Thursday, 27 August 2015

Will this limited release report box office?

One of the frustrations that starbond traders have is when they are expecting a starbond to have a profitable adjust, only to have it not report box office to ERC.  (If you're not familiar with this issue, it is explained in this column).  Obviously it would be useful to know whether a movie is likely to report box office before you invest in the starbond. However, doing this research for every limited release is time consuming, tedious and easily forgotten.  After many years of doing nothing about it, I finally got fed up with being on the wrong side of starbond movements and decided to look systematically at the studios that do and do not report box office, and develop a reference to hold that information.

The new spreadsheet is called Will It Report?.  It has data on films that had a limited release starting in January 2015, the studio behind the release and whether box office was reported to ERC.  The studio behind the release is the same as that listed on the relevant moviestock page, except in cases where the moviestock page does not list a studio, and this information has been gained from another source. These studios are marked with an asterisk.

Will It Report? also analyses the data through a simple formula and suggests how reliable a particular studio is at reporting box office.  Because these predictions have not been tested and are probably not going to be 100% accurate, I've stolen pithy results from the Magic 8-Ball as the answers.

Like other HSXsanity tools such as the predictions database and the midnight box office database, I plan to continue updating Will It Report? for future releases.  Also like other HSXsanity spreadsheets I'll do my best to make it as accurate as I can, but errors happen, real life gets in the way and so on.

Not having looked at this issue in detail before, there were a couple of results that challenged my assumptions on which studios reported and which did not:

  • Lionsgate - or rather, its subsidiaries and partners - are inconsistent about whether they report box office.  Movies released under the Pantelion label, which is aimed at Latino audiences and backed by Lionsgate - such as ALMAL, LVRBT and VATAP, which all had releases in 300 or more theatres - consistently report box office.  Other Lionsgate-related brands, such as  Grindstone Entertainment (a subsidiary) and Saban Films (a partner) have not reported box office.
  • Weinstein reported box office for nine of its eleven limited releases. The two movies that did not report - EVRLY and MNST2 - were both released under the Radius-TWC brand, which specialises in VOD.
  • Independent wings of major studios such as Focus Features, Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics reliably report box office, but major studios that want to bury movies (for example, Paramount and ARE51), or that decide to release a movie through their VOD brand (Sony/Stage 6 and PDSTN) are not.
  • IFC Films is surprisingly spotty about reporting box office. My vague impression was that they reliably reported box office, but they reported on only 8 out of 17 films - generally the most successful ones.  MTCH was the only film to report with a theatre count in the single digits, and SALVT (box office of $42K) was the only film not to report with a total box office of over $20K.
There's clearly more work to be done in parsing out which movies are likely to report and which are not - though I'm not planning to get down in the weeds in this column.  But hopefully Will It Report? is a useful reference that you can use to flag possible starbond adjust issues when you're looking at other starbond tools such as,  the HSXDude's Post-Adjust Bond Show or even doing your own math.

1 comment:

  1. bill-the_movie-man11 May 2017 at 14:34 got hacked :(