Indie sales dip in ’93 to $ 1.2 bil

Led by such films as “The Crying Game,””Cliffhanger,””The Piano,””Much Ado About Nothing” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” the independent film companies of the American Film Marketing Assn. generated revenue in excess of $ 1.2 billion in the international marketplace for the fiscal year, which ended June 30, 1993.

While the figure, announced by AFMA Monday, is down 3% from the previous year’s total of $ 1.3 billion, gross revenue for fiscal 1993 was the second-highest in AFMA’s 14-year history.

The total does not include revenue flowing to major studios that may have had distribution rights to certain indie films.

According to the association,while the theatrical market rebounded, there was a decline in video revenue — usually a consistent performer — throughout the world by 8%. That appears to be an indication that video piracy continues to plague the indies.

Despite the overall drop, revenue from cinemas, driven by improved performance in Europe and the Far East, was up 3% to $ 374 million, compared with the 1992 figure of $ 362 million. Sales to video, pay and broadcast TV dipped by 6% to $ 890 million from 1992’s take of $ 943 million.

Euro tops

As expected, Europe continues to be AFMA’s largest-grossing region, generating $ 753 million. That figure represents 60% of all revenue and is up from 1992’s share of 59%. While the 1993 share was higher, the figure was still below 1992’s take of $ 765 million.

While France showed an overall hike of 56% with a total of $ 135 million, compared with 1992’s $ 86 million — the largest increase by a single country — Germany had a drop of 34% in video, with revenue from its usually strong video market declining by 46% to $ 38 million from $ 71 million in 1992.

Far East big

The Far East — the second-largest revenue-producing region overseas — was also a big winner, with its share of revenue in all media growing to $ 301 million, up 21% from 1992’s $ 272 million.

The year’s largest single gain in revenue from European theaters occurred in Spain, which improved by 74% to $ 31 million from the 1992 total of $ 18 million.

40% participation

The annual survey, which covers the licensing of English-language films to cinemas, homevideo, cable and television, had a 40% participationrate among the 107 companies that are members of the world’s largest organization of independent, international film producers and distributors.

Among AFMA’s members are Turner Pictures Worldwide, Carolco, Viacom Pictures, Republic Pictures Intl., Odyssey Distributors, New Line Cinema, Miramax Intl., Spelling Films Intl. and the Samuel Goldwyn Co.

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