One of the first key decisions a producer has to make is the genre of the film. This will guide most decisions through production. Each genre is different and there are some other factors to consider.
There are plenty of articles about the best genres for Return on Investment (the difference between the budget and the box office returns); however, I wanted to find out what other factors can push high Return on Investment (ROI).
Six factors with established audience appeal have been identified through my research of 2016’s theatrical releases. These categories cross over in many ways, but they distinctly have the ability to draw an audience.
1. Source Material Based
A script with well-known source material has a built in audience. These films generally do very well regardless of execution. That is because there are thousands (if not millions) of fans ready to line up and pay for a ticket the moment the movie is announced.
This source material ranges from comic books and novels to video games and board games. The latter of those two generally don’t make “good” movies, but they do make money.
2. Name Talent (Stars) Attached
Another clear draw for audiences are familiar stars. Either actors or directors that are well known will almost certainly lift ticket sales. This isn’t a guaranteed, so it had better be a good movie… or at least decent.
Attaching big stars comes with the obvious drawback of inflating the budget and is likely an unattainable goal for most relatively new producers.
Getting familiar faces on screen is something to think about though when trying to convince an audience your film is worth paying for.
3. Thoroughly Scare-Filled Horrors
These next four factors are genres that are derived from the study I referenced earlier in the post. They all seem to stand on their own without source material or attached stars.
4. Hillariously On-Point Comedy
Comedy ranking so high actually surprised me. Even without big stars attached, they were able to pull in large audiences.
5. Heart-Pounding Thrillers
The thriller genre often crosses over into horror, so it’s no surprise it ranks so high. There were a few thrillers, however, that we not technically horror films.
These heart-racing films are hard to make, but can be pulled off with a great script and solid execution. Attaching a big name like The Shallows did with Blake Lively can help a lot, but it’s not necessary.
6. Inspiring Faith-Based Films
Figuring out which factor you might want to lean on will take some time. Think through the pros and cons of each one before diving in.
If you’re deeply entrenched in a certain genre that’s not on this list, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a movie in that genre. You’re likely to make the best movies when you’re passionate about the genre.
Making movies in other genres that are successful will require more attention to the first two factors and film festivals.
In the next post, we’ll be covering what to do once you have selected a genre to focus on.
You can always refer to the overview if you want to skip around to different topics and wrap your head around everything.
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Comment below if you have any opinions about these factors or any that I might have missed.
Thanks for reading.