The Feature Film Distribution Deal: A Critical Analysis of the Single Most Important Film Industry Agreement


John W. Cones, whose real goal is to stimulate a long-term film industry reform movement, shows how the financial control of the film industry in the hands of the major studios and distributors actually translates into creative control of the industry.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (1st Edition)
$40.00 price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $7.14   
  • New (3) from $37.98   
  • Used (7) from $7.14   
Sending request ...


John W. Cones, whose real goal is to stimulate a long-term film industry reform movement, shows how the financial control of the film industry in the hands of the major studios and distributors actually translates into creative control of the industry.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is the primary contention of this book... that the pervasive market power of the major studio distributors in the United States (the MPAA companies, generally) has been gained and is maintained by engaging in numerous questionable, unethical, unfair, unconscionable, anticompetitive, predatory and/or illegal business practices.... Such practices are often referred to as ‘creative accounting’ or ‘creative contract interpretation.’"—John W. Cones, from the Introduction
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809320820
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John W. Cones was a practicing securities/entertainment attorney based in Los Angeles during the time he researched and wrote this book. He is a prolific writer and lecturer on film finance. His books include Film Finance and Distribution—A Dictionary of Terms, Film Industry Contracts, and 43 Ways to Finance Your Feature Film, also available from Southern Illinois University Press. Currently seeking to encourage interest in the reform of the U.S. film industry, he is working as a staff attorney in the U.S. Congress.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Feature Film Net Profits 1
The Make-a-Great-Movie Myth 6
Critics of the Film Industry Net Profit System 9
Masters of Understatement and Euphemistic Language 18
Early History of Profit Participations 19
Net Profits as Risk Reducer 21
The Industry Apologists 22
The Lawyerly Perspective 26
2 The Five Major Film Finance/Distribution Scenarios 29
3 Types of Distribution Deals 31
4 Negotiating the Distribution Deal 34
5 Terms of the Deal Itself 40
Gross Receipts Exclusions 40
Distributor Fees 62
Distribution Expenses 65
Interest 76
Production Cost Issues 79
Creative Control Issues 86
General Contractual Provisions 89
6 Feature Film Distribution Deal Negotiating Checklist 103
Distribution Fees 112
Distribution Expenses 113
Interest 121
Production Cost Issues 123
Creative Control Provisions 125
General Contractual Provisions 126
Distributor Commitments 127
The Limits of Negotiating 136
App. A Motion Picture Industry Overview 141
App. B Profit Participation Audit Firms 149
App. C ADI (Top 50) Market Rankings 150
App. D AFMA Member List, 1992-1993 152
App. E Production-Financing/Distribution Agreement 154
App. F Negative Pickup Distribution Agreement 225
App. G Distribution Rights Acquisition Agreement 248
App. H Distribution Agreement (Rent-a-Distributor Deal) 265
App. I Foreign Distribution Agreement 275
Notes 280
Selected Bibliography 288
Index 298
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)