Market Outlook Positive: Buyers Enthused by Film Offerings and Presale Packages

Download Your Free Cannes Film Project Tracker

Following the first day of Cannes, the atmosphere remains upbeat as sales agents and producers indicate strong interest from international buyers.

Despite the challenges at AFM, TIFF, and EFM in restoring pre-lockdown attendance levels, Cannes has flourished, showing consistent growth and culminating in its largest market in years.

Download Your Free Cannes Film Project Tracker Below, which includes Titles, Directors, Sales Representatives, Genre, Status, Cast, and Links to IMDbPro.

Check out FilmTake’s comprehensive list of 75 projects in development, pre-production, post-production, and completed currently generating the most attention from buyers.

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Despite High Optimism, Domestic Distribution Continues to Lag

Cannes is showcasing around 4,000 feature films and projects from 140 different territories. Screenings are spread across more than 30 venues, while the market buzzes with over 200 events, encompassing 70 conferences, through May 22.

Following a bustling EFM and the interim period leading up to Cannes, the market appears to be in robust shape for mature packages primed for buyers. After day one, initial feedback from sales agents and buyers has been upbeat.

International distributors who persevered through the challenges have managed to revive their businesses despite prolonged periods of inactivity, surpassing the efforts of streaming platforms, which are grappling with the repercussions of investor flight, leading to dwindling content budgets.

Presently, there is an abundance of reasonably priced films featuring well-known actors and capable directors. Yet, despite the emphasis on the wealth of available projects, only a few have secured robust distribution deals, indicating that numerous scripts lack the quality and appeal needed to capture attention.

While dramas remain static, thrillers and horror films are experiencing the most significant surge in interest.

Domestic sales continue to struggle as numerous independent film enthusiasts opt to steer clear of theaters, a trend exacerbated by lingering lockdown effects and persistent admonishments from both filmmakers and the messages conveyed in their works.

Crucially, the values for domestic distribution have fallen precipitously, with advances only amounting to 25% to 40% of what they were sold for a few years ago.

There were few domestic deals during EFM and the subsequent period, and although offers are now beginning to emerge, they fall considerably below expectations. Nonetheless, optimism prevails as numerous top and mid-tier distributors, studios, and streaming platforms display renewed interest in the independent film market.

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Discover What Distributors Paid for Independent Films in the ‘Golden Age’

As the film distribution market rebounds to levels not seen in many years, understanding what distributors historically paid to acquire independent films is crucial to navigating the current market.

Navigating Disruption: Challenges in the Film Industry’s Evolution

The turbulence that has shaken the film industry since 2020 has compelled sales agents to reevaluate their approaches to packaging films for the Marché du Film. Distributors and streaming platforms, amid a diminishing streaming competition, are becoming more discerning in their acquisitions, prioritizing quality over quantity. The demand for traditional independent films has decreased unless they offer a distinctive selling proposition.

Buyers are currently on the lookout for distinctive films that can transcend the limitations of streaming algorithms. Although specialty distributors harbor some optimism for the recovery of the theatrical market, skepticism persists due to the enduring impact of years of disruptions and societal divisions.

Sales agents are adjusting their strategies, acknowledging the necessity for packages to showcase multiple well-known figures capable of engaging today’s easily distracted younger audiences. Furthermore, they recognize that projects without established talent attached are essentially non-starters in the competitive market, especially when seeking financing.

Despite the optimistic headlines leading up to Cannes, numerous industry insiders maintain a cautious stance regarding the future. The full effects of acquisitions made during Cannes won’t be evident until next year, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the industry’s trajectory.

Uncover What Streaming Services Pay to License Feature Films in Europe and North America

Worldwide Film & Television Distribution Intelligence

Get unparalleled access to market intelligence reports that draw on financial data and insights from dozens of content distribution deals worldwide between key industry participants.

Film and Series distribution rates and terms deriving from dozens of agreements for rights to transmit films and episodic television via PayTV and SVOD.

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Licensing Terms & Included Programs:

Pay-1 & SVOD Rate Cards for Motion Pictures and Series Exhibited Worldwide in Multiple Availability Windows

  • Motion Pictures: Pay-1, First Run, Second Window Features, Recent Library Features (Tiers AAA,A,B,C), Library Features (Tiers AAA,A,B,C), Current and Premium Made-For-TV Films and Direct-To-Video Films, covering many license periods over the last decade
  • Episodic TV: Current, Premium, Premium Catalog (1HR & 1/2HR), Catalog Series (1HR & 1/2HR), and Catalog Miniseries + Case Studies on Current Mega Hit, Catalog Mega Hit, and Premium Catalog, covering many licensing terms from 2012-2024
  • Because most-favored-nation rates operate in practice, the rates and terms apply to a diverse range of content and distributors worldwide in multiple availability windows.

FilmTake Away: How Disruption Could Bring Order

The disruptions have presented an opportunity to reshape filmmaking and reaffirm it as an art form that can once more captivate audiences’ imaginations.

To excel in today’s market, films must be developed with original narratives that explore untold stories, driven by talent capable of resonating with audiences while adhering to budgets that offer a chance of financial recovery.