This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"You know, next to you, I am downright linear."
11945 members | you are not logged in | 25 October 2014




Tweet







October 15 2005

USA Network Gets Broadcast Rights to "Serenity." To air in 2008.

Thank god Serenity didn't have 20 F bombs. USA edits F bombs worst than any other Cable channel.
I wonder if any of this money goes towards the total earnings for the movie.
Lol, I love when people say F bombs.

Err...I mean the phrase "F bombs", not the actual F bomb.
"F Bombs"? Explain, please.
Drifter, I think it's the cuss word starting with the letter F. You know the one.
Well, I think the reality is that the 80 mil figure really means box office, and that figure is about where the movie would break even, with the production and marketing costs. Everything after that box office take would be the "ancillary" take, like TV rights, DVD, rentals, toys, comics, t-shirts, etc. Or the pure profit take. I doubt that this would be considered in the oft-quoted 80m figure.
I doubt that this would be considered in the oft-quoted 80m figure.

I think you'd be wrong on that account. Selling TV rights for a film does count toward a studio earning back its investment in a film. It doesn't cost a studio to sell TV rights, so it's a straight gain for the studio.

Of course they'd love for a film to make its money back at the box office, but more and more that isn't where a studio makes its money these days.
Well, I think the reality is that the 80 mil figure really means box office, and that figure is about where the movie would break even, with the production and marketing costs.

Sorry, I've heard about a dozen different interpretations of those numbers all over the web, and the large majority of them certainly haven't said that. And of course, everybody sounds equally experts even though everybody says something else. Are you knowlegable on the topic? (Btw not trying to be glib, I'm genuinely wondering since for all I know, you really are.)Most sources stated that 80m (double it's budget) would be the minimum that had to be reached if there was to be a sequel, never agreeing if that would include DVD income or not.And none of those claims have I seen confirmed reliably enough.

For one thing, there are films that did get sequels that didn't have that type of a percentage increase in gross. Different circumstances in many ways can play roles. Don't get me wrong, I'm hardly expecting a sequel at this point, but the way you paint it there, hardly any movie this side of Star Wars or Harry Potter would ever get a sequel.

And where did you get it that the marketing budget is equal to the production budget? I'm not sure that's generally the case but I could be wrong.
But... but.. by then I'll be like.. 3 years older.
But... but.. by then I'll be like.. 3 years older.


Move to the UK, Sky Movies will be showing it well before 2008.
EdDantes - I share your confusion.

I think someone linked to this earlier, but Slate's Hollywood Economist did an informative article on how much studios generally spend on advertising and how they make money. It's hard to translate that into Serenity specifics, but you can get a feel for typical numbers.

One big take-away point: like a lot of people have been saying, DVD sales are a *huge* part of of studio revenue nowadays -- much more than theatrical box office!
Nope, not knowledgeable, but I do pay attn to movie grosses and such, and studios rarely give out figures like DVD sales and how much TV rights cost. When they talk about whether a movie was a hit or what how successful it was, they generally mean theatrical box office. The $80m fig could possibly mean TV rights and DVD sales, but those numbers rarely come out. Usually whenever a magazine or studio talk about a movie's success or what numbers it needs to hit, they mean box office. Figures for everything else are a closely held secret. (The way studios make money is a murky one, and they keep it mostly secret.)

And where did you get it that the marketing budget is equal to the production budget? I'm not sure that's generally the case but I could be wrong.

Oh dear, I never meant to imply that. I'm saying that 80M gross at the b.o. would mean the net would probably cover the entire cost of the film, which is production budget + marketing costs. I don't think Univ spent anywhere close to 40M promoting the movie. That's why I always assumed the 80M fig was given out: the studio doesn't get the entire b.o. gross (they have to split it with the theater chains), so 80M gross b.o. equals about 40-50M net profit, which would cover the cost of making the film. That's the break even point. All the stuff after that, DVDs, TV rights, merchandising would be pure profit.

Serenity has made about $20M in its first 2 weeks -- Univ gets about 90% of that, then will get an increasingly smaller percentage each succeeding weekend (this explains the attraction of a big opening weekend -- the studio gets almost the complete take that weekend, while the 9th weekend it gets like 30%). Assuming the box office gross totals 50M, the movie will still be running at a loss. The DVDs and everything else will have to push it into the black.

Don't get me wrong, I'm hardly expecting a sequel at this point, but the way you paint it there, hardly any movie this side of Star Wars or Harry Potter would ever get a sequel.

Oh, I didn't mean to imply such a bleak picture. There are a ton of factors in whether a sequel happens. I kept on bringing up the reality of Hellboy -- the movie cost $96 million to make and market, and total b.o. gross was $$99,606,700. Now obviously, the DVDs and merchandising were gravy enough to inspire the studio to cough up the money for a sequel. Lots of factor go into whether not a movie gets a sequel, unfortunately lots of them monetary. The $80M figure is what's necessary to be guaranteed a sequel. Because the movie doesn't look like it's gonna hit those numbers, it's gonna take a while for the studio to look at all the other money-making things to roll in. It's going to be months before the DVD is out, for instance.

I think our chances of a sequel are so-so. Not great, but several things could be in our court. If Joss hits it out of the park (artistically & monetarily) with WW, and Goners, if one of the BDH's becomes a huge star (my personal choices: Nathan, Morena, Summer and Sean). If the movie becomes an even bigger phenomenon on DVD. And sometimes a studio finances a sequel because of the artistic merit; Richard Linklater got to make a sequel to Before Sunrise, which at $5.5M is the lowest-grossing movie to have ever spawned a sequel (though to be fair, the movie only cost $2.5M). So Before Sunset and Hellboy 2 are things to take hope from.
dottikin, thanks a lot for your explanation. I have a much clearer picture now.

[ edited by Lince on 2005-10-15 14:59 ]
dottikin: It still tends to only be for the big event movies that the studios get 90% of the takings in the early days of release. So something like the Star Wars films or Spiderman. I think it's pretty unlikely that Universal will get 90% of the takings for Serenity's first two weeks. In this case, I'd imagine the figure being around 70%.

[ edited by Impossible on 2005-10-15 15:32 ]
Well, if 'Versal does green light a sequel, look for it to get greenlit in 2007 for a 2008 release so they can tie it into the premeire airing of the first BDM on 'Versal owned USA.

Not that Joss would definitely be available for that...
Buhh, if 'Versal went after a sequel it wouldn't be announced to tie into USA Networks, IMForeman.. Not much profit in that.

As a reality check about the sequel thing: if a sequel was possible with the current B.O. figures, it would have been announced by now. That's not gonna happen. With international, as well, I feel it's also not going to happen. The figures don't add up. Boo, hiss.

In a total (including DVDs etc), cumlative sense a studio usually always looks for two and a half times the production budget back. This will cover production, marketing, and release. However, those figures aren't made public.

The sequel thing, as dottikin says, is currently so-so. At the moment, it's a big fat No. Give it a few years, and it could become a big fat Yes, if the DVDs do speculatar numbers (and I mean much better than Firefly in terms of volume sold) and the star factor of the cast rises...

I think it's quite possible Nathan and Summer could find some serious career leverage from this movie. And then theres Goners, the movie not much online exists for... yet.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home