Boyhood, which stars Ethan Hawke, has won praise for its epic production and the length of funding commitment from its backers, IFC Films. The film-makers recorded characters over 12 years, capturing them as they aged in real time,
IFC, a small New York-based distributor owned by Mad Men backer AMC Networks, stumped up around $200,000 a year between May 2002 and October 2013 to fund the production, a unique arrangement compared to traditional motion picture funding agreements.
IFC, which eventually ploughed $2.4m into the film, is set to deliver a healthy return for the company, with the picture grossing $43m at the box office last year alone.
Yesterday’s Golden Globe award for best drama – one of three for the film, including best director for former oil rig worker Richard Linklater, and best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette – is likely to propel further revenues for the company from future DVD and streaming sales.
“The finance guys would kill me on it,” IFC president Jonathan Sehring told a film festival last year. “There was plenty of ‘why are we doing this? When are we going to see a return?’ The way we structured the entire thing, it wasn’t like we put $5m on the balance sheet in one shot.”