The following information was compiled by cross-referencing several articles, books, and resources on the success of the self-distribution of the film "What the Bleep Do We Know." Watch the film here.
WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW (2004)
Part documentary, part narrative, part animation, this film digs deep into the new theories and paradigms of quantum physics, and successfully made this new complicated science a popular topic of conversation in the public eye. A divorced photographer’s uninspired daily routine is abruptly altered when she begins asking herself important questions of the nature of her own reality and existence. Her life quickly unravels into a fantastic Alice-in-Wonderland vision that begs her to ask: Is this real? What is real? Am I real? Who/what am I? As premiere scientists, neurologists, and gurus try to answer her questions, we get a glimpse into the exciting new discoveries of the nature of our existence and the existence of the universe.
Source of Funds:
• region-based self-marketing for a niche audience
• grassroots web-based promotion to get people to go to the theater
• recruiting street teams locally in the region they want to screen
• spiritual communities like Sedona, Nor Cal, So Cal, Hawaii
• self-distribution to theaters first
• started the film in Yelm, WA – they begged until the theater allowed them to screen it
• one week turned into a seven week run
• second theater in Portland, OR(Baghdad Theater where some of the film was shot) – one week turned in to 18 weeks (7,000 tickers sold per week)
• screenings so successful that they finally landed a distribution deal with Samuel Goldwyn/Roadside Attractions
• released the film on 60 screens five months after the original release
• Fox Home Video picked up the video rights and marketed the DVD very aggressively.
• 11% of online DVD pre-orders were for multiple copies
• 201,728 likes on Facebook
• hundreds of thousands of YouTube video views
• 1,200 Twitter followers
• US Domestic: $10.7 million
• Foreign Gross: $5mil
• over 1,000,000 DVDs shipped within the first six months
What other self-distribution case studies have you heard about? Leave a comment below!
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Watch the film.
What the Bleep on Hulu.
What the Bleep on YouTube.
What the Bleep website.
Watch the Trailer.
What the Bleep on Sheri Candler Blog.
What the Bleep in Independent Film Distribution by Phil Hall.
What the Bleep in Insider's Guide to Indie Film Distribution by Stacey Parks.
What the Bleep on IMDb.
What the Bleep on Wikipedia.
What the Bleep on Rotten Tomatoes (terrible score but great film).
What the Bleep on Facebook.
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What the Bleep Do We Know
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Live at the Beacon Theater
Favor vs. Ten 'Til Noon
Sound it Out
The Way We Get By