Man, the Scooby Doo cosplay is off the hook now, isn't it?
Here's where we stand. The theater we had the premiere at is claiming they sold a total of 76 tickets.
Even though the day before the screening they told me they'd sold 91, and I know a bunch of people bought tickets the day of. (the theater says 26 were sold the day of the premiere)
They apologized and now claim that the 45 reserve spots I told them not to sell(for cast/crew) were IN those totals they gave me, even those those totals always said "X amount of tickets sold".
As I just pointed out to them, if all this is true, then a grand total of 116 people were at the theater. (only 40 of my comps showed up). This means there was 100 empty seats in that theater that night.
Nearly half empty. Anybody reading this who was there? Did the theater look half empty? (it didn't to me)
I took a pic about 5 minutes before the screening, but it doesn't encompass the whole auditorium(couldn't get back far enough for my iphone lens). Even that doesn't look like there's that many empty seats besides the front two rows, and at least 15 people came in after the movie started.
So I'm in a shitty, shitty position. I have to reach out to see if I can find more than 76 people who bought tickets. If I can, I can prove Landmark's lying. Then I can pressure them to come up with real numbers.
As it stands, though, I lost about $400 on the premiere.
I will never have another movie premiere, PERIOD. Not a fucking chance in hell.
Odds are about 99% that I'm done making movies. There's just no upside. It's grueling, unfulfilling in general, and just sucks money with very little possibility any more of making that money back.
As I've said before, unless we hit the bonus--which seems unlikely--I'm going to lose money on the flick. And I'll be forced to face a choice that's basically the equivalent of gambling double-or-nothing.
Let's say I make $5K from A-zon on the movie, which seems possible on just views. That's 5 million minutes. We did that in 2 months on the first flick. I will have lost, at that point, about $5K.
Do I stop there, take the $5K and start paying some bills? Or do I take that $5K and use an aggregator to get the movie out on other platforms in an attempt to generate more money? Knowing that I could just lose that money on top of the money I've already lost?
See why I don't get much sleep?
It's crazy to think that I'm viewed as a reasonably successful filmmaker whose movies have been viewed by over 5 million people, but for all intents and purposes I'm broke, with zero savings. Christ, I may go work in Trader Joe's with that Cosby actor, at this point.
I've always taken the money I've made from movies and put them into the next movie. I don't like gambling with other people's money, and I always thought that sooner or later the market would come around--there are more eyeballs watching more movies on more devices than any time in history.
Yet we creatives are going bankrupt trying to make art(or just entertain, in my case).
I know, this is the most upbeat blog EVER, isn't it?
(I seriously wish I'd never taken that first film class...I'd be a computer science major making good money. I'd be unhappy creatively, but I'd have money. Hell, I'm fairly unhappy creatively anyway, so I'd just as soon have money.)
I'm starting to wonder if it's too late to change careers.