Indie world beats b.o. blues


Indie filmmakers appear to be defying a general worldwide boxoffice slump for U.S. movies with an estimated $3.08 billion in international sales in 2005 — up from $2.91 billion the previous year, according to Independent Film & Television Alliance estimates (HR 11/1).

According to IFTA, the $3.1 billion relates only to sales outside the U.S.

"The last year has proven that the independents worldwide are extremely strong both creatively and in the marketplace," IFTA president and CEO Jean Prewitt said. "We believe that this year's AFM, which is the largest in the event's history, is a clear indication of the vibrancy of our business."

For 2005, IFTA members' revenue — based on figures compiled by the trade body's research and strategic analysis department — are said to have increased year-over-year across theatrical, television, home video, pay TV and wherever else filmed entertainment can be marketed in the digital era.

Of the $3.08 billion estimated to have been collected last year, 61.2%, or $1.8 billion, came from Europe, with Germany (including Austria) crowned as the indies' best customer with a payout of $493.5 million, followed by the U.K., $287.1 million; France (including French-speaking Belgium), $272.8 million; Spain, $261.2 million; Italy, $258.4 million; Benelux, $108.9 million; Scandinavia, $97 million; and Other (Greece, Portugal and Switzerland), $107 million.