't always correspond;>

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