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Danny Boyle's blockbuster "Slumdog Millionaire" is the ultimate independent film, breaking all the rules in its box office performance and operating outside of a big studio's worldwide distribution net.
"Slumdog" is a bonanza for its foreign distributors, who often get saddled with third-rate Hollywood fare or arthouse titles that work in only a few territories.
The cast of characters benefiting from "Slumdog" begins with Film4, which produced and co-financed the movie with Celador Films, while Pathe Intl. sold foreign rights. The film also is spreading the love in North America. At the 11th hour, Warner Bros. balked at releasing the film after it closed down Warner Independent, and gave it to Fox Searchlight to open domestically.
Profit margins should be generous, although Boyle and the producers are devoting some of those returns to a trust fund set up for two Indian children starring in the film. Because of safety concerns, they're not specifying the amount of the fund, only that it is substantial.
Produced for $15 million, "Slumdog's" worldwide cume has topped $150 million, meaning generous profit margins for all involved. Domestic ticket sales are more than $88 …