Production Phase 5: Distribution

The final phase in the life of a film is distribution. When it has completed post-production, it is ready for distribution into motion picture theaters around the world. Depending upon a number of factors, including the genre of the film and its performance in front of an invited preview audience, a distribution company must decide on which day the film should open in theatres and on how many screens it should appear. Consideration is given to whether it should have a wide-release (2,000 screens or more) or a limited release (less than 50 screens appearing in only two or three cities). Shorts and features may also be released straight to DVD and/or to VOD, for Internet download or streaming, either on different release dates or simultaneously with the theatrical release. Some independent films will opt to maximize online monetization opportunities over securing a theatrical release.