View Full Version : Definition of $uccess

09-26-2004, 06:22 PM
Financially speaking, is there any generally accepted definition of success for a film? For example, it must make back what it cost to produce plus 20 percent.

09-27-2004, 08:08 PM
I've heard that grossing three times the budget is success. But that may be baloney. I think I heard it on a Kevin Smith commentary track, so there you go.

Doug Raine
10-02-2004, 02:34 PM
Rule of thumb is 2.5 - 3 times the budget (that covers what the film actually cost "negative cost" and all the prints, advertising and distribution costs "P,A&D".

But, the "box office" numbers can be misleading. An exhibitor (Loews, AMC) can take anywhere from 10-50% of the U.S. box office, depending on the film. If the larger percentage is taken, then it usually drops with each passing week, thus the disrtibutor gets a larger percentage with each passing week.

It gets very complicated when you start adding in "points" (a backend percentage of the profits) for actors and the like.

hope that helps-


10-02-2004, 02:58 PM
Can you expand a little bit more on what "points" means?

10-04-2004, 05:56 PM
The breakeven point is roughly twice the budget. If Domestic box office was half the budget, international should be 1.5 times the budget. That's how Troy became profitable. It didn't do well here, but made a ton overseas. But each studio has its own formula to calculate a breakeven point for a film (done on the prep stage) there's special software that does that pretty accurately. It usually takes into account all the deals, first dollar gross participation, net participation, marketing and stuff like that.