The Scoggins Report: May 2013 Spec Market Scorecard

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
May 20, 2013

May 2013
Spec Market Scorecard

Consider the following remarkable stats:  There has been 24% less new material on the market so far this year than last (100 specs in 2013 vs 132 in 2012), yet there have been 10% more spec sales (44 this year vs 40 in 2012).

Seems like good news, right? Well, yes, but as you’ll plainly see from the grids on the following pages, there’s a big, fat elephant in the room: With two exceptions (Fox and Universal), the studios and their labels simply aren’t buying spec scripts or pitches at anywhere near the velocity of years past. The numbers are so striking that we created a new chart on page 4 of the Scorecard which shows what it looks like when the major studios cut their spending by roughly 45%.

In short, the studios seem to have stopped aren’t acting like studios. Thank heaven the non-studio buyers have stepped into the gap — the more spec script sales the better, obviously — but we the repurcussions this trend will have if it continues through the end of the year are troubling.

Think about it this way: Imagine the impact if Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo cut their collective R&D budget by 45%. Sure, they’d be way more profitable for a few quarters, but their ability to innovate for the long term would crumble.

2013 Overall Numbers

Of 2013‘s 44 spec sales, 9 (20%) have been of scripts that originally went out prior to 2012.  Here are the overall spec market numbers through May 17…

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
New Specs 19 16 22 26 17 100
Spec Sales 8 8 10 13 5 44
2012 12 13 14 12 12 15 5 13 9 13 7 7 132
2011 * 3 13 15 9 7 12 10 5 7 20 8 10 132
2010 * 1 10 7 13 4 7 0 1 6 7 5 1 65
2009 3 12 10 9 10 6 5 3 4 5 4 1 72

* For 2010 and 2011, sales of scripts that originally went to market in years prior are not distributed monthly in the above table but have been added to the year-end totals.
…and here are the monthly spec sales numbers in graph form.

The following are combined total spec and pitch sales numbers through May 17, with year over year monthly comparisons…

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total 2012 2011
Specs 8 8 10 13 5 44 132 132
 Pitches 3 10 8 10 4 35 81 106
Totals 11 18 18 23 9 79 213 238
2012 Total 20 20 22 26 16 22 13 16 13 19 10 15
2011 Total 7 21 28 16 15 28 20 9 12 30 16 24

 

…and here are those combined spec and pitch sales numbers in graph form as well.

Spec Sales By Genre

J F M A M J J A S O N D Total 2012 2011 2010 2009
Action/Adventure 2 2 2 3 9 29 20 16 15
Comedy 1 1 1 3 28 28 17 23
Drama 1 1 2 4 10 14 7 7
Horror 1 1 2 1 5 13 8 0 0
Sci-fi 2 2 2 1 7 15 15 5 7
Thriller 2 2 4 4 3 15 36 37 17 21

 

Spec Sales By Buyer – Studios

J F M A M J J A S O N D Total 2012 2011 2010 2009
CBS Films 1 1 0 3 0 2
Columbia 0 8 7 1 5
Dimension 1 1 1 1 0 1
Disney 1 1 2 2 2 2
DreamWorks 0 1 2 1 4
Fox 1 1 6 8 2 3
Fox 2000 1 1 1 1 2 0
Lionsgate* 2 1 3 4 2 1 3
MGM 1 1 0 0 0 1
New Line 0 1 4 0 0
New Regency 0 3 0 2 2
Paramount 1 1 11 5 4 5
Par. Insurge 1 1 2 0 0 0
Relativity 1 1 2 1 2 6 3
Universal 1 1 2 9 5 2 6
Warner Bros. 1 1 7 14 9 6
Totals 2 3 3 6 2 16 57 56 32 43

* 2011 and 2012 numbers for Lionsgate and Summit are combined.

 

The following grid shows the combined pitch and spec purchase numbers for the Studio Buyers so far in 2013:

Pitches Specs 2013 2012 2011
Columbia 1 1 16 16
Disney 1 1 2 12 11
Fox 5 1 6 12 16
Fox 2000 1 1 2 1 3
Lionsgate* 1 3 4 5 6
Paramount 1 1 2 20 17
Universal 9 2 11 20 19
Warner Bros. 1 1 2 18 30

* 2011 and 2012 numbers for Lionsgate and Summit are combined.

 

Here are the above numbers for the six major studios in chart form:

Spec Sales By Buyer – Other Buyers

J F M A M J J A S O N D Total 2012 2011 2010 2009
1821 Pictures 1 1 0 0 0 0
1984 1 1 0 0 0 0
Aldamisa 1 1 2 1 0 0 0
Amazon 1 1 2 0 0 0
Atlas Independ. 1 1 1 0 0 0
Atmosphere 1 1 0 1 0 0
Big Beach 1 1 1 0 0 0
Boies/Shiller 1 1 0 0 0 0
Gold Circle 1 1 0 4 2 1
Incognito 1 1 0 0 0 0
Mammo Media 1 1 0 0 0 0
Nostromo Pics. 1 1 0 0 0 0
Preferred Cntnt. 1 1 0 0 0 0
QED 1 1 4 0 1 0
RadioactiveGiant 1 1 0 0 0 0
Sentinel 1 1 1 0 0 0
Sierra/Affinity 1 1 0 0 0 0
Skydance 1 1 1 1 0 0
Sollipsist 1 1 0 0 0 0
Start Mtn. Pics. 1 1 0 0 0 0
The Exchange 1 1 0 0 0 0
Thunder Road 1 1 1 0 0 0
Treehouse 1 1 0 0 0 0
Vendome 1 1 1 0 1 0
Voltage 1 1 1 3 4 3 0 0
Working Title 1 1 0 0 0 0
Totals 5 4 7 8 5 29 17 9 4 1

 

Here are the combined pitch and spec purchase numbers for Non-Studio Buyers that have bought at least one of each so far in 2013.

Pitches Specs 2013 2012 2011
1984 1 1 2 2 1
QED 1 1 2 4 0
Treehouse 1 1 2 0 0

 

Each of the following production companies has been attached to at least one spec sale so far this year.  Names in bold are new or have set up an additional spec since the last Scorecard.

Allison Shearmur Productions

Anonymous Content

Apocalyptic Entertainment

Atlas Entertainment

Benderspink

Bluegrass Films

Broken Road (2)

ContentFilm

Crave Films

De Line Pictures

Disruption Entertainment (2)

Electric Entertainment

Energy Entertainment (3)

Friendly Films

Hutch Parker Entertainment

Industry Entertainment

Intrigue Entertainment

Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Jon Shestack Productions

Le Grisbi Productions

Madhouse Entertainment

Mandeville Films

Midnight Kitchen

Platinum Dunes

Rosa Entertainment

Sean Daniel Company

Silver Pictures/Zinc Entertainment

Sunny Field Entertainment

 

Spec Sales by Seller – Agencies

J F M A M J J A S O N D Total 2012 2011 2010 2009
APA 2 1 3 10 8 4 2
CAA 1 1 1 3 16 26 11 14
Gersh 1 1 8 8 1 3
ICM 1 1 8 13 4 10
Kaplan Stahler 1 1 2 0 0 0 0
Original Artists 1 1 6 4 3 4
Paradigm 1 2 3 9 10 2 1
Resolution 1 1 0 0 0 0
UTA 2 2 3 2 9 24 17 7 10
Verve 1 1 2 5 4 1 0
WME 1 2 3 1 1 8 35 22 10 0
Totals 5 7 7 10 5 34 121 112 43 44

 

Here are the combined pitch and spec sales numbers for the agencies that have sold at least one of each in 2013:

Pitches Specs Total 2012 2011
CAA 9 3 12 32 50
Gersh 3 1 4 11 14
ICM 3 1 4 15 27
Paradigm 3 3 6 15 14
UTA 4 9 13 34 30
WME 9 8 17 61 50

The following 39 agents have been involved with at least one spec sale so far this year. Names in bold are new or sold an additional spec since the last Scorecard.

Five:

Mike Esola   (WME)

Two:

Charlie Ferraro  (UTA)

Daniel Cohan  (WME)

David Boxerbaum  (Paradigm)

David Park   (UTA)

Geoff Morley   (UTA)

Ida Ziniti   (Paradigm)

Jason Burns  (UTA)

Jon Huddle   (UTA)

Marissa Devins  (UTA)

Rob Herting   (Verve)

Shan Ray   (KSA)

One:

Aaron Hart   (Verve)

Abram Nalibotsky  (Resolution)

Adam Levine  (Verve)

Adam Perry   (APA)

Adriana Alberghetti  (WME)

Billy Hawkins   (CAA)

Carolyn Sivitz  (UTA)

Chris Licata   (Paradigm)

Chris Ridenhour  (APA)

Dan Erlij   (UTA)

David Saunders  (APA)

Debbie Deuble-Hill  (APA)

Greg McKnight  (CAA)

Harley Copen  (ICM)

Holly Jeter   (WME)

James Kearney  (UTA)

John Garvey  (CAA)

Josh Hornstock  (UTA)

Julien Thuan   (UTA)

Matt Leipzig   (Original)

Max Michael   (UTA)

Mickey Berman  (UTA)

Ryan Saul   (APA)

Sandra Lucchesi  (Gersh)

Tim Phillips   (UTA)

Todd Feldman  (CAA)

Will Lowery   (APA)

Spec Sales by Seller – Management Companies

J F M A M J J A S O N D Total 2012 2011 2010 2009
Anthem 1 1 0 0 0 0
Apostle 1 1 2 1 0 0 0
Benderspink 1 1 2 4 5 5 2 5
Caliber 1 1 3 2 2 0
Circle of Confusion 1 1 5 5 4 3
Energy 1 1 3 2 7 9 7 2 2
Fourth Floor 1 1 1 0 0 0
Hung Ent. 1 1 4 1 0 1
Industry 1 1 2 4 3 1 1
Jeff Ross Ent. 1 1 0 0 0 0
Kapital 1 1 0 0 1 0
Linda Seifert 1 1 0 0 0 0
Luber-Roklin 1 1 1 0 0 2
Madhouse 1 1 6 2 2 1
Manus Ent. 1 1 2 1 0 0 0
Mosaic 1 1 5 0 1 1
New Wave 1 1 1 3 8 7 0 0
Oasis Media Grp. 1 1 1 0 0 0
Principato Young 1 1 1 2 1 3
Prolific 1 1 3 0 0 0
Rosa Ent. 1 1 0 0 0 0
Think Tank 1 1 0 0 0 0
Wet Dog Ent. 1 1 0 0 0 0
Zero Gravity 1 1 2 1 1 1 0
Totals 5 6 9 14 5 39 59 35 17 19

 

Here are the combined pitch and spec sales for management companies that have sold at least one of each in 2013.

Pitches Specs Total 2012 2011
Apostle 2 2 4 2 3
Benderspink 1 4 5 9 6
Caliber 2 1 3 7 2
Energy 2 7 9 15 7
Industry 1 2 3 5 3
Madhouse 1 1 2 6 2
Mosaic 2 1 3 10 5
New Wave 1 1 2 10 11
Principato Young 1 1 2 6 4

 

The following 29 managers have been involved with at least one spec sale so far in 2013.

Seven:

Brooklyn Weaver  (Energy)

Four:

Jake Wagner  (Benderspink)

Three:

Josh Adler   (New Wave)

Mike Goldberg  (New Wave)

Two:

George Heller  (Apostle)

Jeff Belkin   (Zero Gravity)

Marc Manus   (Manus Ent.)

One:

Aaron Kaplan  (Kapital)

Adam Kolbrenner  (Madhouse)

Ava Jamshidi  (Industry)

Ben Rowe   (Oasis)

Bryan Brucks  (Luber-Roklin)

C. Campos-Greenberg (Anthem)

Dallas Sonnier  (Caliber)

David Alpert   (Circle)

David Lonner  (Oasis)

DJ Talbot

Evan Cavic   (PYE)

Greg Shephard  (Circle)

Jeff Ross   (Jeff Ross Ent.)

Jeff Silver   (Fourth Floor)

Jonathan Hung  (Hung)

Langley Perer  (Mosaic)

Linda Seifert

Michael Botti   (Industry)

Sidney Sherman  (Rosa Ent.)

Stephanie Davis  (Wet Dog)

Tom Drumm   (Think Tank)

Will Rowbotham  (Prolific)

 

About The Scoggins Report:

The Scoggins Report is a terribly unscientific analysis of the feature film development business based on information assembled from a variety of public and non-public sources.  The numbers in the reports are by no means official statistics.  Caveat emptor.

Check out the newsletter’s beautiful new home on SpecScout.com.

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