ONCE and Once Again

7 03 2008

For those of you, like myself, who were charmed and emboldened by the success of the Fox Searchlight movie ONCE, you might be interested in Portfolio’s article on the business of ONCE. Though predictably titled “Once In A Liftetime” (a reminder that writers don’t write headlines), it notes that the film has made an ROI of 10,000 times its investment.

The article doesn’t really go very deeply into why the film became a success (the writer, a realistic love story and a soundtrack with indie-rock street cred”) but it does show how a studio can make enough money if they give up the concept of massive release and ad buys. Originally, there was no television advertising for the film. It was only after the film opened really and stayed there, that you started seeing ads on some of cooler shows.

I’ve previously posted an entry about the studios’ inability to think small. One big movie that makes $100,000,000 is worth more than ten movies that make $10,000,000 to them. Sadly, films like ONCE and JUNO (also from Fox Searchlight — something must be working in their heads over there), seem to thought of as the exceptions that prove the rule.

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