by Dick Rolfe, CEO
The 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, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Brave, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, The Lorax, Wreck-It Ralph, and Ice 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: Courageous, October Baby, The Frontier Boys, Monumental, A Mile in His Shoes, Me Again, Three Hearts, Rescued, Trinity Goodheart, What God Hath Wrought, Freedom Fighter, 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.