by Michael D. Sellers Every independent producer who is trying to garner investment for his project inevitably cites “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Blair Witch” as examples of what can happen to a small film that strikes the right chord with audiences. And this is understandable — after all, that’s the pot of gold that we’re all trying to win. But clearly you can’t build a business model based on the exceptions to the rule – -you must be able to have a model that makes sense at something lower than the “breakout hit” level.So I want to provide some reference points for you to keep in mind as we work our way toward the release of Eye of the Dolphin and our future projects.Let’s start with some numbers for the year 2006.620 — Number of Films Released Theatrically in the US$15M — Average Theatrical GrossNot bad so far, right? If we could just hit the “average”……read on.210 — Number of films with $1M or more theatrical gross420 — Number of films with less than $1M theatrical gross?Yes, that’s right. 2 out of 3 films released made less than $1M at the box office. Some other stats — though:Of the 620 films released, 440 were in “limited release” of 300 of these never played more than 10 theaters. Thus when we parse it down to this level, we see that a lot of those 420 that made less than $1m only played on a handful of theaters. So it’s not as bad as it seems.I will add more to this post later…..