Reporting theatrical box office alone doesn't give the full picture of a film's performance. Most indie distributors won't report VOD transactions, even though they may eclipse theatrical revenue (especially on day-and-date and ultra-VOD releases).
There are some exceptions. Radius-TWC released numbers for its recent documentaries; John Sloss' Cinetic Media and its sister company FilmBuff have also reported VOD numbers and called on other distributors to do the same.
But we want these numbers. And we'll keep pushing until we have them.
Rentrak's Digital Download Essentials service announces the top 10 digital movie purchases and rentals each week, but the company hasn't created a separate list for independent films -- since most indie distributors won't release those figures. (Rentrak said they hope to be able to provide such a list in a few months.)
Each Monday, we present you with the most up-to-date list of the top 10 indie movies in the iTunes store, combining rentals and purchases, but without data from Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services (and no hard numbers), the information provides just a glimpse into the VOD business for independent film.
In addition, this week, Hulu Plus provided Indiewire with their list of top 10 independent titles on the streaming service. Given that many of the titles are old, it's not instructive in terms of the current indie marketplace. However, in the quest for transparency, we're happy to have as much information as possible.
Check out the list below (with distributor and theatrical release date) and draw your own conclusions:
1. "Two Lovers" (Magnolia, 2009)
2. "Broken" (Film Movement, 2013)
3. "Take This Waltz" (Magnolia, 2012)
4. "Monsieur Lazhar" (Music Box Films, 2012)