Opening Act Productions, LLC™ (OAP)
Independent films have solidified their place in the film industry over the past decade, and their future continues to look promising. Major motion picture studios have increasingly focused their efforts on broad-appeal and summer tent-pole films for economic reasons-many of these films have budgets in the $100 million range. Since the average studio film in theatrical release now costs $50 million to produce, it's not very profitable for Hollywood to make very many of them, which has opened the door for independent films to fill audiences' demands for more and varied films.
Independent films have shown their commercial viability with the successes of films like Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Napoleon Dynamite and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and even more niche films like Facing the Giants and Fireproof. The independent market as a whole has expanded dramatically over the past 15 years while the total domestic box office has increased 80 percent. Of the five films nominated for Best Picture in 2005, four were independent films. Since then, the independent films Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Juno (2007) and Slumdog Millionaire (2009) have been nominated for Best Picture each successive year, showing that independent films have become commercial and critical successes, gaining positive notoriety and audiences.
Former media execs Aaron Kaufman, Ron Hartenbaum and Douglas Kuber launched Barbarian Films, a $50 million fund aimed at financing low-budget films. Kaufman says, "If you have a budget of less than $10 million, you can mitigate risk with a large portion of your budget coming from foreign markets. We're not in the [box office] performance business. Ultimately, you're making your money by selling your films to distributors around the world."