Steven Lewis Simpson

UK self-distributed release of the film in the longest theatrical run in US in over a decade.

I am soon going to be self-distributing my feature film Neither Wolf Nor Dog in the UK after it has been the widest truly self-distributed release in the US for a few years. You can follow the release more closely on our UK Facebook group here. I plan to share information from each stage of the process there. It has a 4.7/5 95% Rottentomatoes Audience Score.
I just recently gave the first TEDx Talk on theatrical distribution for film and the disruptive distribution strategies I deployed that allowed Neither Wolf Nor Dog to be in the midst of the longest theatrical release of any movie released in the US in at least a decade – 95 weeks so far and around 200 theatres. I’ll be deploying many of the same strategies in the UK. I’ve already released the film also in some Canadian and Bulgaria cinemas (where it did as well as many of the most acclaimed films in the world). There are more details on the US success below, but over the next few weeks and months, I’ll start detailing more of how the UK and other releases are coming along and the hurdles we’re facing.
(BTW Rentrak want $12,000 per year to allow you to access all your box office figures. I’ve never done that so I don’t supply our figures to BoxOfficeMojo.)
The Lagoon’s opening weekend of NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG was the best weekend gross in the entire country. It’s nice to see that beautifully told stories can still find an audience.”  Hugh Wronski Senior Regional Publicist, Landmark Theatres 

“By the time the end credits arrive, the characters of this modest, crowd-funded feature are practically unforgettable. It’s immensely serious but no downer.” Colin Covert – Star Tribune ★★★½ out of four stars.

I’ve deployed strategies that have reversed the typical indie film release strategy on its head, and our success has come through that. So far it has been workings its way around theatres for well over a year. I set this all up myself, without a booker or publicist. It has been a long and complicated road, but as a result, I’ve created a release that has sold around 75,000 tickets from mostly small markets and with profitable returns. We’ve booked over 200 theatres, mostly in the US but now are expanding into theatres in Europe.

On some occasions, it has beaten every blockbuster it has been up against in a theater, and unlike most independent films, it has mostly played in commercial cinemas and multiplexes, with only a third of theatres being indie/art house.

In 2017 we beat 23 of the 26 releases of the major independent film distributor IFC, and all 32 from Kino Lorber. 

Interested in releasing your own film? Contact me if you would like a consultancy and find out the real-world situation that you will find and how best to negotiate it. The Sundance Institute recently published a great case study on the hybrid distribution of the acclaimed film Columbus, but in spite hiring an established film booker, the film ended up with a substantially lower cut of the box office than NWND. So NWND has had a far higher profit margin and much lower costs. It is far from a simple process, even though distribution is theoretically very simple.  Email steven@stevenlewissimpson.com 

This is the penetration of theatres we’ve had in the states we’ve prioritized.

STATE NO. OF THEATERS NATIONAL EQUIVALENT
South Dakota 16 5926
Wyoming 9 5000
Montana 11 3438
Maine 10 2439
Oregon 21 1654
Alaska 3 1304
Vermont 2 1053
Washington 22 973
Minnesota 16 936
North Dakota 2 833
Oklahoma 9 744
Idaho 3 577
Arizona 12 558
Michigan 15 489
Utah 4 426
Colorado 6 349

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