Benefits of a Long Theatrical Window and Outreach Drives Audiences: My Love Affair with Marriage

by | December 7, 2023 | Newsletter

Day and Date used to be the thing, then a huge variety of short window variations Day and Week, Day and Month, PVOD etc. In my very first article about film distribution in Filmmaker Magazine I espoused the benefits of (and claimed to invent) a two month window. But these days are benefits for an even longer theatrical window followed by an equally long community and educational window. 

My Love Affair With Marriage which we premiered in NYC on October 6th is still in theaters (3 months/30 cities and counting) with a number of screenings in January and even into February as we transition to community and educational screenings for Winter/Spring 2024. We cast a wide outreach net for theatrical but not every partner was able to support a screening in a theater so there is now a long list eager for community screenings in addition to universities and museums.  We have found over 5 campaigns this year is that what brings in audience is outreach to community groups. Thats why we bring on an impact producer for every release.  As Brian Newman called it out last week unless you have a substantial ad budget,  ads do not sell tickets (I’d love to hear from any who have had success with ads driving ticket sales). 

The My Love Affair With Marriage filmmakers Signe Baumane and Sturgis Warner surveyed all of their audiences as to what brought them to the theater and in all the screenings only one audience member came from an ad.  There are many problems with using social ads for theatrical (eg. tracking and retargeting are essentially non-existent) but you really have to saturate a target audience to have any effect.  Outreach is where it is at.