76 – Distribution Case Study: A Field in England

A film called A field in England attempted to break this model. A field in England is a art house film directed by british director Ben Wheatley.

This film got funding from the likes of the BFI and Film 4 but it’s budget was nowhere near the millions of the bigger studios so it could never achieve the cinema releases and marketing of the tent pole films. So instead of a nationwide cinema release A Field in England was instead released simultaneously across every platform (TV, Picturehouse Cinema’s, Itunes, VOD and DVD and Blu ray). This is practically unheard of for a studio to do but proved successful for A field in England and allowed them to reach a wider audience than they would have been able to. However this method I believe, even though it may have made A field in England more money, if this method was applied to the next Star Wars movie it would actually made the studio less money. As I believe the cinema experience is becoming less and less valued by the general public and people (assuming they wanted the film legally) would prefer to buy the dvd or rent the film on a video on demand service.

A Field in England’s budget £316,879 with a 112,000 of that money devoted to marketing the movie. The film then went on to make £21,399 in theatrical revenue from 17 venues. Total DVD and Blu-Ray sales on Friday and Saturday was 1,462 units. The figure for ITunes and VOD services was over 1000. This means it is unlikely that they made back the initial investment or at least it will take a long time to pay it off. Especially as the marketing was geared up for the opening weekend so the peak of the sales would be expected to occur then. As they appear to have not broke even during that weekend it is unlikely that they will in the future as the sales will dramatically lower as time goes on. However some of the initial investment came from charitable sources such as the BFI (British Film Institution) who contributed £56,701. The BFI and other charitable organisations will not expect their money back. The majority of the rest of the money was financed by Film 4 who would be very interested in making their money back. As it seems very likely that did not and will not make their investment back I find it incredibly unlikely that Film 4 would attempt this strategy again as they will not make profit. Or if they were to attempt the same strategy it may work for a slightly less niche film. Perhaps a lower budgeted film that aims more towards a younger audience who will use internet services more than the demographic of 25-34 year olds that A Field in England appealed to.

The total sales as of 12th October are £51,409 in box office revenues, 7,577 DVD/Blu-Ray sales, 714 Film 4OD rentals, 3,133 iTunes rentals, 1,746 Virgin media rentals and 680 iTunes purchases. These figures suggest to me that the film has still made a loss overall. However it can be seen that a lot of the revenue was still made in the opening weekend.

Part of the marketing campaign involved building an online digital masterclass which gave visitors to the page an insight into the making of the film. This site attracted 80,000 page views and 54,000 visits by the middle of October. \

The director Ben Wheatley and members of the cast were tweeting about the film to their many followers. In the cinema exit polls it was revealed the online campaign made up for 45% of the awareness for the film. 54% of under-35s said online advertising and social media was it’s primary source of awareness, compared with 35% in the older age range.

The critical reaction to the film was strong and was given an 88% score of Rotten Tomatoes. In the cinema exit poll the film was rated 29% and 41% very good giving it a total score of 70%, 10% above the UK norm. However as the cinema release was fairly small so a lot of the people going would have already been fans of Ben Wheatley’s work. Also if the majority of awareness came from Twitter it could be implied that the cinemagoers must have followed Ben Wheatley on Twitter which makes it incredibly likely they were fans of his work.

To increase the value of cinema’s many additional services have been provided by cinema’s namely IMAX and 3D screenings. Both would be costly and almost impossible to replicate on a home cinema system and definitely impossible on the current generation of Ipods, pads and phones. This may then encourage more people to go the cinema for films instead. Also there is a growing number of pop up cinema’s which are basically simple projectors placed in unlikely settings across the country in order to seem quirky and out there. People then decorate the areas with relevant decorations and encourage costumes and the like. Also wacky and interesting food may be required. All of these efforts are to make the cinema more fun and appealing for a cinema goer. Personally I’d much rather just sit in a standard movie theatre but people like me are going to become a niche as we go into the future that is ruled by flimsy little tablet computers. For bonus blog satisfaction points from the last sentence guess how I feel about tablet computers. If you guessed that I hate them then you just won 10 blog satisfaction points. Good for you.

75 – #DaveCalls and Obama on Between two ferns?

So last week during the rising tensions between America and Russia David Cameron tweeted a picture of himself on the phone to Barack Obama. Seen below.


You would think this rather serious image could not possibly lead anywhere. But we live in the internet age and this picture quickly became a meme. Many celebrities began imitating the image in new wacky scenarios including Graham Lineham, writer of Father Ted and The IT Crowd.


But possibly the peak of the celebrities jumping on board was Patrick Stewart who continued the sublime mocking of Cameron.


I bet he had a slippery connection. I shouldn’t try to make jokes. The climax of this meme for me though was the following picture which did a rather interesting ‘face’ swap.


So while the world were having fun mocking our prime minister, america’s president Barack Obama was appearing on Between Two Ferns, Zach Galifianakis awkward mock celebrity interview web series. The series has been running for a few years now under the mantle of Funny Or Die, Will Ferrel’s comedy video site. I had found the series myself a few months ago and found it absolutely hilarious. The last person I expected to appear on the show was though the President of the United States. In this interview they both traded quips and insults at each other in one of the funniest exchanges between a president and a comedian I’ve seen.


The surprise I had to this clip was only comparable to the moment Daniel Craig stood opposite the Queen for the olympics. Obama then goes on to make a plug about the United States health service. It’s a very rare moment for a incredibly powerful politician to appear on a web series. A web series that often includes a lot of immature humour, the following are some examples of the strange humour in the series in the form of a selection of gifs.



I imagine the main reasoning behind this is that Obama want’s to reach the younger people of America and make them aware of his new healthcare initiatives. Going onto a popular web series is a perfect way of achieving this and because of the shock factor it quickly started trending on Twitter and Facebook. It’s actually very clever marketing because it is so blatant but yet so hilarious and the ratio of humour to healthcare information is just perfect so that people are sharing this video saying it’s funny and inadvertently promoting Obama. It’s a refreshing way for a politician to spread a message and has been interpreted very positively, unlike David Cameron who’s been face swapped with an inanimate object. On that note I leave you with Bruce Willis.