As much as we strive not to dwell on the negative, neither do we allow ourselves to bury our heads in the sand. Or quicksand, as the case may be: After several month-over-month increases to a high for the year so far of 8 pitch sales in April, the 2014 Spring selling season reversed course in May and ended with a gasp in June. Last month's single pitch sale is the lowest monthly total since we began tracking pitches in 2011.
The effect on the year-to-date tally is predictable, as you'll see from the intro to this week's Scoggins Report. Not the best news to take into a holiday weekend, we grant you, but hey, the first step is to admit you have a problem, Hollywood.
As always, you can scroll down to check out the June 2014 Pitch Market Scorecard for yourself, or click here to download the PDF.
Happy 4th of July, and we'll be back next week with the somewhat cheerier June 2014 Spec Market Roundup.
That we were all set to pat ourselves on the back for publishing the Scoggins Report four weeks in a row is a sign of how far we let things slide last quarter. Another sign? The fact that this is the first Pitch Market Scorecard we've published this year. (Never again, Hollywood. Never again.)
Not that you were missing all that much. As you'll see from this week's newsletter, the pitch market is really just now getting up to speed. Buyers have picked up 26% fewer pitches in the first four months of 2014 than they did through the same period in 2013. Last month's total was pretty respectable, though, and we've noted a couple of other bright spots in the intro.
As always, you can scroll down to check out the April 2014 Pitch Market Scorecard for yourself, or click here to download the PDF.
Before you jump into a disheartening TSA line, you might want to stock up on the glee that comes with this week's Scoggins Report. (We plan to read it aloud to drown out rude cabin-mates, but that's just us.)
As you'll see from the November 2013 Pitch Market Scorecard, we're running ahead of 2012's pitch sale year-to-date total and, barring oddly low numbers in December, should end up officially beating 2012 despite continued intransigence from a handful of studios this year.
If you've been paying attention to the newsletter for the past couple of months you'll know which studios we mean, but if not they're listed in the PDF, below. As always, you can click here to download it.
Thursday is still the new Tuesday.
Yes, technically we're publishing this before midnight Pacific on Wednesday, but we've never been ones to split hairs. We'll do even better next week.
As you'll see in this week's Scoggins Report, October's pitch market is off to a great start -- the month is barely half over and it's already the fourth-in-a-row with as-good-or-better year-over-year pitch sales numbers. Don't let us stop you -- the October 2013 Pitch Market Scorecard is mere pixels below, and as always, you hoarders can click here to download this week's PDF.
As longtime Scoggins Report subscribers know by now, one of our favorite things is looking for patterns in year-over-year numbers in the spec and pitch markets. With Q3 2013 coming to a close and Q4 about to start (not to mention the fresh development dollars about to refill several studios' coffers), we used the top of this week's newsletter to see which studios bought the most pitches in Q4 of each of the last two years.
As you'll see, it's still possible for this year's pitch market to end up on par with last year's, but it'll require a resurgence on the part of three key studios. Which ones, you ask? Scroll down, we say -- the September 2013 Pitch Market Scorecard is below, and as usual, those of you who like to print things can click here to download this week's PDF.
We're a day and a half late posting this week's Scoggins Report, but it's no fault of our new collaborator, Landon Rohwedder, who did his usual awesome job. It's tempting to blame the remarkably busy pitch market of the past four weeks -- 9 pitches have been set up since the last Pitch Market Scorecard four weeks ago -- but honestly, that had nothing to do with it.
But no matter -- the August 2013 Pitch Market Scorecard is below, and as usual, those of you who like impress your friends and family can click here to download this week's PDF.
This week's Scoggins Report is a quick year-over-year comparison between the pitch market so far in 2013 and the same period last year. As we note at the top of the newsletter, much like the pattern we noticed in the spec market through the end of June, if not for four companies' disgraceful lack of pitch purchases so far this year, the pitch market would be way up compared to 2012.
We know what you're thinking: 'Just how far up? And which companies might those be?' See for yourself, below. And for those of you who like to share it on your tracking boards, you can click here to download this week's PDF.
The intro to this week's Scoggins Report is an off the cuff bit analysis, connecting the patterns we've been seeing in the spec and pitch markets this year to a conversation between Lynda Obst and Peter Chernin, as recounted by the former in her new book, "Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales From the New Abnormal in the Movie Business." (A link to the excerpt on Salon.com is in the PDF.)
You can see our thoughts for yourself, below, but before you go, we wanted to highlight a cool new addition to the Pitch Market Scorecard: Grids showing the number of pitches purchase in each genre, per buyer. The one for the Studio Buyers is on page 3, and the one for the Non-Studio Buyers is on page 5. Big ups to our readers @matthewkane and @laurayntema for the suggestion.
But enough about us. Check out the newsletter for yourself, below. And for those of you who like to share it on your tracking boards, you can click here to download this week's PDF.
Let's hear it for Universal Pictures.
As you'll see in this week's edition of the Scoggins Report, the studio has been far and away the biggest buyer of pitches so far this year, matching a pattern they set in 2012 of front-loading pitch purchases in the first five months of the year. Fox is in second place among the buyers so far this year, which is just one of the unusual aspects of this year's pitch market.
Wondering what the other unusual aspects might be? Check out the newsletter for yourself, below. And for those of you who prefer to peruse it on your tablets, you can click here to download this week's PDF.
As you might have noticed, we took last week off from publishing the Scoggins Report to sync back up with the calendar. I spent my off days testing a beautiful new version of Spec Scout, which we’re itching to launch this month, and tracking an unusual (for 2013) number of spec sales, which I’m looking forward to tallying next week.
This week’s edition, though, is the Pitch Market Scorecard. As you’ll see, the 2013 pitch market is nice and healthy, despite low purchase numbers for three of the major studios, and the past five weeks (since the last Scorecard) have seen some interesting numbers. You can see for yourself, below. Enjoy.
We were sorely tempted to work in the line, “It’s quiet…too quiet!” into the top of this week’s Scoggins Report but we restrained ourselves, if only because it’d be more appropriate for next week’s Spec Market Scorecard than this week’s Pitch Market Scorecard. As you’ll see from this week’s newsletter, pitch sales are still outpacing spec script sales so far in 2013.
By how much, you ask? By even more than they were a month ago, but to get the details on that and the other odd trends we’re tracking you’ll have to check out the document yourself.
We know, our Scorecards are usually a bit less exciting at the beginning of the year than at the end because the monthly numbers take a little while to pile up. But not this time – we’ve got a thrilling new addition to this week’s Scoggins Report that you’re not going to want to miss: Graphs!
Come on, you know you love to rock a good graph.
Enjoy. And please let us know what you think.
Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The 2012 Year-End Pitch Sales Scorecard. (If the moment you were waiting for had to do with the filing of a certain lawsuit, that happened this morning. And if the moment you were waiting for was the 2012 Year-End Spec Market Scorecard, that will publish next week.)
This is the second time we’ve done a year-ender for pitches, and like last year, the document is a beast. We’ve combined the Scorecard, which shows who bought and sold what each month in 2012, with the Roundup, with its weekly activity breakdowns and the details of all 81 pitches that got set up last year.
The resulting document is hefty, but what can we say. We’re hardcore like that. Enjoy.
That’s more like it: The past four weeks have been oddly vibrant in terms of pitch sales, especially considering it includes the week of Thanksgiving and what is traditionally a slow post-holiday period. As you may recall, the last time we checked in with the pitch market was the November Pitch Roundup, and at the time there had been only 1 pitch sale for the month, through the 26th.
As we hoped, November ended up with a couple more than that, and December’s already had flurry of sales. All the glorious details are available in this weeks’ edition of the Scoggins Report. Enjoy.
Ah, 2012, we hardly knew you. True, Starbucks is only just now breaking out the Christmas Blend and the Sierras and Rockies have yet to see a real snow storm this season, but for all intents and purposes 2012 is over for people trying to set up pitches. (The door’s not quite shut for spec sales, but we’ll get to that next week.)
Wondering how 2012′s numbers compare to 2011′s? The grids in this week’s edition of the Scoggins Report provide a fairly good preview.
We have to admit, we breathed a sigh of relief when we put this week’s Scoggins Report together. As you’ll see from the below, pitch sales have picked up nicely over the last four weeks. We’re still down a bit from last year, though, and we think we figured out why. Click through or read the below to find out what we discovered when we compared last year’s numbers to this year’s.
Behold, the latest Scoggins Report: The September 2012 Pitch Sales Scorecard. Since the Fall selling season is getting under way, we thought we’d provide a recap of the year’s top buyers and sellers to date in addition to the usual grids and lists.
2014 Spec Sales A list of each individual spec sale so far this year, in reverse chronological order.
2013 Spec Sales Last year's spec sales, in reverse chronological order.
Spec Market Roundups Our monthly recap of the spec market.
Spec Market Scorecards The year-to-date numbers for who's been buying and selling specs.
Pitch Market Roundups Our monthly recap of the pitch market.
Pitch Market Scorecards The year-to-date numbers for who's been buying and selling pitches.
Year End Scorecards Compendia of each year's spec and pitch markets, from 2009 through 2012.
The Ultimate Screenwriting Resources Page Links to all the best screenwriting-related books, articles, websites, forums, job boards, podcasts, newsletters, blogs, clubs, classes and high profile contests in one place.