The film business is notoriously unpredictable. It’s also rapidly changing. Over the years, the sight of big studio “sure fire hits” failing spectacularly have been matched equally by the low budget breakout heroes, punching above their weight.
Some of the flops include King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), which cost over $175m and is reputed to have lost a whopping $150m, and Disney’s John Carter (2012) which lost over $120m. Then there was Monster Trucks, 47 Ronin and The Adventures of Pluto Nash, which collectively lost over $300m. The fact that you have probably never heard of these films says everything you need to know.
When it comes to entertainment, we will flock in our millions to the stories that move us and inspire us and we will pay to see them, sometimes more than once. We are emotional beings with a huge appetite for stories about love, conflict, intrigue, fantasy, success and failure. We make a decision to
And yet, we’ve all heard of the breakouts – the independent movie hits that captured our hearts.
Cassian Elwes on the set of Mudbound
watch a movie based on reviews, word of mouth, star talent, awards and sometimes because it just feels right – but rarely do we make a choice to see a film based on the size of its budget.
Marcus Markou on the set of Papadopoulos & Sons
Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty, My Big Fat Greek Wedding between them grossed nearly $1bn. The total budgets of those three movies was $25m.
We cannot guarantee success. No one in the film business can. Every investment in a movie is a huge risk. The truth is no one really knows whether a story will connect with an audience or not.
In that respect, we believe Movie Collective is unique: a fan funded movie business that makes high quality, low budget, independent films that can be sold either directly to one of the big emerging buyers, like Netflix, or to distributors and broadcasters in multiple territories.
This is not an EIS movie pitch. We are not an EIS movie vehicle for wealthy investors looking to make savings on an income tax bill. We are a film business that puts the story and its creative team at the heart of what we do, making high quality movies for a fraction of what a blockbuster is made for. It means the money we raise from the crowd can go into a slate of projects – not a single EIS vehicle.
The low budget independent film that puts the story at its heart will always attract high calibre talent and will represent a good opportunity for a return.
Cassian Elwes details Netflix's "Mudbound" acquisition at a Toronto International Film Festival industry panel. (Source: Rick Clifford, TIFF)
It is this combination of a lower budget, together with high calibre talent, that founder and CEO Cassian Elwes has built his name on. Cassian is at the heart of this opportunity. And it is one being co-driven by Marcus Markou – an internet entrepreneur but also a writer and director who successfully self-distributed his own independent movie to great acclaim.
Marcus Markou on the set of the short film Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times