Does this sound fair?..The Blair Witch movie

Made for 40k$…sold for One million$…last I heard had grossed 140 million$ with much more to come I’m sure.

Should the makers have any recourse? Seems they got sorta ripped off.

Sorta reminds me of Bill Gates and Dos…but that’s another thread.

f you can’t convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

The film makers sold the film for 250 times what it cost to make.
The distributors have earned 140 times the price they paid for the film.
Seems to me that the filmmakers got the better end of the deal.
t lion

Well since the film makers could not have likely gained the exposure or gotten it into as many theaters as the distributors, they probably came out better than had they tried to do it themselves.

Maybe they should have written a better contract.

What if the movie only made 500K, should the film makers give some of the money back?

The distributors took the major risk and they got the big reward, though remember what a film grosses is not what the distributors get, that includes, I believe, what is paid in total. The movie theaters keep a lot to pay for their overhead.

Let’s say that a movie on average costs 6.50. That would mean that approximately 21,538,461 tickets were sold. Now I do not know how much a theater keeps and how much they have to pay the distributor, but lets say it is only $1 - $2 per ticket, that give us at most $40 million in rev brought in to the distributors.

Since you also mentioned Bill Gates and DOS. Yes, Bill bought it from some guy. Yes, Bill made millions off of a small investment. But the guy was not doing anything with it. He would have never made millions off of it himself. Bill took the risk and it paid off.

Let’s say you had an opportunity to purchase something at a fairly low price and you felt it could make millions, would you find it in your heart to write a contract with the producer that not only would you give them the initial amount, but would pay them royalties depending on how the product did? If they wanted such a contract maybe, but if they said they would sell it outright, would you insist on giving them royalties. You after all took the risk, and you did the marketing and sold the product. If the seller agrees to the deal, then it is a win-win situation.


friend banks,

your topic:

we rented the blair witch project last night. the consenses here was that we had wasted our $2.50.

Well, let’s see: they became Hollywood’s sweetie-darlings by making not only the worst and dumbest movie in history but also the most audacious PR scam as well (granted, they had some help from the studio with the latter).

Maybe they should be concerned about profit-sharing, but they are probably far too busy rolling around in a pile of money and laughing their slacker asses off.

My advice is not to fret over the minor problems of people whose dreams have come true.

Wasted your $2.50? Hell, I saw it free (went with a date) and I still feel ripped off!!!

Total garbage.

If ignorance is bliss, you must be orgasmic.

theater owners make about .70 off a ticket. they make money off popcorn

I thought the movie was rather funny. Oh, wait. That wasn’t their intention, was it?

Ah, not again. First, when they say it makes $140M that isn’t the net, that is the gross Subtract the money it cost to copy them, pay all the people, the theatres, theatre employees, etc etc.

Eventually with those nifty Hollywood accountants doing their magic work, the film might even make $1M.

Handy, you are forgetting that in this specific case the “gross” and the “net” are a hell of a lot closer, because unlike every other widly distributed movie this year, this one did not cost 25-100 million to produce. That savings transltes into pure profit for the owners of the film.

A commercially successful movie is definitely a team effort. Look at it this way: There would be no movies without screenwriters, yet screenwriters can only hope to get seven-figure payments if they are very bankable. Is that fair? I think so. After all, a lot of other people contribute to the market success of a movie.

I’d compare the $1 million sale of Blair Witch to the successful sale of a screenplay (although obviously it’s not exactly the same thing). As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the folks who made it probably could never have made it so commercially successful on their own.

Based on my extremely cursory knowledge of the deal, I’d say it was fair.

Im amazed at the quality of it really since it appears they used very simple cameras.

The video store has another Blair video next to it that supposely explains the real thing better, although I have yet to watch it.

Hey, what could the filmmakers possibly have to complain about? They made a film for next to nothing, got a huge return, got their faces on the cover of Time*, and practically got a guarantee that the next Myrick and Sanchez film will be paid for generously.

Looks like a win-win situation to me. Unless you went to see the thing, and spent the final half-hour in the ladies room suffering from motion sickness, as I did.

Modest? You bet I’m modest! I am the queen of modesty!

Uh, there is no “real thing.” If you’re talking about the video titled “Curse of the Blair Witch,” it is basically a one-hour promo for the movie, done in pseudodocumentary style, using footage that they didn’t use in the film itself.

They originally intended the entire film to be composed of the footage made by the “student filmmakers,” used within a framing story containing the police search, interviews with family, etc. They decided to dump the framing story, and use that footage elsewhere.

“I love God! He’s so deliciously evil!” - Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

That’s a wonderful .sig line. Can I have it?

Aah…it wasn’t that bad. I can’t say that it was scary, really, but it did hold my attention. Knowing that it’s not a real documentary obviously took away some of the fright value, but the concept is pretty cool.

As far as the OP, try to liken it to real estate. If you pay $40,000 for a house, $960,000 is a damn good return…especially if the house is located in the scary woods and has holes and leaks everywhere and a killer hermit occupying the basement.

Besides, the people who worked on that movie now have that credit. It’s not hard to get a job when you have a blockbuster under your belt. They’ll just be a little more ambitious about their sale price next time.

“ChrisCTP-…the sweetheart of the SDMB…” --Diane
Chris’ Homepage: Domestic Bliss

Remember also, that nobody expected it to be this big. At the time it was sold, nobody wanted it. It had played at the Sundance Film Festival and shopped around to a ton of studios, butno body would touch it. Artisan Films finally took a chance on it, but at best, they expected it to be more of an art-house film and maybe have a small cult following; then to make up the profit on video and television rights. The fact that it became as big as it did surprised everybody, including the filmmakers themselves and the studio that released it.

Saint Eutychus

I forgot to add, in response to the title of this thread, people rarely use the words “hollywood” and “fair” in the same sentence.

Saint Eutychus

“Rarely?” That’s an understatement, right?

One of my univ. profs useta say (and he got it from a friend who coined it), “Every young writer should go to Hollywood for a time, so that they will know that Evil is not an abstraction.”

Having observed the travails of a pair of friends trying to break in (“Coast to Coast” - haven’t seen it yet? It’s on the Grade B film festival circuit…) I’d say the truth is that it’s like any part of society, except with more zeros, which means that the Law of the Jungle is closer to the surface and the “civilizing influences” don’t work quite as well.

D’OH! Make that “Border to Border.”