Why Are Limited Release Movies Still A Distribution Method in 2018?

What does limited release mean for a movie

Video What does limited release mean for a movie
Call Me By Your Name

The Florida Project and Call Me By Your Name were films damaged by this antiquated distribution strategy.

Limited release movies have been a staple of Hollywood. the idea stems from a theatrical distribution strategy of releasing a film in select markets. spend a few bucks to have the movie screen in ny and la, and then you can make the decision to enlarge after receipt of the movie. This tactic is also used to give award-winning films a chance to qualify for Academy Awards. under academy rules, these films must open before December 31 in Los Angeles to qualify. these films are released more after the January holidays (for example, the post and the ghost thread).

that concept might work for movies with stars like meryl streep, tom hanks, and daniel day-lewis, but for movies with virtual strangers like timothee chalamet and brooklyn prince, it doesn’t. Studios that release movies like Call Me By Your Name and The Florida Project were hoping for huge recognition to launch into larger territories, but by then, the pre-release hype and desire to see the movies had subsided. audiences were frustrated that the films were never shown in their market and had resorted to illegal broadcasts or played the films altogether. In an age where vod and streaming exist in so many homes, there must be a new solution to this outdated distribution strategy.

Word of mouth is still a successful way to market a movie. get out is an easy example of that method doing its magic. the film opened with little pre-release publicity and became one of the biggest movies of the year due to positive reviews and social media buzz. that would be the ideal situation. Years ago, movie studios didn’t want to make expensive rolls of film for a movie that scared them. That’s not the case in 2018. Watching a feature film is easier than ever. digital is king and the cost of shipping a film today is lower, due to investment in digital systems where dcp playback is the norm. the whole effort of releasing a movie has become less expensive. this makes staggering a movie release that much more frustrating.

frustrating is the perfect word to describe how limited release distribution works. As someone who doesn’t live in one of the biggest film markets, there have been countless times over the last fifteen years where I’ve traveled for these features. In fact, The Florida Project is one of those movies where I visited a movie theater an hour away to see the movie. there are many others who have been dismayed that a new movie is not available in their market.

You know what’s annoying? The Florida Project is filmed in Orlando. i’m in orlando the florida project had a limited release.

— syd ✨ (@veepthroat) December 10, 2017

how the hell does a movie called the florida project open first in ny/la?

I hate some of these limited release schedules.

— mttthms (@mttthms) October 4, 2017

Can we talk about the biggest injustice in my life right now that is unrelated?

It’s about calling me by your name, being a gay man from the Midwest, not from Chicago, and limited theatrical releases

— chelsea aka spinning tales fiber (@anoutlawlife) January 17, 2018

the florida project had its share of problems being a limited release feature. Director Sean Baker has been active on Twitter sharing when and where the film would be shown, as he received countless inquiries from upset fans. he even got so bad that he addressed public inquiries to leak the role of him online.

For people all over the world, the desire to see the film was strong. Piracy hurts all movies, but especially movies of this size. These movies don’t have the marketing budget of the latest Marvel movie and inherently have a smaller pool of interested backers. when those customers pirate the movie before its release date, the chances of them going to the theater to see it are reduced. (note: the florida project is now available in digital hd on streaming platforms, please support the creators).

call me by your name, by all accounts he should have seen better deals than he has. After its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the film went quiet until its revival at the Toronto International Film Festival. there, the film wowed critics again.

Without a doubt, “Call Me By Your Name” is the best movie I’ve seen this year. i hate myself for not seeing it at sundance. 😭😭😭❤️❤️❤️ #tiff

— amy kaufman (@amykinla) September 8, 2017

The film was in an excellent position to receive good ratings from critics and receive the most nominations for the independent spirit awards. According to Deadline, Call Me By Your Name had the highest average room opening of the year at $101,219. which surpassed the previous 2017 limited box office record held by lady bird. call me by your name was released over thanksgiving weekend. nine weeks later, after the dust settled and call me by your name earned a best picture nomination, the film opened in a measly 800 theaters. the results of that modest expansion saw Call Me By Your Name’s box office decline after the best picture nomination. the limited release had flopped on sony pictures classics.

Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and even YouTube provide easier access to small and medium-sized movies that would suffer from a limited release. The buzz for movies is immediate with Facebook and Twitter giving audiences around the world instant reactions to movies. That’s when the hype is at its peak and your need to be a more efficient way to capture that buzz and turn it into views.

paramount is exploring new strategies for its venturesome projects, but that means more eyes than ever will see alex garland’s annihilation two weeks after it opens. Paramount sold the international rights to Annihilation to Netflix, which will stream the picture seventeen days after its domestic release. youtube announced that it got the body of joseph kahn and will give it a limited release and then put it on their red youtube service which will make it more convenient for the public to watch the movie if it doesn’t play in their market. these streaming services are using the profiling of these movies to drive subscriptions, but in an era where studios still rely on limited releases to build buzz, the move to streaming isn’t such a bad thing.

The public is tired of hearing about a movie they can’t see. Social media has influenced our lives in countless ways. the way we experience the news and find out about the latest movies is instantaneous. Word of mouth doesn’t need the same amount of time to build, movies like The Florida Project and Call Me By Your Name needed to get in front of as many eyes as possible within days of release, not weeks. every year there are films that half the country has never seen. there has to be a change. otherwise small movies will continue to suffer.

related topics: call me by your name, the florida project

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