Before you read this, please be informed that self-distribution Direct to DVD sales should not be your first choice or second.
Numbers will tell you that established distribution companies can make more money for you by distributing your film.
If you have not found a distributor, or just don’t prefer the traditional model, you can find solace in this blog post and you can make up to 800% profit of your film by self distributing and getting the best prices for what is needed to distribute a film.

Before you begin, you will need a UPC number to make your DVD official:

The official way to get a UPC is to become a member of the UCC (Uniform Code Council). However, they are very expensive for this budget and overall. So you can buy a UPC code from a reseller. Buy a Bar Code caters to small-time entrepreneurs, inventors, artists and musicians. You can purchase a UPC for $35 (after a one-time $75 registration fee). This is a great bargain; for your $35 you get emailed a TIFF of the actual bar code, so you can skip Step 2. If you are truly trying to minimize your initial expenses and you are sure you will need only one UPC you can purchase one (with bar code image delivered) for $89 from Rovix.
If you use Discmakers to duplicate your DVD, they’ll give you a free UPC bar code. Their prices for duplication are hard to beat and are the near the prices in this blog post.

The Budget :

You should for a sample small budget to at least sell 5,000 copies at $8 dollars each $40,000 dollars.
Of course in the next post, I will be covering sample numbers from a mid sized budget to a big sized budget.
For DVD sales, you can sell to two major outlets of out your 5,000 copies.
You can sell 1,300 copies to DVD rental places at 8 dollars each – $10,400 profit.
You can sell 3,700 copies to media stores at 8 dollars each – $29,600 profit.

Your costs will be : (excluding production and post production costs except for DVD Authoring)

DVD Authoring – From $1,000 to $3,000
DVD Replication: From $1000 to $3000 (DVD included)
DVD Cover Art from $500 or less and for design and per full color copy, about $1700.

That’s $4,200 in total costs, of course for any marketing effort you can add $800 or more, most of the time a lot more with that goes with a budget. If you check Discmakers – They’ll quote you about $5,000 dollars to streamline the whole effort.

For $5,000 or more you can have profits of 800% or less.
If you decide to do all of this in-house, it probably would cost more because companies specializing in these fields of post production are able to give breaks due to the high volume they do. Still, if your insistent, you would probably lose near half of your profit and time to do it as a one to three man job.

If we look at the price for a single DVD by DIY:

DVD replication – at least $.35 per DVD, DVD case – $.50 per DVD and DVD artwork – $1.00 per DVD

Total cost is :

$1.85 – $8.00 profit price= $6.15 = about 325% – 400% markup profit.
$6.15 x 5,000 copies = $30,750 Net Profit
$8.00 x 5,000 copies= $40,000 Gross Profit

If you create the DVD process yourself or with a few people, you would probably make about 325% – 400%. If you outsource DVD creation, at the very least you could make 600% profit.

Next we’ll cover how to market this small budget DVD to a mass audience using the Internet and Advertising.

For any other questions or comments please leave a response on this post below or contact me at





  1. I need to find a distributor for my Golf comedy. Help Thanks

  2. Next we’ll cover how to market this small budget DVD to a mass audience using the Internet and Advertising.

    dear sir
    please give me a copy of the article above for i missed your publication, thanks

  3. Nice job – these are real world numbers closely reflecting what we have encountered. At lower quantity of DVDs — what we call the “Chicken Price” say of 50 or so to send out as screeners, the DVD hits almost $5 to $6. It varies. But the numbers you list are very accurate . You are encapsulating this nicely!

  4. it’s my 1st feature film shot on dv, i have hard time to find distribution, How can i distibute to dvd to wal-mart or any other stores.

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