Walking into the movie theater in 2022 often leaves you with feelings of despair. Theaters are empty. Today, the only movies that are packing theaters are movies with very high budgets or popular IP (Top Gun Maverick, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange). This movement towards high budgeted films has slowly but surely been pushing out the smaller film studios and directors in the industry. Coupled with contracts that eat away at movie profits, filmmakers and actors need another way to monetize their work. Over the last year, Hollywood has transitioned into the NFT space as a way to raise capital and increase revenue streams.
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The Beginning of Hollywood NFTs
In 2021, the producer behind The Irishman Niels Juul announced his next film will become the first film funded by NFTs. His hope was to release 10,000 NFTs in which fans could purchase and receive royalties off of the films profits. Juul did this to change the way films are financed quoting “As a producer my biggest frustration comes from the financial side. The studios mostly make big franchise movies. An independent film can therefore take many years to materialize. It is difficult to get investors for films and productions, especially in the development phase, with the Hollywood system. “
Selling Movies as an NFT
At that time, blockchain technology was only capable of holding small clips of a movie versus the entire movie itself, so selling a movie as an NFT was not possible. Recently however, two companies, VideoCoin and Filecoin have teamed up to solve this storage problem in the blockchain. Now, the Filecoin network can store millions of 1080p high-resolution films. This development in tech is game changing for the film industry as now they are able to sell their films as a NFT to be stored on the blockchain. What does this mean for filmmakers? The film Zero Contact starring Anthony Hopkins became the first hollywood film to be released as an NFT. Only a small amount of these NFTs were actually released, but it cost a whopping $90,000 dollars. The film industry is seeing an investor market emerge for films, a market that was once not available to the public.
Films are seeing their revenue streams increase due to merchandising their products dropped in the film. Quentin Tarantino auctioned off uncut scenes from Pulp Fiction that included handwritten scripts and audio commentary of the scenes with a price tag of 1.1 million dollars. Other films are beginning to follow this trend as we have seen Dune, The Matrix Resurrections, Deadpool 2, and Top Gun Maverick have all released NFTs for their films. While this trend is very early stage, we believe that there are countless ways in which films can monetize their engagement. At Liveplex, we have assembled the tech that bridges product placement and NFT merchandising.