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How Do B-Movies Make A Profit?

  • 08-06-2020 7:33pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 10,943 ✭✭✭✭ the purple tin


    Turn on the Horror Channel during the day and the chances are you will stumble on a terrible B-movie. They are usually disaster or alien invasion flicks with terrible special effects, awful storylines and brutal acting by mostly unknown actors (occasionally there will be a semi-famous actor who you haven't seen in years).


    America is pumping these rubbish films out in the thousands and I can't understand how they actually make any money.
    They don't get shown in the cinema.
    They used to call them straight-to-video films but dvd has had it's day, and possibly the only place you can buy these films is in shops like Dealz where they sell for peanuts.
    They don't appear on Netflix or other on demand services.


    The only way I can see that they make money is from channels like Horror buying the films, and even then I can't see them making enough to cover the production costs. How much would they be paying for them realistically?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,382 ✭✭✭ FFVII


    Money laundering


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 40,086 ✭✭✭✭ Harry Palmr


    These films are made as a package and are usually presold to international distributors who have deals with countless broadcast companies and VOD around the world. For each channel the cost is small per transmission but add it all up and extend that number over decades and it does make economic sense for the production companies who churn out these potboilers. Long term investment in junk. Robo-Croc v Megashark 5 will still be playing somewhere/everywhere in 2060.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,695 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    In the case of Bond films, product placement. In fact I think a few of them earned their production budget back on placements alone. Any mainstream film with a very prominent real world product is absolutely getting a fat wad from that company.

    This is also why Hollywood has kinda gone insane. Budgets kept ballooning so projections started going out of control too. Used to be making back your budget was enough but now, with marketing a hidden cost, the profit margin has become more like 2x your production budget.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,943 ✭✭✭✭ the purple tin


    FFVII wrote: »
    Money laundering
    Like Christopher Moltisanti's horror film Cleaver :pac:


    pixelburp wrote: »
    In the case of Bond films, product placement. In fact I think a few of them earned their production budget back on placements alone. Any mainstream film with a very prominent real world product is absolutely getting a fat wad from that company.

    This is also why Hollywood has kinda gone insane. Budgets kept ballooning so projections started going out of control too. Used to be making back your budget was enough but now, with marketing a hidden cost, the profit margin has become more like 2x your production budget.


    I hadn't thought of that PB. Some easy extra income and maybe a load of freebies too.

    With the classic Bond films everyone was waiting to see what car he would be driving, or his wristwatch. Ever since the Brosnan films there has been a hullaballoo about what mobile phone Bond will have in the next film.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,445 ✭✭✭ Rodney Bathgate


    Amazon Prime Video seems to only buy B movie rights. (Slight exaggeration, but not far off the truth for their Irish offering anyway.)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,686 ✭✭✭ el Fenomeno


    Amazon Prime Video seems to only buy B movie rights. (Slight exaggeration, but not far off the truth for their Irish offering anyway.)

    I can only speak for myself, but I'll fight anyone who claims Jurassic Shark isn't a masterpiece.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,943 ✭✭✭✭ the purple tin


    I can only speak for myself, but I'll fight anyone who claims Jurassic Shark isn't a masterpiece.


    Crappy shark films seem to have become almost a sub-genre.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,207 ✭✭✭ p to the e


    I remember an interview with Kevin Smith where someone asked him if he was ever worried about being dropped by his distributor (he who shall not be named). Smith said that his films pull in only a few million at most but that the cost to make the film is usually no more than a million so you'd have to be the worst business man of all time to let someone go that is making you money no matter how small.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,943 ✭✭✭✭ the purple tin


    p to the e wrote: »
    I remember an interview with Kevin Smith where someone asked him if he was ever worried about being dropped by his distributor (he who shall not be named). Smith said that his films pull in only a few million at most but that the cost to make the film is usually no more than a million so you'd have to be the worst business man of all time to let someone go that is making you money no matter how small.


    I think I heard something similar about Uwe Boll, but they said that the German govt will pay a german film company that shoot their movie in Germany a decent percentage of their costs. There are also lots of grants available.

    So even when one of Boll's films make a loss the govt kickback means he still comes out on top.


  • Registered Users Posts: 860 ✭✭✭ geecee


    I think that some of them make money by fooling people into thinking that they are buying or renting a blockbuster

    The Asylum is an American independent film company and distributor that focuses on producing low-budget, direct-to-video films. The company has produced titles that capitalize on productions by major studios, often using film titles and scripts very similar to those of current blockbusters in order to lure customers. These titles have been dubbed "mockbusters" by the press.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Asylum_films


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,943 ✭✭✭✭ the purple tin


    geecee wrote: »
    I think that some of them make money by fooling people into thinking that they are buying or renting a blockbuster

    The Asylum is an American independent film company and distributor that focuses on producing low-budget, direct-to-video films. The company has produced titles that capitalize on productions by major studios, often using film titles and scripts very similar to those of current blockbusters in order to lure customers. These titles have been dubbed "mockbusters" by the press.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Asylum_films


    Independent's Day was a sly one :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,454 ✭✭✭✭ CastorTroy


    Transmorphers and the "sequel" to one of the highest grossing movies, Titanic 2. I skipped through Titanic 2 and found their equivalent of the "never let go" scene really funny/stupid

    I had a housemate a while back whose friend worked in film. He was told that no horror film has made a loss. I was thinking that can't really be true, yet how many directors have low budget horror movies in their early days? Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, at least. Seems to be the common genre to start with.

    I did like Z Nation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,029 ✭✭✭ Hande hoche!


    Crappy shark films seem to have become almost a sub-genre.

    Planet of the sharks was certainly memorable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,623 ✭✭✭ Homelander


    The Asylum's movies aren't just bad b-movies, they're completely unwatchable. Porn level production values and acting with special effects that look like they were rendered on a PS1.

    I suppose that's what happens when you rip-off $200,000,000 CGI-laden blockbusters with a budget of $500,000.

    There are endless amounts of brilliant b-movies out there that do amazing, creative things with small budgets. The Asylum movies though, I honestly can't imagine anyone manages to sit through any of them, they're just so god awful.

    The only time Asylum got it right was 'Sharknado', an instant 'so bad its good' cult classic. There are a few b-movies in that vein that in the right state of mind (basically drunk or high) with friends they can be somewhat entertaining.


  • Registered Users Posts: 56,306 ✭✭✭✭ Agent Coulson


    Dick Van Dyke's grandson directed Asylum's Titantic 2.

    The one thing Asylum got really right was there TV series Z Nation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,454 ✭✭✭✭ CastorTroy


    There's the Asylum-verse. Since it was established Sharknado takes place in the same universe as Z Nation and Lavalantula.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,207 ✭✭✭ p to the e


    Independent's Day was a sly one :pac:

    The only one that ever got me was "Atlantic Rim". I was looking at the title for too long knowing there was something wrong but just couldn't put my finger on it.


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