I came across an article in The Hollywood Reporter called "Lionsgate looks ahead" - here's the Link. Now, being that Lionsgate is, basically, one of the biggest distributors of horror right now, I decided to not only read the article, but look into it... Not that what I looked into had anything to do with the article, as the article basically talks about how Lionsgate posted a lower profit and lower-than-expected revenue for its last quater, but it's going to generate more than $400Million for its fourth quarter, blah, blah, blah... "Saw IV" and Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married" may save the day, uh huh, yeah... sure. What I was more interested in was the numbers, as in where is this $400Million figure coming from? Anyways, I snooped around a bit... and what I found out may interest you.
Lionsgate came out with 22 theatrical releases in 2007 and they grossed a total of $371,804,032. Here's a link to the list. Now, gross is, of course, before everyone takes their cut. The net amount is what's left for the studio. So, what did Lionsgate net from their theatrical releases in 2007? $107.9Million. Not too bad... but, guess what? They net $528.3Million in "video", which is basically the DVD market. Further, they net $109.3Million from putting their properties on television, they net $105.2Million from all forms of international distribution and received a paltry $7.5Million from other, which I'm guessing would be the internet or what they call "electronic distribution". (that is going to change in coming years, though... believe you-me) I'm summing this up extremely briefly, as this could be broken down and analyzed and it is in the 100+ page document I took it from, but I think these general numbers speak from themselves. So, what do they say? They say the money's in DVD releases, not theatrical releases.
So, let's look at what Lionsgate released on DVD in 2007... I counted 68 horrors out of the approx. 400 titles, but that, in itself, is misleading. They come out with the "Bratz" and "Clifford" kids movies, the Katy Smith work out videos, every "Little House on the Prairie" season and piles of old John Wayne-type rereleases - there's WAY over 100 titles with those alone. Here, go to this link and tell me what you think. Either way, let's say that out a fifth of the films in their are horror? Also, out of all those horror releases, most of them are low-budget indie horror, there's titles like "Blood Trails", "Dead Clowns" and "Werewolf: The Devil's Hound" in there... and that's a pretty good judge of the quality we're talking about for most of them. So, by my math, if Lionsgate is making $528Million off of "home video", that makes indie horror a $105Million dollar business for them.... or almost the same as what they net off of their big-budget, Hollywood theatrical releases.
So, let's wrap this up... Lionsgate makes the lions share of their money off of 'home video' and a large portion of that 'home video' comes from low-budget horror. If you're going to take anything away from that knowledge, here's what you take away. 10 years ago, the numbers weren't like this... Home video was the secondary money maker after theatrical releases, now that's changed. Straight to DVD releases is a growing market and a thriving market. It also happens to be the market that you're in... like I said, a lot of the films in their library are shot on DV by indie filmmakers, then picked up and distributed by Lionsgate. So, if you're an indie-horror filmmaker, what you're making, what you're going out there and filming is a commodity, a product and it has value... remember that. Now, go get filming.