What does a Distributor do?
Distribution executives are responsible for the marketing and releasing of a film or television series. They must have a core understanding of what an audience likes and must be able to analyze a film critically. The executive should also be able to keep up with cultural trends and have a general understanding of box office trends.
Distribution executives seek out new content by viewing films from around the world at film festivals and markets. If they find content that they like, the executive then negotiates with the production company or sales agent to acquire the rights to release the film. The deal's terms could include the exhibition rights, term period, distribution fee, marketing and advertising expenses, delivery expenses, and territories—not an exhaustive list. The executive may also be responsible for any merchandising/ancillary rights.
After acquiring the rights, the distribution executive determines the releasing strategy and sets a release date for the film. The distributor decides how the film will be exhibited, such as theaters, television, video-on-demand, streaming platforms, and DVDs. From there, they pitch the film or television series to exhibitors. Once they agree upon terms with the exhibitor, they deliver the film and any marketing assets.
The distribution executive is responsible for ensuring a marketing and advertising campaign is executed to the fullest extent to help the exhibitor attract the largest possible audience.
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