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More Theaters Catering to Niche Audiences

11/01/2010
Industry News

Even as many companies are down-scaling or closing independent film distribution sources, the number of theaters supporting such films continue to grow. Films such as ‘Waiting For Superman’ and ‘It’s Kind of  A Funny Story,” which are being distributed by AMC Independent, show that there are still audiences who crave niche stories, even as the business is changing for independent films. Audiences continue to demand independent films even as Hollywood-based companies fail to profit from the independent scene. As the larger companies scale back their focus on promoting smaller films, new, smaller, more aggressive distributors continue to draw audiences to theaters that previously had one, or no screens for low-budget features.

Proof of this growth lies in places like New York, where the famous Angelika Film Center has expanded to the cities of Dallas and Houston. Even Roger Ebert believes that the exodus of Hollywood studios from the distribution of smaller pictures is a good thing. “The big studios don’t always do the best job with indies because they’re fighting with themselves for screens,” Ebert states. “There are lots of good movies and audiences for them — here (in Chicago) at least. The problem is breaking out of the larger markets.”

It cannot be denied that many companies have ended smaller distribution routes but companies such as Roadside Attractions, Music Boxes, Kinos and Strands are filling the void with successes of their own. The distribution methods may be changing rapidly for smaller films, but the audiences continue to fill seats for the pictures that stand apart from Hollywood’s mainstream appeal.

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