Limited release

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Limited release is a film distribution strategy of releasing a new film in a few theaters across a country, typically in major metropolitan markets.

Film distribution is the process of making a movie available for viewing by an audience. This is normally the task of a professional film distributor, who would determine the marketing strategy for the film, the media by which a film is to be exhibited or made available for viewing, and who may set the release date and other matters. The film may be exhibited directly to the public either through a movie theater or television, or personal home viewing. For commercial projects, film distribution is usually accompanied by film promotion.

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The purpose is often used to gauge the appeal of specialty films, like documentaries, independent films and art films. A common practice by film studios is to give highly anticipated and critically acclaimed films a limited release on or before December 31 in Los Angeles County, California to qualify for Academy Award nominations (as by its rules). Highly anticipated documentaries also receive limited releases at the same time in New York City, as the rules for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature mandate releases in both locations. The films are almost always released to a wider audience in January or February of the following year.

Documentary film nonfictional motion picture

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries. Documentary films were originally called 'actuality' films and were only a minute or less in length. Over time documentaries have evolved to be longer in length and to include more categories, such as educational, observational, and even 'docufiction'. Documentaries are also educational and often used in schools to teach various principles. Social media platforms such as YouTube, have allowed documentary films to improve the ways the films are distributed and able to educate and broaden the reach of people who receive the information.

Independent film Film done outside major film studio system

An independent film, independent movie, indie film or indie movie, is a feature film or short film that is produced outside the major film studio system, in addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies. Independent films are sometimes distinguishable by their content and style and the way in which the filmmakers' personal artistic vision is realized. Usually, but not always, independent films are made with considerably lower budgets than major studio films.

Art film film genre

An art film is typically a serious, independent film, aimed at a niche market rather than a mass market audience. It is "intended to be a serious, artistic work, often experimental and not designed for mass appeal", "made primarily for aesthetic reasons rather than commercial profit", and contains "unconventional or highly symbolic content".

One notable exception is The Rocky Horror Picture Show , which premiered in 1975 and is still shown only in limited fashion; it is the longest-running theatrical release in film history. [1]

<i>The Rocky Horror Picture Show</i> 1975 film by Jim Sharman

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical horror comedy film by 20th Century Fox, produced by Lou Adler and Michael White and directed by Jim Sharman. The screenplay was written by Sharman and actor Richard O'Brien, who is also a member of the cast. The film is based on the 1973 musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show, with music, book, and lyrics by O'Brien. The production is a parody tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through to the early 1960s. Along with O'Brien, the film stars Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick and is narrated by Charles Gray with cast members from the original Royal Court Theatre, Roxy Theatre, and Belasco Theatre productions including Nell Campbell and Patricia Quinn.

Platform release

A platform release is a type of limited release in which a film opens in fewer theaters (typically 599 or fewer) than a wide release. If the film receives positive word of mouth, it is gradually expanded to more theaters, as the marketing campaign gains momentum. [2] A successful film released in this manner has even the possibility of expanding into a wide release.

In the American motion picture industry, a wide release is a motion picture that is playing nationally. This is in contrast to a film that is showing at a few cinemas, or is in limited release at selected cinemas in larger cities around the country. Box Office Mojo considers 600 or more theaters to be a wide release.

The advantage of the strategy is that marketing costs are conserved until a film's performance has been established, when the distributor may opt to increase advertising and push for a wider release. On the other hand, if it initially flops, the distributor can withdraw from the campaign, thus minimizing advertising and promotional expenditures.

Film promotion is the practice of promotion specifically in the film industry, and usually occurs in coordination with the process of film distribution. Sometimes called the press junket or film junket, film promotion generally includes press releases, advertising campaigns, merchandising, franchising, media and interviews with the key people involved with the making of the film, like actors and directors. As with all business, it is an important part of any release because of the inherent high financial risk; film studios will invest in expensive marketing campaigns to maximize revenue early in the release cycle. Marketing budgets tend to equal about half the production budget. Publicity is generally handled by the distributor and exhibitors.

A film distributor is responsible for the marketing of a film. The distribution company is usually different from the production company. Distribution deals are an important part of financing a film.

In the early stages of a platform release, the key metric is the per-theater average gross, not the total box office gross. Arthouse and independent films that garner high per-theater averages are seen as likely candidates for a successful wider release. A distributor using this release strategy must take care not to expand too quickly in the early stages to prevent the (limited) audience from being spread too thin, which would reduce the per-theater average and so cause the film to appear weaker.

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Direct-to-video or straight-to-video refers to the release of a film to the public immediately on home video formats rather than a theatrical release or television broadcast.

Market research is an organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy. The term is commonly interchanged with marketing research; however, expert practitioners may wish to draw a distinction, in that marketing research is concerned specifically about marketing processes, while market research is concerned specifically with markets.

Teaser campaign

A teaser campaign, also known as a pre-launch campaign, is an advertising campaign which typically consists of a series of small, cryptic, challenging advertisements that anticipate a larger, full-blown campaign for a product launch or otherwise important event. These advertisements are called "teasers" or "teaser ads". A teaser trailer for an upcoming film, television program, video game or similar, is usually released long in advance of the product, so as to "tease" the audience.

A blockbuster is a work of entertainment—especially a feature film, but also other media—that is highly popular and financially successful. The term has also come to refer to any large-budget production intended for "blockbuster" status, aimed at mass markets with associated merchandising, sometimes on a scale that meant the financial fortunes of a film studio or a distributor could depend on it.

Filmmaking is the process of making a film, generally in the sense of films intended for extensive theatrical exhibition. Filmmaking involves a number of discrete stages including an initial story, idea, or commission, through screenwriting, casting, shooting, sound recording and pre-production, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and exhibition. Filmmaking takes place in many places around the world in a range of economic, social, and political contexts, and using a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques. Typically, it involves a large number of people, and can take from a few months to several years to complete.

Advertising campaign series of advertisement messages

An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication (IMC). An IMC is a platform in which a group of people can group their ideas, beliefs, and concepts into one large media base. Advertising campaigns utilize diverse media channels over a particular time frame and target identified audiences.

<i>Prom Night</i> (1980 film) 1980 film by Paul Lynch

Prom Night is a 1980 Canadian slasher film directed by Paul Lynch, based on a story by Robert Guza Jr., and starring Jamie Lee Curtis and, in a supporting role, Leslie Nielsen. The story concerns a group of high school seniors who are targeted by a mysterious masked killer in revenge for their culpability in the accidental death of a young girl six years earlier. The anniversary of the incident falls on their high school's prom night, when the older sister of the dead girl is being crowned Prom Queen.

A film screening is the displaying of a motion picture or film, generally referring to a special showing as part of a film's production and release cycle. To show the film to best advantage, special screenings may take place in plush, low seat-count theaters with very high quality projection and sound equipment, and can be accompanied by food and drink and spoken remarks by producers, writers, or actors. Special screenings typically occur outside normal theatrical showing hours. The different types of screenings are presented here in their order within a film's development.

Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. Digital marketing channels are systems based on the internet that can create, accelerate, and transmit product value from producer to the terminal consumer by digital networks.

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Oscar bait is a term used in the film community for movies that appear to have been produced for the sole purpose of earning nominations for Academy Awards or "Oscars", as they are commonly known. They are usually released just in advance of Oscar season, late in the calendar year, so as to meet the minimum eligibility requirements for the awards and be fresh in the minds of Oscar voters. The prestige or acclaim the studio may receive from the nomination or award is often secondary to the increased box office receipts such a film may garner; some films may even be depending on it to turn a profit.

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References

  1. Hallenbeck, Bruce G. (13 May 2009). Comedy-Horror Films. McFarland. pp.  112. ISBN   978-0-7864-3332-2.
  2. Kerrigan, Finola (2009). Film Marketing. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN   978-0-7506-8683-9.