John Sloss Dares Indie Film Distributors to Start Reporting VOD Grosses

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John Sloss

"Escape From Tomorrow" will be the first film to share its numbers on the website of Cinetic's sister company FilmBuff.

In a provocative dare, John Sloss' Cinetic Media is calling on independent distributors to begin reporting VOD grosses for films debuting simultaneously in theaters and on digital platforms.

Cinetic is starting with the films that go through its affiliated distribution entity, Producers Distribution Agency.

Theatrical and VOD grosses will be posted as one number every Monday on the website of Cinetic's sister company FilmBuff, beginning with Escape From Tomorrow, the feature film shot without permission at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. In its first two weeks, the film has earned nearly as much on VOD and other digital platforms ($120,560) as it has in its limited theatrical run ($139,334).

VIDEO: Trailer: Sundance Hit 'Escape From Tomorrow' Continues to Jab at Disney

Distributors relying heavily on VOD, such as IFC Films and Magnolia, have been loath to report VOD and other digital grosses.

Sloss argues this stops filmmakers and producers from embracing day-and-date releases, when in fact their movies could do better if they did.

"At Cinetic, we strongly believe that transparency promotes smarter choices and innovation. We designed the Multi-Screen Gross statistic to help filmmakers make more informed decisions when choosing between traditional theatrical scenarios and day-and-date releases," Sloss said. "Unless and until someone better-positioned comes along to perform this function, we are committed to leading this charge toward reporting transparency."
Cinetic said distributors and filmmakers can provide their data to Multi-Screen Gross.
"We call upon those distributors who have been pioneers of the day-and-date evolution to supply Cinetic with their cable and broadband VOD gross numbers so we can post a comprehensive snapshot of the distribution industry each week," Sloss said.