Report: Over Half of Independent Films Get a Theatrical Release, but Few Make Money There

  • Indiewire
New research on independent features made in 2017 offers encouraging news for aspiring filmmakers: Three in five independent films made that year got some sort of theatrical release. The not-so-good news? Very few made substantial money at the box office.

Those findings came from a deep dive into all narrative non-studio films distributed made in 2017 conducted by Bruce Nash, whose company operates The Numbers, and producer and analyst Stephen Follows. The American Film Market published their article ahead of its annual event in November.

The researchers offered three release outcomes that together accounted for 60.4% of all movies shot in 2017.

Nominal releases (35.3%): movies that have theatrical release dates, but reported no box office figures. This could happen when a filmmaker rents a theater to show their movie to a small audience, for example. Small releases (8.1%): movies that reported grosses up to $100,000 Large releases (17%): movies that reported grosses over $100,000

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