A couple of weeks ago we had a little trouble finding the silver lining behind the cloud that was May's spec sales numbers. June's numbers haven't been great so far either, but pulling the Spec Market Scorecard together this weekend uncovered a couple of key stats that provide some interesting context for the year's number's so far. You can see them for yourself in the introduction to this week's edition of the Scoggins Report, but here's the one that caught our eye first:
The studios have collectively bought about half of what they bought last year, which is good, since 6 studios that bought specs in each of the last 2 years have yet to break out their checkbooks in 2014.
We know, that's only a silver lining if you assume those six studios will step up in the second half of the year. But we do. So it is.
Either way, we'll let you discover for yourself which 6 studios we're referring to. You can scroll down to check out the June 2014 Spec Market Scorecard, or click here to download the PDF.
Six weeks ago we were touting the 2nd best start to the year for specs since the last WGA strike, based on numbers through the end of February. We should have known not to start drawing conclusions so early. With a full quarter of the year behind us, we've stabilized a bit and are currently on par with 2013. Which is to say, not great, but not terrible.
There's one piece of potentially great news, though. (That's us hedging our bets.) As we note in the intro to this week's Scoggins Report, the studios picked up roughly 33% more spec scripts in Q1 this year than the same period last year. And while we're too timid to predict that will continue, there have been enough seven figure and pre-emptive sales already in 2014 that we think buyers' thirst for great new material has yet to be slaked.
But hey, you be the judge. As always, you can scroll down to check out the April 2014 Spec Market Scorecard for yourself, or click here to download the PDF.
Aaah. We know, it seems like forever since we put out a run-of-the-mill Spec Market Scorecard. You're not wrong -- the last one...well, let's just leave it at "you're not wrong."
As you'll see from this week's Scoggins Report, 2014 has seen the second-best start to the year since the before the '07-'08 WGA strike. And all indications suggest the pace is likely to continue, what with bidding wars for spec scripts and spec-based packages popping up all over the place in the last couple of weeks.
As always, you can scroll down to check out the February 2014 Spec Market Scorecard for yourself, or click here to download the PDF.
This week's Scoggins Report should make you warm and fuzzy inside, and unlike a week from today, you don't even have to sit through a football game with insufferable pseudo-family to achieve the feeling. Scroll down to check out the November 2013 Spec Market Scorecard, or click here to download the PDF.
Ah, October. The month where a long season comes to a head. Chances are taken. Power moves are made. We won't go as far as to say "heroes are born," but there's no denying it - someone up there cranks the heat a few degrees higher at the start of the Fall.
As you'll see from this week's Scoggins Report, we're referring as much to the spec market as we are to baseball. And we'll let you get right to it -- scroll down to check out the October 2013 Spec Market Scorecard, or click here to download the PDF.
Depending on where you fall on the studio/independent film spectrum, you'll find the following stats either daunting or encouraging:
So far in 2013, the studios have collectively bought fewer than 50% of the spec scripts they bought in 2012, while non-studio buyers have collectively bought more than twice as many as they did last year.
We're smack in the middle of that spectrum, FYI, but we're still hoping that the studios will step up their collective game in Q4. Scroll down to check out the September 2013 Spec Market Scorecard for yourself, or you can click here to download this week's PDF.
Lots to like in this week's edition of the Scoggins Report. As you'll see, we spend the intro talking about why it's particularly tough to predict what the Fall Selling Season might look like for spec scripts this year. But that overshadows the big takeaway from the last four weeks: Nine spec sales have been announced since the July Spec Market Scorecard.
That puts July + August at 15 spec sales so far, on par with 2011's total and within shouting distance of 2012's, which is excellent, all things considered. Scroll down to check out the August 2013 Spec Market Scorecard for yourself. And for those of you who like to get all old school and whatnot, you can click here to download this week's PDF.
Let's start with the good news. Like last week's Pitch Market Scorecard, this week's Scoggins Report compares spec script sales numbers for the first half of the year with the same periods in 2012 and 2011. As you'll see from the intro, 2013 is in very good shape overall: Down slightly from last year but exactly even with 2011, and both of the last two years ended up with very strong totals.
Of course, the numbers illustrate some not-so-good news as well. Well, not "news" per se, since we've been discussing it off and on in this space for the past month. The difference between the number of specs bought by the major studios this year through the end of June compared to last year is dramatic. If they'd simply bought at the same pace, we'd be WAY up over last year, thanks to increased buying from non-studios.
How far up, you ask? Scroll down and read the newsletter for yourself. The July 2013 Spec Market Scorecard is below. And for those of you who prefer to read it by the pool, you can click here to download this week's PDF.
As we hope you know by now, we're all about going the extra mile here at Spec Scout. This month, that took the form of comparing this week's edition of the Scoggins Report with the June 2012 Spec Market Scorecard to compare what's been happening this year vs last. And as is often the case when we do exercises like these, we noticed something pretty striking: Just three companies are responsible for 100% of the drop in the overall spec market numbers this year.
Wondering which three? You can scroll down and read the newsletter for yourself. But as we note in the intro, if those three studios had bought the same number of spec scripts they bought last year, we'd actually be running ahead of last year's 15-year record pace.
The June 2013 Spec Market Scorecard is 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'll read for yourself momentarily, there have been 10% more spec script sales so far this year than through the same period last year. That's definitely great news, considering how strong last year's numbers were over all, and that there have been 24% fewer new screenplays on the market this year than last. But (and there's a pretty big "but" here) the question is, "Who's been doing the buying?" Not to mention, "Who hasn't been doing the buying?"
Those questions and more are answered in this week's edition of The Scoggins Report, embedded below. The conclusions we've drawn aren't as sunny as we usually strive to be, but the numbers are the numbers. It's up to you to turn things around, Hollywood. If nothing else, at least there's a pretty new chart for your consideration.
The May 2013 Spec Market Scorecard is below. And for those of you who prefer to peruse it on your tablets, you can click here to download this week's PDF.
We’re getting deep enough into the Spring selling season to see patterns start to emerge in the Spec Market Scorecard (and the Pitch Market Scorecard, for that matter). In this week’s Scoggins Report we point out two patterns of note: First, that spec sales over the past five weeks are up 50% over the same period in 2012 (12 in 2013 vs 8 in 2012). And second…
…well, we’ll let you discover the second for yourself. It’s in the second paragraph of this week’s newsletter, which you can see below. Enjoy.
As you’ll see from this week’s edition of the Scoggins Report, the spec market woke up a bit last week and March’s numbers (so far) are on par with March 2012. The year-to-date numbers are still lower than last year’s — overall numbers are down about 45% from the same period in 2012 — but the percentage of scripts sold is still nice and high (roughly 40%).
Smells like opportunity to me, and here’s another datapoint that supports that take: Three of the six major studios still haven’t bought a spec script yet in 2013. Wondering which ones, and how that compares to 2012? You’ll have to read the March 2013 Spec Market Scorecard to find out.
We’re a couple of hours later than usual publishing this week’s Scoggins Report. We wish we could blame it on being busy tracking spec scripts all day, but as you’ll read at the top of the newsletter, that’s simply not true: There have been 40% fewer scripts on the market so far this year than at the same point in 2011 and 2012.
What’s behind the slow down? Your guess is as good as ours. The good news, though, is that the percentage of spec sales out of this year’s new material has remained steady (at roughly 35%). So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.
Ta-dah! The actual moment you were waiting for: The unveiling of the 2012 Year-End Spec Market Scorecard. This is our fourth annual edition, marked not only by a series of incremental improvements to the format and data but by something unprecedented since we've been covering the market:
2012's total number of spec sales -- 132 -- is exactly the same as 2011's.
We know, we reported a couple of months ago that 2012 had improved over 2011 significantly, but in preparation for this week's monster Scoggins Report we combed through all our data once again and recalculated all our numbers yet again. At the end of the day (or year, as it were), 2012 ended up exactly on par with 2011.
And that was no mean feat: Recall that 2011 marked a 15-year record high for spec sales. Last year, the studios bought a few more specs than the year before (59 vs 53), and more non-studio buyers got into the game as well (62 vs 56).
But we don't want to give away all of the Scorecard's secrets -- check out the document for yourself.
The annual advent of Tracking-Board.com’s Hit List and Franklin Leonard’s Black List, both of which dropped in the past couple of days, is always our cue to go back through our data and re-calculate each of the various tallies on the Spec Market Scorecard. This year was no exception, which is why we’re publishing a little later than usual this week. (That, plus I helped my wife Christy get her new business’s branding dialed in. It turned out pretty well: christy-made.com)
As usual, the two annual “most liked” lists uncovered a number of spec scripts that had so far been on the DL. We added 14 projects to our grids, including 4 previously un-reported spec sales, not including the 10 that got set up since the last Scorecard.
Merry Christmas, Hollywood.
We know most of you have at least one foot out the door for Thanksgiving already, but we also know you’re dying to know how many specs sold last month, and how the Fall selling season ended up, and how 2012 is doing compared to 2011. So here’s the latest Scoggins Report with answers to all that and more.
As we note in the intro to this week’s Scoggins Report, there’s a ton of material on the market at the moment, but spec sales have been a pretty slow for the past couple of weeks. Will we end up matching October 2011′s 20 spec sales over the next couple of weeks? Probably not, but that was unlikely in any case, given that it was the highest single month sales tally since the writers’ strike. And as we’ve been reminding you regularly, 2012′s overall sales number is still on track to beat 2011′s 15-year high.
It’s good news akimbo in the latest edition of the Scoggins Report. This week’s rotation is the updated Spec Market Scorecard, with numbers through September 15.
This week’s edition of the Scoggins Report is the August 2012 Spec Market Scorecard.
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.