Spec screenplay sales plummet in 2009

Selling a spec screenplay was the thing to do in the 90s. Then sit back, cash in and sell another. Be scorned, Joe Ezterhas. But times have changed and the lottery that is the hollywood spec screenplay market has changed dramatically. If anything, it has dried up and vanished. For every screenwriter that comes out to Tinseltown with visions of a million dollar payday, the landscape is one of gloom and doom. For every one job, there are 99 other more qualified screenwriters and the competition is intense. Sometimes, it's not all about talent.

Here are some discouraging stats from spec screenplay sales this year.

• 436 spec scripts came out in 2009, of which 72 sold (17%).

• 373 specs went out wide in 2009, of which 19 sold (5%). Of those 19, only 3 sold after April 30th, out of 178 attempts during the period (1.7%).

• As for spec sals by genre, comedies led with 32% of sales, thrillers 29%, action adventures 21%, while dramas and sci-fi/fantasies tied with 10%.


Film Business, Hollywood, Screenwriting

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