May Insights From Cinelytic – 2024 Cannes Film Festival Special

Throughout this year, we at Cinelytic have been reviewing the projections we published at the end of 2023 for the full 2024 slate, with which we estimated a total domestic gross of US$8.17b. This efficient early prediction model also allows us to forecast home video and TV revenues, offering a truly unique tool for the film industry. So far in 2024, as shown in the graphic below, we’ve maintained impressive precision as it relates to our domestic box office projections, currently tracking at around 97% accuracy through the month of April:

Moving into May, most of the industry’s focus has shifted to the 77th Cannes Film Festival, which has been gearing up for its grand spectacle in less than one week. As that countdown continues, several titles that will be showcased on the Croisette have already begun making headlines. Whether it’s a competiton title like the anxiously awaited and rumor ridden MEGALOPOLIS from legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, or an out of competition and much hyped world premiere like George Miller’s FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA, this year is sure to surprise people in a number of different ways.

As such, we at Cinelytic decided to take a deep dive into a series of titles that sold during last year’s 76th festival to see how their presence, participation and release strategies translated into OTT viewership. Furthermore, we forecasted the potential domestic and international values of a couple of the hottest “for sale” titles on the market at this year’s ceremonies that are commanding some of the most press.

Success on Streaming?

In recent years, with the rise of streaming services (VOD/SVOD) as a primary source of revenue for festival films, we’ve aimed to delve into audience consumption patterns. In this case, we focused on domestic and international streaming performance for three films that garnered significant sales attention during the Cannes 2023 event: MAY DECEMBER, ANATOMY OF A FALL and THE ZONE OF INTEREST. To achieve this, we employed our innovative new tool, the “Cineltyic Streaming Store,” which predicts and monitors digital content consumption on a per-title basis across various platforms and countries worldwide, providing valuable insights through a proprietary viewing score:

The two theatrical releases we analyzed (ANATOMY OF A FALL, THE ZONE OF INTEREST) both not only managed to garner the level of awards attention we would expect from acclaimed dramas like these, but also actually performed well in their respective box office runs. Once available for home vieiwng, both titles displayed domestic and international (amongst the four reviewed countries) streaming scores that fall in line with the averages exhibited by this genre that we highlighted in our April Insights.

Divisive yet celebrated director Todd Haynes’ latest drama MAY DECEMBER received only a limited theatrical release as a result of being purchased by Netflix. This title, despite enjoying similar acclaim, being the only fully English language film in this comp set, featuring two major female leads and being accessible on the biggest streaming platform around, seemed to have the most trouble in regards to digital viewership.

Now on to Cannes 2024.

A Diverse Market

Prominent contenders vying for buyer attention this year on the French Riviera include the previously mentioned MEGALOPOLIS, Romain Gavras’ star-studded SACRIFICE, the Chris Pratt led WAY OF THE WARRIOR KID and the talent-rich NUREMBERG, which comes courtesy of prolific writer/director James Vanderbilt.

While our renowned ROI forecasting primarily benefits financiers, producers, and project equity stakeholders, our sales estimation tool caters to both buyers and sellers at festivals like Cannes. It offers per-territory value estimations encompassing all media rights (box office, home video, TV, and ancillary). As depicted in the graphic below, this tool holds particular interest for market participants seeking to accurately assess the value of rights in each territory:

Romain Gavras, a director that will have the benefit of selling a pacakge in his home country, has been tasked with his largest endeavor to date with SACRIFICE. The film, which is reported to be a cross between satire and thriller, features talent like Chris Evans, Anya Taylor-Joy, Brendan Fraser and Salma Hayek, and could have plenty of appeal in both domestic and European territories.

Another title that may be attractive to both American and international audiences is writer/director James Vanderbilt’s historical period drama NUREMBERG. The fact-based film follows psychiatrist Douglas Kelley as he interviews with Nazi prisoners to determine whether they are fit to stand trial, and features an enticing talent pool that includes Rami Malek, Russell Crowe and Michael Shannon.

Forcasting Spotlight – WAY OF THE WARRIOR KID

The ever busy Chris Pratt, who’s already got three films releasing between May of 2024 and August of 2025, is also currently attached to an adaptation of the inspirational novel WAY OF THE WARRIOR KID, which is to be directed by McG.

We ran this title through our predictive tool which takes into consideration 19 material input attributes to determine amongst other outputs a full-performance waterfall, P&L, ROI and per territory sales estimates. We estimated a budget of US$30m, incorporated an additional US$50m in total P&A costs and proposed a theatrical release strategy of 3,100 screens with Pratt in the lead. The Cinelytic platform predicts a DBO of over US$44.9m and domestic gross revenues (BO, HV, TV) that total over US$86.0m. As shown in the graphic below, we estimate domestic and international values for this project at US$26.0m and US$19.7m respectively, yielding a global valuation of US$45.7m:


We will have to wait and see who wins the respective bidding wars for the four aforementioned packages at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, and whether or not those deals will involve theatrical release strategies.  What we do know is that films like these can produce results both in theaters (as we saw with both ANATOMY OF A FALL and THE ZONE OF INTEREST) and other media, as evidenced by their genre-appropriate streaming scores. All to say that the films on offer at this year’s market look as great as ever and can well prove to be profitable to local distributors in all release media.