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TOPIC: The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut

The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut 23 Sep 2007 09:28 #16034

  • neokast
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Hi everybody.

I have been trying to research the distribution of box office receipts, and have been getting some conflicting information.

It's my understanding that theatres typically take about 10% of the box office when a film is first released, and escalating percentages thereafter. What I would like to know is, on average, what % of the box do theatres get on first runs? Assume its a megaplex sort of theatre, and don't deduct any operating expenses or anything.

Any help is much appreciated.

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Re: The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut 23 Sep 2007 11:54 #16035

  • slapintheface
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In reality very few pics are 10%... most pics that theaters get are 30 % some 4o % or up to 70 %

The average take in my opinion is 40% ..over the whole year
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Re: The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut 23 Sep 2007 13:50 #16036

  • neokast
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Interesting. If anyone else observes differently I'd like to hear additional feedback.

In researching news and journal articles, I've found sources saying 1) not much more than 10%, 2) "lucky" to get 30%, and 3) about 50/50. So it's good to hear from people with firsthand experience.
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Re: The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut 23 Sep 2007 13:59 #16037

  • slapintheface
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funny thats what i had been told before i had my own theater..The terms are much better for theaters than people want you to believe..........
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Re: The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut 23 Sep 2007 14:15 #16038

  • muviebuf
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The typical first-run multiplex (6 to 12 screens) for a given 12 month period usually averages film rental payments of about 52 to 56 percent for the entire complex.

Second run the film rental payments usally run from 36 to 40 percent.

Publicly theatre owners love to inflate what they pay the film distributors. It helps them justify the overpriced concession prices.
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Re: The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut 23 Sep 2007 16:13 #16039

  • RoxyVaudeville
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muviebuf is right on target. I book several first runs and a whole bunch of subruns. My first runs average for the year anywhere from 52 to 55%, which of course means they get to keep between 45 to 48% of the gross.

We all constantly hear about theatres paying 90% of the gross to the film studios. NO ONE PAYS 90%, unless they are absolutely STUPID! What they do often pay is a 90/10 deal. Almost all film contracts require you to pay either a set agreed upon percentage vs 90/10. Let me explain. Each week that the theatre plays a film the percentage goes down. It might start as high as 70% the first week, then drop to 60% the 2nd, 50% the 3rd, and 40% the 4th. If held additional weeks it probably would stay at 35% for those weeks, but sometimes drops to 30%, and yes there are those rare occasions when, if held long enough, it will do down to 25%.

When settlement is made with the studio they will figure out what will produce for them the highest film rental, the straight percentage or the 90/10? The important thing to know, and which is seldom mentioned when you hear about 90% deals, is that the overhead of the theatre gets deducted first before the 90% is calculated. What it means is, if a 90/10 settlement is reached, the theatre is guaranteed a 10 % PROFIT even before concession, video games, and screen advertising are figured in.
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Re: The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut 24 Sep 2007 11:51 #16040

  • Transit Drive in
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I love it when my customers act surprised when they are told that we pay a high percentage of their ticket cost in film rent to the studios. They think it's a flat fee and we keep the vast majority of the income from ticket sales, or they think we keep almost all of it. When I tell them my film rent average is more than half the ticket cost, they are usually shocked.

Rick Cohen
Transit Drive-in
Lockport, New York
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: The Exhibitor/Distributor Cut 24 Sep 2007 17:04 #16041

  • Cinemateer
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Neokast, when I first started my business plan, I used 90% as my studio take figure and no matter where I cut expenses elsewhere, I could not get the theater to make a profit on paper. So in my opinion, a theater couldn't stay in business if they were paying 90% of the box to the studios.

I've heard Moviebuf's 52-56% estimate used more often than any other.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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