Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » How does licensing work for free film showings? (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: How does licensing work for free film showings?
Mike Hillyer
Film Handler

Posts: 13
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Registered: Jan 2013


 - posted 01-08-2017 02:04 AM      Profile for Mike Hillyer   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Hillyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi All;

I was talking to someone recently about a small town theater that did free movie nights on occasion. They said the films were obviously shown off Blu-Ray, and were free with concessions purchase.

What I'm wondering is how does the licensing work on such a night? What kind of flat rate is paid on a post-theatrical film shown off consumer media since I assume it's not a revenue split?

 |  IP: Logged

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-08-2017 08:59 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know how it works in Canada.

I have done these in the US and it is a flat-rate deal (usually around $250 or so, plus shipping). You have to tell the distributor up front that it will be a free screening. There is no boxoffice report or anything like that--you just send in a check.

This would probably not be allowed for current releases. I have only done it for repertory titles.

 |  IP: Logged

Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6902
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 01-08-2017 11:14 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For paid-for movie theater screenings of repertory titles, the distributor sometimes gives you the option of a minimum guarantee plus box office percentage, or a flat fee.

There is a separate category of distribution - so-called "non-theatrical distribution" - for movies shown to a large assembled audience, but not in a movie theater, hence the copyright warnings that used to appear on British rental VHS tapes in the 1980s, that they must not be played "in oil rigs, prisons and schools" (presumably the biggest markets for NTD at the time). Swank in the USA and Filmbank in Britain are two major players in that market. They used to supply 16mm prints back in the day, many of which now circulate among collectors, but nowadays they typically sell you a license to screen a BD or DVD that you buy separately, from Amazon or wherever.

 |  IP: Logged

Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2319
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-08-2017 11:58 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just an addition to Leo's post. When you pay for the exhibition rights to a movie from Swank or other non-theatrical distributor, they make a point of warning you that you do not have to right to show the DVD/BR "extras".
Outtakes, director's commentary,sometimes even "Director's Cut" are under a separate copyright agreement and are not supposed to be publicly exhibited.
Chances are pretty slim of getting caught, unless you are working in the middle of LA, like Leo. Still, don't do it.

 |  IP: Logged

Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1944
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 01-08-2017 12:49 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am in Canada.

I have never played a movie for the public off of a blue ray or dvd.

I occasionally do a free admission show for Santa Claus Day or a church or whatever, and in those situations I get a DCP (used to get film reels) from the movie company in the usual way and pay a flat fee for that day.

90% of the time that's all there is to it. On a few occasions I have had to count the people who came to the show and submit that number to them but it's never seemed to make any difference to the amount that I pay for the movie.

If I have to count the customers for a free admission show, I just hand everyone a ticket as they come in since that's the easiest way to keep a count.

You won't get a current movie under those terms. Stuff that's out on video or very close to being out on video is usually available, and nothing from Disney is ever available for that.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Hillyer
Film Handler

Posts: 13
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Registered: Jan 2013


 - posted 01-08-2017 02:15 PM      Profile for Mike Hillyer   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Hillyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So could a small theater run entirely on free showings, depending entirely on concession sales? It would have to be entirely repertory films but would the distributors even go for something like that?

 |  IP: Logged

Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3681
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 01-08-2017 05:09 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They wouldn't get enough content for that business model.

- Carsten

 |  IP: Logged

Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2095
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 01-08-2017 05:35 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another point is Disney is usually much more expensive to license for free shows. Most of the other studios are about $350 for a DCP booking, but my understanding is Disney is about $2500.

I don't know Disney's reasoning, but I think they are leaving a lot of money on the table by charging so much. With digital there are a lot of theatres doing the free summer kids movie series. If they made their titles available for even $500, you can almost bet there would probably be at least 1000 theatres who would license the movie for half a million in revenue for doing little more than shipping hard drives and emailing keys.

 |  IP: Logged

Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6902
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 01-08-2017 07:41 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Martin McCaffery
When you pay for the exhibition rights to a movie from Swank or other non-theatrical distributor, they make a point of warning you that you do not have to right to show the DVD/BR "extras".
Supremely ironic, in the light of my last experience with a Swank BD.

It was something the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival brought in for a rental - they'd got it from Swank. This BD had no less than eleven minutes of snipes, copyright warnings, logos, ads and trailers before it would let you at the main menu to start the feature. The BD was also authored such that pressing the stop or menu button would start them over.

Of course, after the guy introducing the screening left the stage and it was time to start the movie, I accidentally hit eject instead of play, and the audience had to wait for 11 minutes.

They only brought the disc on the day of the show, or else I'd have ripped it and DCP-ized the feature, to prevent the risk of that happening.

What was even more bizarre was that the feature was basically a gay porno, but the trailers were mainly for G-rated, kid-friendly titles. At least it wasn't the other way round!

quote: Justin Hamaker
I don't know Disney's reasoning...
I don't either, but would guess that it's consistent with their "premium brand" marketing policy: they'd rather make their movies, even their rep titles, a bit difficult to see and therefore create a buzz on the rare occasions that they are shown, than have them play on cable TV, $4.99 DVDs and every Sunday afternoon for discount shows at arthouses and on campuses. They used to have a policy (don't know if this is still the case) of only doing theatrical re-releases of their iconic titles once every seven years for a few weeks. Their retail video releases also seem to be time-limited, in premium packaging and a lot more expensive than the norm.

 |  IP: Logged

Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17662
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 01-08-2017 11:04 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Hillyer
the films were obviously shown off Blu-Ray, and were free with concessions purchase.
Hmmmm, something there doesn't sound right. I am not a booker or a studio rep, but if the concession purchase is mandatory, then I would bet that mucks up the contract because unless it was a flat rate fee, most of the rep pricing I've heard is along the lines of "$250 flat fee vs. 50%"...meaning wouldn't that mandatory concession purchase becomes a legal issue?

 |  IP: Logged

Allan Barnes
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: GRAND BEND, ONTARIO, CANADA
Registered: Mar 2009


 - posted 01-09-2017 06:08 AM      Profile for Allan Barnes   Author's Homepage   Email Allan Barnes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
IN CANADA.. you can (must) book all Free Showing with Audio Cine Films Inc. out of Montreal. They represent 90% of all the major film companies. Prices range from $100 to $500 plus HST... Disney animated films 90 days off release / pre-release DVD Cost the most.

It can be your own BluRay. 16mm, 35mm or DCP print. They don't care, they just want the cash.

HERE IS THE CANADA ONLY data ..www.acf-film.com/en/index.php

Audio Cine Films film distributors in Canada - copyrights management ... ACF film one of the major non-theatrical film distributors in Canada.

BRAD IS CORRECT... DON'T MENTION THE CONCESSIONS SITUATION AT ALL.

 |  IP: Logged

Greg Routenburg
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 147
From: Toronto, ON, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 01-09-2017 10:20 AM      Profile for Greg Routenburg   Email Greg Routenburg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ACF and Criterion are the two major Hollywood reps for Non-Theatrical presentations in Canada. This includes anything screened for profit or not in any venue, inside or out, that is not a commercial movie theatre. Bottom line is that if it's going to be screened in a movie theatre, the theatres film booker should be acquiring the rights for the screening from the studio's local distributor. This is regardless of whether admission is charged or not. That's why they do the flat rate or percentage based on the box office revenue. If you don't charge, you pay the flat rate and hope that your concession sales make up the difference. The only exception is content that is in the public domain. Any film booker worth their salt should be able to tell you whether your particular title applies under that category.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12395
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-09-2017 11:38 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Justin Hamaker
Another point is Disney is usually much more expensive to license for free shows. Most of the other studios are about $350 for a DCP booking, but my understanding is Disney is about $2500.
I don't think Disney does free shows AT ALL, except maybe for super-special occasions but I can't even remember the last time I heard about one of those.

I agree with the previous poster who said they're leaving a lot of money on the table with that policy. They're trying not to cheapen their product by making it premium-priced.

 |  IP: Logged

Mike Hillyer
Film Handler

Posts: 13
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Registered: Jan 2013


 - posted 01-09-2017 11:44 AM      Profile for Mike Hillyer   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Hillyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry guys, I phrased that wrong, I meant that all they had for revenue was concessions, because they didn't have ticket sales. Concession sales were not required.

 |  IP: Logged

Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2297
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 01-09-2017 12:05 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Hillyer
I meant that all they had for revenue was concessions, because they didn't have ticket sales. Concession sales were not required.

Yahh..... You're still getting into that gray area, where the studios will want to know how you make money. If you really don't charge admission, meaning anyone can just walk in the door and see the show without buying anything, then you might get the flat rate (as described earlier). If you even go so far as to sell concessions from the same register that you use to keep track of who comes in, the studios are likely to see that as admissions, and will want that documented.

Whether you mean to or not, this is just one idea among thousands that people have come up with to get studio content without really having to pay for it, which I find curious-to-offensive. The studios feel that if you use their content to attract customers, then part of what you make should go to them. Come to think of it, it's not all that different with the background music industry, which feels you're creating an atmosphere with their content that makes people comfortable in your business. Value = money, which they naturally want a piece of.

This is long-winded, but really... if you want to run a serious business, I think you ought to include the studios' content as a legitimate part of your expense model. If you have a concept that's marketable in your area, you should be able to charge enough for it to pay for the movie.

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.