EXCLUSIVE: What Maisie Knew outperforms A Field in England, A Late Quartet on VOD.

The BFI and a handful of UK independent distributors have revealed a number of VOD results for films backed through the BFI’s New Models distribution scheme.

At a packed London Film Festival industry event, the BFI revealed VOD numbers for films including A Late Quartet, A Field in England and What Maisie Knew.

Artificial Eye’s theatrical success A Late Quartet, which took box office of £528,987, fared modestly on VOD, taking £26,274 from 6,005 VOD transactions.

The film, a grey-pound hit at the box office which didn’t translate as well to VOD, went on to sell 6,813 DVD and BluRay units.

A Field in England, which was released in cinemas, TV and VOD on the same day, also failed to generate big numbers on VOD, accumulating 6,212 transactions for £15,000. The film’s theatrical take was £51,409.

Ben Wheatley’s psychedelic civil war drama shifted 7,172 physical units.

However, Artificial Eye drama What Maisie Knew fared considerably better, taking £356,633 theatrically and securing 20,602 VOD transactions for £65,832 after it was released at a lower price-point than A Late Quartet. The film is released on DVD in October.

Recently released A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology has so far clocked theatrical box office of £55,817 and 442 VOD transactions.

All numbers are to date.

Speaking at the event were Ben Luxford (Curzon Film World), Gabriel Swartland (Picturehouse), Oli Harbottle (Dogwoof) and Anna Higgs (Film4 / Film 4.0).

No one-size-fits-all

Discussing the release of A Field in England, Higgs said: “We have learned that we need to find a new narrative for each film. There isn’t a one size fits all model.

“There are things we might want to change in future. We may not be able to put the film on TV without adverts, for example, because of Channel 4’s model.”

“The key thing moving ahead is to understand that the kind of releases we’re discussing took an immense amount of work from the filmmakers and partners. The challenge is how to make this kind of bespoke release sustainable.”

Higgs told ScreenDaily that Film4 has “no immediate plans to replicate the exact model” of A Field in England.

Theatrical experience important

The panel agreed that price points remain key for audiences when it came to VOD take-up but there was also recognition that the theatrical experience remains paramount for distributors and audiences.

Geography also remains key, with the panel agreeing that VOD offers a vital option for those without cinemas nearby.

Picturehouse’s Swartland said about exhibitor-distributor shared risk: “On A Field in England we had a perfect alchemy of partners. Replicating that will be very hard.

“But there is a lot we have learned from this…I don’t think any of these VOD releases are models. I think they are experiences. We should learn from elements of the release, like we did with A Field in England.”

The BFI has already published its Insight Report for A Late Quartet and in October will publish further reports for A Field in England, What Maisie Knew, Frances Ha and InRealLife.

The LFF event was hosted by the BFI Distribution Fund and led by head of distribution Alex Stolz and senior distribution manager Katie Ellen.

For the BFI’s Insight report, click here.

For a more in-depth look at the UK VOD debate click here: http://www.screendaily.com/5062241.article