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The Canadian Idea Of Success


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#1 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 01:04 PM

For you non-US members who think the state of filmmaking is bad in your country have a look at what people in Canada view as a success in the film business. $63,000.00 on a whopping nine screens!! Oh my gosh it's the run away box office sensation of the year, stop the pressess!! Now all we need to do is figure out how much tax money was flushed down the toilet?:


The joint push by Capri Releasing and Mongrel Media paid off for Away from Her, which connected with audiences over its debut weekend and generated nearly $63,000 on nine screens at the Canadian box office.

"Given that we were opening against Spider-Man 3, and with what was generally very nice weather this weekend, I think it's a strong number," Mongrel director of theatrical releasing Tom Alexander tells Playback Daily.

Sarah Polley's first feature, about the devastating effect of Alzheimer's disease on a long-married couple, had a per-screen average of $7,000 and placed either number one or two in most of the complexes it opened on in Toronto and Vancouver, says Alexander.

"The places where we were second, the number one film was Spider-Man, so that's very favorable," he says, noting the film's performance was pretty much in line with what they expected.

In the U.S., where Away from Her opened on two screens each in Los Angeles and New York via Lionsgate, the film grossed a an impressive $54,000.

Away from Her expands to other key markets in Canada Friday for the Mother's Day weekend, including Victoria, Edmonton, Montreal, Halifax and St. John's.
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#2 Matthew Bennett

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 03:37 PM

Well, get your film out and show them how it's done, Richard!

Any new trailers or anything, by the way?
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:25 PM

Well, get your film out and show them how it's done, Richard!

Any new trailers or anything, by the way?


How did I know I would get that response ;)

My point is that saying this type of distribution, of a Canadian film in Canada, is a success is quite pathetic. There would have also been a lot of gov't dollars used to pay for the P&A as well. Money the taxpayer will never see again. My film was never designed for any theatrical release, direct to DVD. And it won't cost the Canadian tax payer one penny, I'm not even using any tax credits! The irony is that any money generated by my film will be heavily taxed and part of the tax money will end up in the hands of a Canadian filmmaker getting money from Telefilm. Now that burns my a** royally!!

As for the project, since you ask....I am scheduled to transfer my final round of pick ups and inserts on May 18th. Picture should be locked at last by May 30th. On-line finished by June 30th. Then two month allowance for music and final mix. I have a set delivery date I need to make now.

There will be a new slicker trailer up at some point. But too many missing elements right now to make it worth while.

R,
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#4 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:25 PM

$63 k on only 9 screens is pretty good - and persides if its a good film about a difficult subject matter than that matters a lot. Spiderman 3 cost many thousand times as much and had thousands more spent on marketing it.... yet everyone keeps telling me its crap!
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:50 PM

Yes that film sounds very interesting and I read some good reviews about it. Does anyone know if it's released in London already?
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#6 Matthew Bennett

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:57 PM

Curious, what numbers would you see as a success, Richard?

Also, why no theatrical intent for your film? Isn't that 'the dream'?

re: polley's film, how marketable is a movie about old people anyway, (god bless them).
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#7 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 05:09 PM

My film was never designed for any theatrical release, direct to DVD.


Direct to DVD and shot on 35mm? Wouldn't it have been more cost effective to shoot it on HD instead or maybe even DV, maybe a Sonyhandycam perhaps?

:P

Sorry I couldn't resist.
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#8 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 05:16 PM

Yes that film sounds very interesting and I read some good reviews about it. Does anyone know if it's released in London already?


It's already screening here in Oslo, so I'd be surprised if it isn't ;)

Edited by Alexander Joyce, 08 May 2007 - 05:17 PM.

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#9 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 05:32 PM

Curious, what numbers would you see as a success, Richard?

Also, why no theatrical intent for your film? Isn't that 'the dream'?

re: polley's film, how marketable is a movie about old people anyway, (god bless them).


I think 40 screens would be a little more reasonable area for this film to enter into the "success" arena. Considering the size of the English Canadian market, 24 million. But every one would define it differently of course when it comes to setting a number. It's just sad when nine screens is considered to be a success. Remember the Canadian gov't has said many times that its goal is to get a 5% market share in Canada for Canadian films!! At what point do we fall out of our chairs laughing? 5% is the goal? In our own country? Imagine if Canadian films made up 95% of the US box office, we'd be nuked in three seconds.

Why no theatrical intent? Actually my film would have a much better chance of a theatrical release in the USA than in Canada. The screen inventory in Canada is just too small compared to the USA. And Canadian cinema owners are loathed to screen any thing Canadian. Plus execs in LA decide what gets shown in Canada, these decisions have nothing to do with Canadians. The only reason Quebec films do well theatrically is because of the language barrier.


Direct to DVD and shot on 35mm? Wouldn't it have been more cost effective to shoot it on HD instead or maybe even DV, maybe a Sonyhandycam perhaps?

:P

Sorry I couldn't resist.


Yeah Yeah, very funny. Actually a lot of direct to DVD titles are shot on 35mm. Just gives it that "look" ya know? :rolleyes:
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#10 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 07:41 PM

I think 40 screens would be a little more reasonable area for this film to enter into the "success" arena. Considering the size of the English Canadian market, 24 million. But every one would define it differently of course when it comes to setting a number. It's just sad when nine screens is considered to be a success. Remember the Canadian gov't has said many times that its goal is to get a 5% market share in Canada for Canadian films!! At what point do we fall out of our chairs laughing? 5% is the goal? In our own country? Imagine if Canadian films made up 95% of the US box office, we'd be nuked in three seconds.


Here they are aiming for a 25% marketshare for norwegian films, but still in Denmark they have managed to keep it at 40% for their films.
5% is truly a ridiculous precentage though. Seducing Doctor Lewis was in my opinion a really good Canadian film :rolleyes:

Actually a lot of direct to DVD titles are shot on 35mm. Just gives it that "look" ya know? :rolleyes:


Well with the advent of HD DVD, Blue Ray and HDTV it would make more sense than ever to shoot in 35 even if one is not aiming for theatrical release.
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#11 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:09 PM

"Seducing Doctor Lewis was in my opinion a really good Canadian film"

Too bad neither myself, or the other 31 million Canadians, have ever heard of it. :blink:

I'll be there soon as well. My goal is the .49 video bin at Walmart.

R,
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#12 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:15 PM

"Seducing Doctor Lewis was in my opinion a really good Canadian film"

Too bad neither myself, or the other 31 million Canadians, have ever heard of it. :blink:

I'll be there soon as well. My goal is the .49 video bin at Walmart.

R,



I guess it's that language barrier again :rolleyes:
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#13 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 10:49 PM

How did I know I would get that response ;)

My point is that saying this type of distribution, of a Canadian film in Canada, is a success is quite pathetic. There would have also been a lot of gov't dollars used to pay for the P&A as well. Money the taxpayer will never see again. My film was never designed for any theatrical release, direct to DVD. And it won't cost the Canadian tax payer one penny, I'm not even using any tax credits! The irony is that any money generated by my film will be heavily taxed and part of the tax money will end up in the hands of a Canadian filmmaker getting money from Telefilm. Now that burns my a** royally!!


somewhere in canada, there is an asphalt road that was paved with tax dollars and is driven over only once a month. discuss.
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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 12:03 AM

somewhere in canada, there is an asphalt road that was paved with tax dollars and is driven over only once a month. discuss.


Yes but all roads in Canada are paved with tax dollars. There is no selected areas where roads are paved with tax money, and in other areas the residents have to come up with the money on their own to do the paving.

Unlike filmmaking in Canada where a select few are handed copious amounts of tax money, and others have to do it on their own.

Come up with a better example/rebuttle.

R,
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#15 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 12:11 AM

I guess it's that language barrier again :rolleyes:


Yes you're quite right, this is a "Quebecois" movie, and therefore never seen by the 25 million English speaking Canadians who live outside of Quebec.

I found it here, when I enter the title in English:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0366532/

Don't get me started on the Quebec film industry, these guys are the biggest welfare bums on the planet. Yes Quebeccers watch their home grown cinema, but it is far from being self reliant. And Quebec gets the lions share of ALL federal tax dollars in Canada.

Bon Cop Bad Cop, cost a huge truckload of tax money to make and was ignored by English Canada. It made the vast bulk of its money in Quebec.

Before I'm dissmissed as a ranting lunatic here is data to support all of my points right here:

http://www.canadianb...r...0273&page=1

Highlights that support my facts are:

This situation is not new. Far from it. Back in 1999, when domestic audience share on both sides of the language divide was at 1%, then-heritage minister Sheila Copps put a challenge to Telefilm and its clients: we'll give you more money; you get bums in seats; we'll reward you with your own discretionary subsidy dollars. The national target was set: 5% of audiences watching domestic films within five years. Five years on, English Canada's share remains at 1%; Quebec's has soared to 18%. Clearly, there's a problem. Clarkson's--and Telefilm's--task is to fix it.

Canadian distribution companies are not obliged to distribute Canadian films. But the handful of companies eligible under Telefilm's terms would be foolish not to, given Telefilm, through its Marketing Assistance Program, returns 75% of the marketing costs.

This article points out how Telefilm will spend 35 million on English Canadian films and 18 million on Quebec films:

http://www.variety.c...8...yid=13&cs=1

Now look at the imbalance, Quebec has 25% of the population and gets 34% of the financing pie. (18/53=34).

For more hilarious reading have a look at this if you think I exagerate or make any thing up:

http://www.thecanadi...s=M1ARTM0012964

R,
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#16 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 05:44 PM

Just out of curiosity how did The Sweet Hereafter fair in Canada?
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#17 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 06:08 PM

The what??????????

R,
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#18 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 02:46 PM

Away from Her expands to other key markets in Canada Friday for the Mother's Day weekend, including Victoria, Edmonton, Montreal, Halifax and St. John's.


The perfect movie to take your mother to.

Not a jibe at the movie, but maybe the marketing.
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 05:57 PM

Actually seven grand a screen is entirely decent - I believe Hot Fuzz did that in the US on the opening night, and being a foreign comedy with very British humour, it was considered very satisfactory.

But you're right, of course. Sixty-three grand? Christ. It's the sort of thing that would be screamed about here, which is just as sad.

Phil
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#20 Richard Boddington

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 08:31 PM

Yeah but at least that would be 63,000 pounds in the UK.

Here's another point, if 7K per screen is a good average and considered decent, why don't they open this film on as many screens as possible in Canada. How about 100 screens then.

With two showings a night that's 14K per theatre times 100 is 1.4 million per day.

But of course this movie has as much chance of being on 100 screens as Dick Cheney becoming the next US president. Ok.....scratch that example.

R,
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