Liam Boluk has written an excellent four-part series, which should be read by anyone with an interest in movies or cultural economics. He addresses whether movies are a dying or shrinking business, and the installments are here:
- Part I: The US Film Industry is Not a Growth Business
- Part II: How the Major Studios can Drive Domestic Growth
- Part III: Saving Independent Filmmaking
- No More 1UPs: Why Video Game Studios Keep Dying
Here is one excerpt from number three:
One of the primary barriers to indie success and growth comes from screen distribution. In 2013, 50% of indie films were released on fewer than ten screens – nearly half of which maxed at only two. The reason for this is simple: the audience for the average indie film tends to be small and heavily concentrated in select cities (New York, San Francisco, Portland). As a result, expanding a film’s footprint into additional markets – even cities such as Seattle, Washington DC or Atlanta – can be financially destructive. Yet, even as the theater count is scaled, total performance can remain modest.
And here is Boluk’s blog.