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How much does it cost to distribute a film in cinemas?

To distribute a film in cinemas sounds really easy but behind that awaited release there is a great work of hundreds of people that make it possible and above all, this release depends on a well-thought budget to carry this out.

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But how much does it cost to release a film in cinemas? You have probably asked yourself thousands of times and today we are going to give you this information.

Note: Prices listed in this post are approximate and they can be different in each country also depends on the negotiation you have with the different parts involved during the process.

P&A (print and advertising)

First, you must make a budget of everything that will cost the release in movie theatres, how much you will spend on copies, VPF’s, marketing and advertising. This is called P&A a budget of copies and advertising.

To make sure this P&A work, you have to decide the size of the film and this is defined by the number of copies you will make and the amount of money you will spend on advertising.

Today we are going to do an exercise where we release a film with 30 copies and digital marketing as only advertising. Below you will find as well the cost of television and outdoor

  • 30 dcp’s – 70€ each – 2.100€
  • 30 VPF’s – 750€ each – 22.500€
  • Booker – 3.000€
Materials in cinemas

100 posters – 1€ each –  100€


Digital marketing

  • Google display – 1.000€
  • Social media ads  – 1.500€
  • Youtube – 800€
  • Community manager – 2.000€


Public relations

  • Public relations and communication of the film 3.000€
  • Press releases, follow up with media, press screening,s reviews, articles, etc.

Would you like to know why public relations are important for your film? You can take a look at this post.

This release with 30 copies would cost approximately 36.000€

This amount of money can be adjusted, if necessary. This example is really basic of what a P&A can be and the cost can be more complicated if you want, it all depend on the strategy and what you want to achieve.


Advertising, TV and outdoor

The most expensive when you are promoting a film it’s the advertising, but as experts say if you don’t invest, there will be not any profit so, you must have a very good marketing strategy where you put all the media where you would like to invest and how much it is.

Television is the queen of all media and although it is said that this is changing, it is still the winner. So, if you want to invest in TV you must invest at least €150,000 where you include TV spots in prime time (time where it is the better audience) and other schedules.

Another media outlet that can be as expensive as television is outdoor advertising, with this, we refer to all advertising on the street, from buses to those giant ads that are placed in buildings. Costs vary but a billboard in the metro can cost from €170 and a billboard on the street costs depending on the location, from €1,000 to €15,000. Of course, people must see everywhere the film, so you must rent spaces for several places in the most important cities where the movie is going to be released.

Here, I leave an infographic with some of the prices so you can have an idea of ​​what it costs to release in theatres or even make a marketing campaign.

*distribute a film

Majors can spend up to 1 million and a half or more euros to release a film and all this effort and investment is reflected in the box office and in the sales after the release of this window. I am telling you, if you want to win like a major, you must invest like a major and marketing is fundamental in this process.

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