In a series of tweets this morning UK filmmaker Duncan Jones–who won an emerging filmmaker prize from BAFTA for his low-budget sci-fi film Moon—bares his rage about not making money on the film. Sorry, but these days few indies do. Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group acquired the film in many territories, some of which were sold to various distribs. Sony Pictures Classics liked the film and asked to release it in the US. Among theatrical distribs SPC is relatively good about not overspending and sharing money with their filmmakers, although there wasn’t much to share in this case.
SPC had nothing to do with the DVD release, which Jones is unhappy about.
Read the tweets backwards, most recent first:
Im actually quite upset right now.
UK DVD sales of Moon a healthy 120,000+. US numbers? Less than half that… due to huge number of “free” copies given to rental companies.
then they can split rental revenue with those chains, and pay the film makers… you guessed it… nothing.
Did you know that sometimes, when a studio wants to screw an indie film, they actually “give away” the DVD to large rental chains? …
Just learned how we got “got” by the studio on Moon, and wont be getting any revenue from it. Very angry.
UPDATE: Later on, he took all these tweets down and posted:
Shouldn’t try to understand revenue reporting. didn’t have all the info. Being assured it’s all as it should be… Will stick to directing!
Having particularly rough day today… going to try and keep my head down and concentrate on SC. Its going to be a fun watch, I think. :)
(He’s referring to Summit’s currently filming Source Code, from a script by Billy Ray, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga and Michelle Monaghan.)