Film Hit Or Flop? What Makes a Movie a Financial Hit Or Miss?
Movie funding is risky because there are so many factors that affect the box-office performance of a film, some of which are out of an investor's control. But if you're a first-time investor who wants to learn how to fund a film, here are three factors that can guide you when you're trying to decide whether a film has the potential to generate a profit.
In the film industry, 'talent,' refers to the director, actors and producers. Whether the film is a big-budget blockbuster, a medium-budget film or an independent film, it's important that there is a recognizable 'name' attached to the project. For example, an independent film with Tom Cruise attached to star is going to have an excellent chance of drawing an audience based solely on Cruise's box-office track-record. A recognizable name alone won't guarantee a hit, but it makes for a more sound investment, therefore, it's wise to invest in a film that stars a successful actor, an experienced director, or a producer who has made profitable films.
Another factor that can determine whether a film will be a hit or flop is the genre of that film. This is important, because certain film genres have a greater history of success than others. For example, action films and comedies generate more box-office than intense dramas, because audiences tend to find these types of movies more enjoyable than well-acted 'feel-bad' dramas. In addition, action films translate well in foreign markets, which have become vital to the profitability of many films, as in many cases foreign box-office grosses for action films greatly exceed domestic returns.
As with most businessses, marketing is vital to the success of a film. Hollywood ledgers are littered with well-made films that were poorly marketed and failed to entice an audience. When you're thinking about investing in a film, ensure that there is a strong marketing group that has a good track record of promoting films in the same genre as the film that has drawn your attention. No time in history is more hospitable to marketing than this digital era in which social media offers multiple opportunities to create viral campaigns. And unlike say 10 years ago when the only marketing available was a print or TV ad, film producers today can cut inexpensive trailers and post them on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to generate positive word-of-mouth. A strong marketing team can even sell a film that has no recognizable talent, though it's much better for you to invest in a film that has all these elements working together.
Film investing is a risk, much like playing the stock market. There is no guarantee you will make a profit when you invest in a film, but if you understand the main factors that most often contribute to whether a film is a hit or flop, you stand a better chance of being successful.