Home

3D film

Beginnings film studio

Typical major film studio components

Today film studio

The Walt Disney Company

20th Century Fox

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Pictures

Miramax

Republic Pictures

3D Technology

IMAX 3D

RealD Cinema

 

DreamWorks Animation

 

 

 

Film distributor

 

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.
The distributor may set the release date of a film and the method by which a film is to be exhibited or made available for viewing; for example, directly to the public either theatrically or for home viewing (DVD, video-on-demand, download, television programs through broadcast syndication etc.). A distributor may do this directly, if the distributor owns the theaters or film distribution networks, or through theatrical exhibitors and other sub-distributors. A limited distributor may deal only with particular products, such as DVDs or Blu-ray, or may act in a particular country or market. The primary distributor will often receive credit in the film's credits, one sheet or other marketing material.
The distributor must also ensure that enough film prints are struck to service all contracted exhibitors on the contract-based opening day, ensure their physical delivery to the theater by the opening day, monitor exhibitors to make sure the film is in fact shown in the particular theatre with the minimum number of seats and show times, and ensure the prints' return to the distributor's office or other storage resource also on the contract-based return date. In practical terms, this includes the physical production of release prints and their shipping around the world (a process that is being replaced by digital distribution in most developed markets) as well as the creation of posters, newspaper and magazine advertisements, television commercials, trailers, and other types of ads.
Distributors typically enter into one of the two types of film booking contracts. The most common is the aggregate deal where total box office revenue that a given film generates is split by a pre-determined mutually-agreed percentage between distributor and movie theater. The other method is the sliding scale deal, where the percentage of box office revenue taken by theaters declines each week of a given film's run. The sliding scale actually has two pieces that starts with a minimum amount of money that theater is to keep—often called “the house nut”—after which the sliding scale kicks in for revenue generated above the house nut. However, this sliding scale method is falling out of use. Whatever the method, box office revenue is usually shared roughly 50/50 between film distributors and theaters.
Although there are now numerous distribution techniques, in the past the studios and networks were slow to change and did not experiment with different distribution processes. Studios believed that new distribution methods would cause their old methods of revenue to be destroyed. With time, the development of new distribution did prove to be beneficial. The studios revenue was gained from myriad distribution windows. These windows created many opportunities in the industry and allowed networks to make a profit and eliminate failure. These new distribution methods benefited audiences that were normally too small to reach and expanded the content of television. With the new age of technology, networks accepted the fact that it was a consumer demand industry and accepted the new models of distribution.
Some distributors only handle home video distribution or some sub-set of home video distribution such as DVD or Blu-ray distribution. The remaining home video rights may be licensed by the producer to other distributors or the distributor may sub-license them to other distributors.
If a distributor is going to distribute a movie on a physical format such as DVD, they must arrange for the creation of the artwork for the case and the face of the DVD and arrange with a DVD replicator to create a glass master to press quantities of the DVD.