by Dick Rolfe, CEO
People’s Choice Awards for music, film and television were handed out on January
9th. Now that the people have spoken, the “Pat ourselves on the back ‘cause
we’re good!” awards season is about to begin. As of January 10th, the nominees
have been announced for the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards (Screen
Actors Guild), the Spirit Awards (Independent Filmmakers), the BAFTA Awards
(British Film and Television Artists), and not to be left out – The Critics’
Choice Awards (those folks who are included in the Rotten Tomatoes scale). All
the nominees will be breathlessly running from venue to venue seeking votes and
preparing their acceptance speeches.
The numbers of popular votes tallied at these
award shows are not nearly as important as numbers that are preceded by dollar
signs, which is one reason for awards shows in the first place. The studios hype
certain films for their “creative expression” that most patrons overlooked. The
hope is that more of us will show up at the box office the second time around.
I usually avoid touting U.S. box office
revenues because they represent less than 40% of the total grosses once you add
in DVD, TV, foreign, digital, and merchandise royalties. And, investors care
more about the bottom line, or net profits, which vary greatly given the wide
disparity of production costs between films.
That said, there is some value in looking at
the rankings and revenues of the top earners in the US. It is especially
interesting to note that 50% of the 14 top grossing films for 2012 are Dove
Family Approved. They include,
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,
Wreck-It Ralph, and
Age: Continental Drift. These 7 films so far have grossed a total of
$1.9 billion (with a “B”), or nearly ½ of the box office revenue of the top 14.
The top box office titles are usually big budget films produced by the major
studios. But there are more terrific movies to choose from.
Faith and family-oriented films produced by
independent filmmakers are not usually found among the top-ranking box office
sellers, but they are often the best source for character-driven stories with
meaningful messages that fall within Dove’s standards. These include
lesser-known, but highly rated films for 2012 such as:
Mile in His Shoes,
What God Hath Wrought,
Last Ounce of Courage, and
Divorcing God. All of these fine films are now available on DVD or VOD.
These independent filmmakers tell me it’s tough
to secure financing for faith and family films. That’s partly due to the lack of
information available to investors. (Dove’s
2012 Film Profitability Study is filled with positive evidence that every
investor should see.) If they knew how profitable this category of films is,
they would be standing in line with open checkbooks. We must remember that a
critical part of the equation is sales revenue. And that comes from those of us
who are committed to supporting high quality, inspirational, uplifting movies by
purchasing a ticket and/or a DVD or VOD. That is the only way to show investors
that their money has been well-spent.
At Dove, we believe that the audience we serve
is far more interested in films that are both inspiring and safe for family
viewing. So, beginning on February 1st, we will offer you the opportunity to go
online and vote for your favorite Dove Family Approved movie of 2012. The
winners in each of seven categories will receive the CRYSTAL DOVE SEAL
award. Tune in then and cast your vote.