by Ted Hope.
Until the double whammy of Toronto 2010 & Sundance 2011, it looked like the US acquistion market for feature content had fully collapsed. No reasonable P&L would have shown more than a modest six figures for US acquisitions. Hybrid & DIY models have not been developed yet to consistently deliver returns in excess of this amount (or even at these figures). Perhaps this is now changing, but it would still be foolish for any filmmaker or investor to expect this and we can’t budget for such expectation.
How many of the 7500 films produce in the US annually return 20% of their negative cost from US licenses? Although it puts emerging filmmakers at a great disadvantage, I think the surest determining factor for predicting US acquisition potential is the filmmakers’ track record. If you have found buyers previously, you are well suited to find them again — and even still exceeding that 20% is the exception and not the rule.
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