The mostly dreary new analysis from SNL Kagan reflects the continuing decline last year in domestic home video sales and rentals — and helps to explain why studios are so determined to expand overseas. The research firm says that the average film only recouped 46% of the release costs (negative costs plus domestic prints and advertising) from domestic box office sales and home video transactions. That’s down from 48% in 2010. Paramount’s 14 films delivered the best performance. Kagan figures the studio collected $895.5M from theaters and $242.9M in cash flow from video transactions, equal to 73% of its $1.55B in release costs. True Grit helped with domestic returns covering 134% of its $90.9M in release costs. The Weinstein Co followed with 11 films that generated $102.2M from theaters and $49.0M from home video, 70% of its $215.1M in release costs. Its top title was The King’s Speech, with a 216% return on $50.2M in release costs. Among other studios, Warner Bros also beat the industry average with a 67% return followed by DreamWorks Animation (61%) and Disney (58%). Low budget films dominate the top performing films. They include IFC Films’ Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (941% on $455,000 in release costs), Warner Bros’ Hubble 3D (754% on $2.8M), Fox Searchlight’s Another Earth (429% on $488,000), Producers Distribution’s Senna (258% on $557,000), and Rogue Pictures’ Catfish (258% on $1.6M). Top major releases included Universal’s Bridesmaids (243% on $73.9M) and Disney’s The Help (238% on $66.9M). Kagan says the annual study was based on an analysis of 450 films released on DVD/Blu-ray in 2011.

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