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One of the ways a producer can finance a movie is by pre-selling the film to foreign territories. How does this work? Most countries do not have the infrastructure or resources necessary to sustain a viable film industry. Thus, these countries rely on Hollywood and other major film industries to provide them with content for their movie theaters and television networks.

 

 

 

Producers can negotiate a deal with distributors in these countries and pre-sell the distribution rights to their movie for that country. Then the producer can take these pre-sale agreements, i.e. contracts, to a bank that deals with entertainment finance and use them as collateral to secure a loan.

In order to pre-sell their movies to these foreign territories, a producer usually needs to have certain elements in place, like a marketable director or stars, before foreign distributors will consider buying the film. Genre is also a consideration. Action and horror films do well in the foreign market because their stories translate easily across cultures and are not reliant on dialogue.

Rambo IV poster

By the same measure, dramas and comedies fare poorly because of the language and culture quotient. Sequels to known films also sell well, hence why you find so many damn Children Of The Corn sequels at your local video store.

For those of you who are interested in seeing what your stories are worth in the foreign pre-sale market, here’s a table of estimates pulled from the Hollywood Reporter on the foreign pre-sale market.

 

BUDGET $750k-$1M $1M-$3M $3M-$6M $6M-$12M
EUROPE        
France

$30-60

$60-100

$100-200

$200-500

Germany/Austria

30-75

75-125

125-300

300-750

Greece

5-10

10-30

30-50

50-80

Italy

30-60

60-125

125-275

275-450

Netherlands

10-25

25-50

50-100

100-150

Portugal

5-10

10-30

30-60

60-150

Scandanavia

30-60

60-90

90-125

125-250

Spain

30-60

60-90

90-175

175-600

U.K.

40-80

80-150

150-200

200-600

         
ASIA/PACIFIC RIM        
Austrailia/New Zealand

$15-30

$30-60

$60-100

$100-160

Hong Kong

3-5

5-15

10-40

40-75

Indonesia

5-10

10-30

30-50

50-100

Japan

40-80

80-125

125-275

275-600

Malayasia

3-5

5-15

15-40

40-75

Phillipines

3-5

5-15

15-40

40-75

Singapore

3-5

5-15

15-40

40-75

South Korea

20-50

50-90

90-150

150-400

Taiwan

5-15

15-30

30-75

75-200

         
LATIN AMERICA        
Argentina/Paraguay/Uruguay

$2-5

$5-10

$10-25

$25-50

Bolivia/Ecuador/Peru

1-3

3-5

5-10

10-25

Brazil

15-30

30-60

60-90

90-200

Chile

2-5

5-10

10-25

25-50

Colombia

2-5

5-10

10-25

25-50

Mexico

15-30

30-50

50-90

90-150

Venezuela

2-5

5-10

30-75

25-50

         
EASTERN EUROPE        
Czech Republic/Slovakia

$5-10

$10-20

$20-50

$50-75

Former Yugoslavia

2-5

5-10

10-15

15-25

Hungary

10-20

20-40

40-75

75-100

Poland

5-10

10-25

25-60

60-85

Russia

20-50

50-100

100-150

150-300

         
OTHERS        
China

$3-5

$5-10

$10-15

$15-30

India

5-10

10-20

20-40

40-60

Israel

2-5

5-10

10-15

15-25

Middle East

2-5

5-10

10-15

15-30

South Africa

5-10

5-10

10-25

20-50

 

The numbers above reflect an estimated range of the value of movies to those particular territories. They are by no means set in stone. Having A-list stars or directors in a desirable genre can push the price of your film far above the range listed above while having a drama with unrecognizable actors, a first time director can push under the bottom of the range if you’re lucky enough to be able to sell the movie at all.

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