With all film releases in the cinema, there is a huge amount of luck involved in the releasing schedule and release weekend. What other movies are releasing that weekend? What is the weather like? Are the critics in a good mood and decide to like your film? Is there a huge world event that suddenly happens that weekend? Or even is there a so-called pandemic happening at the time of your release?
In NSW Australia where I live, our cinemas are opening, on July 1st .
Certain films have lost out their cinema release and therefore have lost their publicity and exposure they would have had. These films have fallen into the big loser category.
A great example is “Escape from Pretoria” which was released last week online only. It was scheduled for a release in the cinemas in late March but fell victim to the lockdown. The film is about two white men who decide to fight against apartheid. They are imprisoned for doing so and eventually escape. You can see the trailer here
Now it is available on Amazon Prime for $20 to rent.
Here is the quandary.
In our cinemas here I could have seen this worthwhile film for A$16 on the big screen, if there had been no lockdown. Because of the lockdown, I now can only see it on a streaming platform at a more expensive price.
$20 seems like a very big rental price for a movie without stars and without a lot of publicity. My feeling is that this film will lose big time due to this release strategy.
Now a big winner is the new Russell Crowe movie “Unhinged” opening in the cinemas on July 1st.
This film will get extra lift and promotion that it would not have received otherwise. It is first cab of the rankand as a result a lot more money will be made from the cinema release. This film has had lady luck shine on it’s release schedule and strategy. The film is about a case of road rage that turns into full-blown terror when an unstable driver follows a woman and her son. You can see the trailer here.
As Russell’s box office appeal has dwindled in recent years, this is a great opportunity for his name to be lifted again with a strong release of this new film in the cinemas. In the US it will be released on the 4th of July weekend, traditionally one of the biggest weekends.
Solstice chairman/CEO Mark Gill who is the distributor said.
“We’re going up against zero movies, and there’s not going to be any live concerts or nightclubs. There’s pent-up demand.”
Luck plays a huge part in the success of a film release as outlined by the two mid budget films above. When you complete your first feature film, your release strategy developed by your distributor will have a huge influence on your success.
About the Author: Colm O’Murchu is a successful Indie Filmmaker and Director of three successfully released feature films and one documentary.
He has run Australian Film Base since 1997 and helped filmmakers produce hundreds of short films made on his filmmaking courses.
He has spoken at Indie Film Seminars all over the world.
His most recent film Tabernacle 101 has been released worldwide in 2019 and will be released in Australia in late 2020. He is currently in development on his next feature film Absolute Freedom