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The Indie Box-Office Crash Diet

By S.T. VanAirsdale

The heroic, tireless Gregg Goldstein returned to The Hollywood Reporter's NYC beat Monday with a 2007 indie distribution box-office report boasting more booby traps than a Fallujah cul-de-sac:

These are sobering times for the independent film industry. Box office revenue for films from indie distributors and specialty divisions dropped 11.9% from $1.32 billion in 2006 to $1.16 billion in 2007, while the number of indies in theaters increased from 501 to 530.

Even more disturbing, only 16 of the films grossed more than $20 million (nearly half of them by a slim margin), down from 20 in 2006.

The biggest story of 2007 might be that 350 indie films -- two-thirds of the list -- failed to reach even $250,000 in ticket sales, an increase from 313 in 2006. All this at a time when overall 2007 domestic box-office hit a record high of $9.62 billion, a 5% increase from 2006, according to Nielsen EDI.

"Sobering" my ass; if you concentrate through the smoke, you can probably smell the hard liquor in a few dozen industry coffee cups this morning. But I'm staying positive even as I'm numb; read on for stats and surveys from indies, mini-majors and boutiques.

Posted at January 8, 2008 8:16 AM

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