THE 2017 HIT LIST STATS, COMPARISONS, FACTS, FIGURES & FUN
Every year following the release of our annual Hit List, presenting the best spec scripts of the year, as voted on by Hollywood, we take a moment to look over the stats, numbers and names that made this year’s list and do a deep dive comparison to the seven years of lists that came before it (2010-2016). Every year offers new insights and analysis on the market, the players, and the ever-shifting trends on the entertainment industry as a whole. So, buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into the year that was, and how got here.
HOW WE GOT HERE:
Following our model from 2016, this year we once again invited 600 industry members to take part in the voting process, selecting up to 5 of their favorite specs from the 367 eligible scripts that graced the ballot. Of those votes, 2,089 accounted for the 90 scripts that made this year’s list, with 690 of those being for the Top 10 alone. Of the 367 eligible specs, 283 earned at least one vote, and 193 fell short of a spot on the list, landing 6 votes or less.
SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2017:
In 2016 we saw Netflix making its first appearance on the list (behind only Fox) with 3 projects on the list, and this year they not only returned, but they tied Paramount and Sony for the top studio spot with 4 projects apiece. Still sitting atop the eight year overall list however is Warner Bros. who added 2 more projects this year to watch their total projects accounted for at time of release jump up to 31. Beyond just individual studios, the 2017 list would also set records for the most projects set up at both studios (29) and production companies (60).
After becoming the first annual ‘best of’ list to have a female writer land the top spot in 2014 (Catherine The Great – Kristina Lauren Anderson), we’d seen the number of female writers breaking a new record year-over-year since, and 2017 is no different, as one up last years record of 22 with this years record of 24 female writers. Additionally, the number of returning writers on this years list would tie last year’s record, with 22 projects being written by 26 Hit List alums.
This year would just miss the record of unique scripts voted for with 283 (286 in 2014), but would do so in a year featuring 27 fewer eligible scripts (367 in 2017 compared to 394 in 2014), and would see the top voted script land the most votes we’ve seen since 2014 (87 votes). 2014 and 2017 would continue to see similarities in both the number of male writers on the list (85), first time writers on the list (85), projects in the Top 10 with no producers involved (1), an would fall within a few numbers of almost half a dozen different categories.
2017 would see the eight-year leading genre make a return to the top as thrillers topped this year’s list with 41 of the 90 specs slotting into the genre. Drama, action and sci-fi would stay steady by comparison to 2016, but both horrors (13) and supernatural (10) specs would set their best years to date, while comedies (10) would set its worst. Also falling to an all-time low would be adventure (2) projects.
Though only a slight increase in unique agencies (12) and management companies (37) in 2017, we would see a record-setting 13 companies notch their first year on the list since 2010. And though the number of individual agents (108) and managers (77) was at its lowest since 2014 (86 agents, 73 managers), we would also see a record-setting 46 of those reps land on the list for the very first time since the first year of the list. Additionally, the number of projects with agents (75), managers (80) or both agents and managers (66) would almost perfectly match the eight-year averages in those categories (agents – 75.9, managers – 79.25, both – 67.25).
Following a year where we saw both the top agent and manager spot held by reps who’d previously occupied that position, 2017 saw two newcomers claim the top spots with Verve’s agent Parker Davis (8 projects) and Gotham Group’s manager Eric Robinson (6 projects) claiming the title of top reps for 2017. Immediately following these two were 2016’s top agent Charles Ferraro of UTA (7 projects) and 2015’s top agent David Boxerbaum of Verve (6 projects) on the agency side, and 2015’s top manager Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue (5 projects) and 2016’s top manager Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment (4 projects). To make the new top reps win even sweeter – not only was this their first year as top reps, but they’d both only appeared on 3 list prior, and their 2017 totals were more than double any previous year they’d appeared.
The 2017 list would also set a few more records before all was said and done, with the number of projects with cast attached (13), directors attached (26), and both cast and directors attached (8) all setting new eight year highs.
But, for more detail on the all of the Writers, Agencies, Agents, Management Companies, Managers, Genres, Set-ups & More keep reading below…
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE TOP 10:
Identical to 2016, the top two scripts atop the Hit List this year were decided by just 3 votes, with Matt and Ryan Firpo’s RUIN topping the list 87 votes, and Christy Hall’s DADDIO coming in right behind it at 84 votes. Strangely enough, in the past five years the largest gap between the top two scripts has only ever been 4 votes. That’s a significant difference from the outlier year of 2011, when Graham Moore’s THE IMITATION GAME topped Lauryn Kahn’s HE’S FUCKIN’ PERFECT by 23 votes. The smallest divide to date came in 2015, when John Griffin’s CRATER topped the list with 1 single vote more than Isaac Adamson’s BUBBLES. From first to tenth the votes dropped by 31, but still maintained a very healthy count with 56 votes, or roughly 10% of all voters voting for Craig Luck & Ivor Powell’s BIOS.
This year’s list set a record with 13 different projects featuring cast attachments. This number is made even more impressive when you notice that 5 of those all appeared in the Top 10, with Gal Gadot attached to RUIN, Daisy Ridley attached to DADDIO, Sandra Bullock attached to Mario Correa’s LET HER SPEAK, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski attached to Bryan Woods and Scott Beck’s A QUIET PLACE and Tom Hanks attached to BIOS. Of the 26 projects featuring directors 3 appear in the Top 10, with Justin Kurzel attached to RUIN, John Krasinski having directed A QUIET PLACE and Miguel Sapochnik set to lens BIOS.
Whereas 2016 saw WME dominate the Top 10, with it not only being the only agency with more than one project atop the list, but also owning 5 of the 10, 2017 did a much better job of sharing the wealth, with four different agencies (CAA, UTA, Verve, WME) each representing 2 projects and ICM representing 1. Joe Johnson’s THE GREAT PACMAN WAR OF 1982 is the only project in the Top 10 not having an agent at the time of release. As for individual agents, only Charlie Ferraro of UTA (7 overall) and David Boxerbaum of Verve (6 overall) appeared in the Top 10 more than once.
On the other side of the coin, only one company represented more than 1 project in the Top 10, with LBI Entertainment not only representing the top project RUIN, but also the second overall project DADDIO. Bellevue, Good Fear, Heroes & Villains, Madhouse Entertainment and Plattform would each land 1 project in the Top 10, with Misha Green’s THE MOTHER, Jeremy Michael Cohen’s GEORGE, and BIOS not having managers at the time of release. Only Harry Lengsfield of LBI appeared in the Top 10 more than once.
As for the writers, 2017 would tie the record set in 2011 for the most writers in the Top 10 (14) and would set the record for the writing teams in the Top 10 (4). Of our 14 writers, 2 previously appeared on the Hit List, with writing team Evan Kilgore and Samuel Franco’s KEEPER OF THE DIARY following up their 2015 Hit List appearance with their spec MAYDAY 109 (which just missed the top 10 that year), and 5 of them previously appeared on the Young & Hungry List, with Kilgore & Franco landing on the list in 2015, and A QUIET PLACE writing team Bryan Woods and Scott Beck appearing on the list in 2017 alongside MEAT writer Logan Martin.
Of these projects, 5 are currently set up with studios, with LET HER SPEAK at Sony, THE MOTHER at Netflix, KEEPER OF THE DIARY at Fox Searchlight, A QUIET PLACE at Paramount and BIOS at Amblin Partners, and 9 have homes with production companies.
On the genre front, drama once again reigns supreme, with 6 of the 10 either leading as or sub-listed as a drama, and followed closely with 4 period pieces, 3 thrillers, 2 biopics, 2 horrors, and action, coming-of-age, sci-fi, and supernatural rounding out the list with 1 apiece.
We’ll dive deeper into more details below, but before we wrap out this section, here’s a quick hit of the last eight years of Top 10s.
TOP 10 HIT LIST SPECS BY YEAR:
01 – RUIN – Matt Firpo & Ryan Firpo (87 Votes)
02 – DADDIO – Christy Hall (84 Votes)
03 – LET HER SPEAK – Mario Correa (76 Votes)
04 – THE MOTHER – Misha Green (72 Votes)
05 – GEORGE – Jeremy Michael Cohen (70 Votes)
06 – KEEPER OF THE DIARY – Evan Kilgore & Samuel Franco (65 Votes)
07 – A QUIET PLACE – Bryan Woods & Scott Beck (62 Votes)
08 – MEAT – Logan Martin (60 Votes)
09 – THE GREAT PACMAN WAR OF 1982 – Joe Johnson (58 Votes)
10 – BIOS – Craig Luck & Ivor Powell (56 Votes)
01 – I, TONYA – Steven Rogers (81 Votes)
02 – LETTERS FROM ROSEMARY – Nick Yarborough (78 Votes)
03 – MAN ALIVE – Joe Greenberg (75 Votes)
04 – LIFE ITSELF – Dan Fogelman (69 Votes)
05 – POST, THE – Liz Hannah (65 Votes)
06 – ADRIFT – Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell (61 Votes)
07 – BLOND AMBITION – Elyse Hollander (60 Votes)
08 – TIME TRAVELER’S LA RONDE, THE – Tom Dean (59 Votes)
09 – AMERICAN REBEL – Christopher Cosmos (57 Votes)
10 – BEING CHRISTIAN – Jesse Maiman (55 Votes)
01 – CRATER – John Griffin (79 Votes)
02 – BUBBLES – Isaac Adamson (78 Votes)
03 – ELI – David Chirchirillo (76 Votes)
04 – REAGAN – Mike Rosolio (73 Votes)
05 – LIBERTINE, THE – Ben Kopit (69 Votes)
06 – WATER MAN, THE – Emma Needell (65 Votes)
07 – LIFE INSIDE, THE – Takashi Doscher (62 Votes)
08 – PALE BLUE DOT – Brian C Brown & Elliott DiGuiseppi (59 Votes)
09 – GREAT FALLS – Andrew Friedhof (55 Votes)
10 (tie) – BOY – Mattson Tomlin (54 Votes)
10 (tie) – HAMMERSPACE – Mike Van Waes (54 Votes)
01 – CATHERINE THE GREAT – Kristina Lauren Anderson (87 Votes)
02 – MENA – Gary Spinelli (83 Votes)
03 – BABYSITTER, THE – Brian Duffield (78 Votes)
04 – ONE FELL SWOOP – Greg Scharpf (77 Votes)
05 – YELLOWSTONE FALLS – Dan Kunka (75 Votes)
06 – IN THE MORNING BLOOD – Elijah Bynum (71 Votes)
07 – SECRET INGREDIENTS OF ROCKET COLA – Michael Vukadinovich (70 Votes)
08 – GARDEN AT THE END OF THE WORLD – Gary Graham (67 Votes)
09 – MATRIARCH – Eric Koenig (66 Votes)
10 – TAKEAWAY, THE – Julia Cox (61 Votes)
01 – HOT SUMMER NIGHTS – Elijah Bynum (91 Votes)
02 – A BOY AND HIS TIGER – Dan Dollar (89 Votes)
03 – SECTION 6 – Aaron Berg (82 Votes)
04 – REMINISCENCE – Lisa Joy (79 Votes)
05 – PURE O – Kate Trefry (76 Votes)
06 – THE GOLDEN RECORD – Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell (72 Votes)
07 – TRANQUILITY BASE – Daniel Turkewitz (67 Votes)
08 – HOLLAND, MICHIGAN – Andrew Sodroski (65 Votes)
09 – INK AND BONE – Zak Olkewicz (62 Votes)
10 – THE SHARK IS NOT WORKING – Richard Cordiner (60 Votes)
01 – DRAFT DAY – Rajiv Joseph & Scott Rothman (118 Votes)
02 – WUNDERKIND – Patrick Alson (111 Votes)
03 – GLIMMER – Carter Blanchard (103 Votes)
04 (tie) – OUR NAME IS ADAM – T.S. Nowlin (99 Votes)
04 (tie) – WHITE HOUSE DOWN – James Vanderbilt (99 Votes)
05 – THE CELLAR – Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken (92 Votes)
06 – THE DISCIPLE PROGRAM – Tyler Marceca (91 Votes)
07 – MONSTER PROBLEMS – Brian Duffield (87 Votes)
08 – VIRAL – Dustin T. Benson (84 Votes)
09 – BLACK BOX – David Guggenheim (82 Votes)
10 – STORY OF YOUR LIFE – Eric Heisserer (79 Votes)
01 – THE IMITATION GAME – Graham Moore (142 Votes)
02 – HE’S FUCKIN’ PERFECT – Lauryn Kahn (119 Votes)
03 – WHEN THE STREETLIGHTS GO ON – Eddie O’Keefe & Chris Hutton (105 Votes)
04 – IN THE EVENT OF A MOON DISASTER – Mike Jones (98 Votes)
05 – FATHER DAUGHTER TIME – Matthew Aldrich
06 – MAGGIE – John Scott III (84 Votes)
07 – SELF/LESS – Alex Pastor & David Pastor (81 Votes)
08 – CRISTO – Ian Shorr (78 Votes)
09 (tie) – AGENT OX – Daniel Kunka (71 Votes)
09 (tie) – FLASHBACK – Will Honley (71 Votes)
10 – HIDDEN – Matthew Duffer & Ross Duffer (64 Votes)
01 – SAFE HOUSE – David Guggenheim (113 Votes)
02 – CHRONICLE– Max Landis (104 Votes)
03 – I-95 – Greg Russo (97 Votes)
04 – SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN – Evan Daugherty (91 Votes)
05 – FAMILY GETAWAY – Jeremiah Friedman, Nick Palmer (84 Votes)
06 – DARK MOON – Olatunde Osunsanmi (76 Votes)
07 – YOUR BRIDESMAID IS A BITCH – Brian Duffield (68 Votes)
08 – LAYOVER – Zach Dean (65 Votes)
09 – TRIPLE NINE – Matt Cook (64 Votes)
10 – HOOF HARRINGTON’S GREATEST HITS – Dutch Southern (59 Votes)
Of the 90 spec scripts represented on the 2017 Hit List, they were written by 110 writers, with 18 writing teams (20%), and 1 writer appearing more than once on the list (Mattson Tomlin). Of the 90 scripts, 68 of them (76%) come to us from the 85 writers (78%) appearing on the list for the first time, while 27 (Mattson Tomlin being on this list twice) of the writers have appeared on the Hit List before (2 of them on the inaugural 2010 list). Of the 27 veterans, 21 have appeared once before, 1 has appeared twice before (Lucas Carter), 1 has appeared three times before (Chris Sparling), 3 have appeared four times before (Daniel Kunka, F. Scott Frazier, Ian Shorr) and 1 has appeared five times before (Max Landis). Landis now holds the record alongside Brian Duffield for most appearances of all time with six overall.
Of the 110 writers, 46 (42%) had previously appeared on a Young & Hungry List since 2011, 25 (23%) had previously appeared on a black list since 2005, and 12 (11%) had appeared on the Blood List since 2011.
The eight-year story:
In eight years we have now seen 721 different writers make 863 appearances across the 707 spec scripts that have graced the Hit List since 2010. 102 writers have appeared more than once, with 2 having appeared six times (Duffield, Landis), 3 having appeared five times (Kunka, Frazier, Shorr), 6 having appeared four times (Chris Borelli, Chris Balding, Christopher Baldi, Jonathan Stokes, Michael Sherman and Steve Desmond), 13 writers having appeared three times (Anthony Jaswinski, Brad Ingelsby, David Guggenheim, Elijah Bynum, Gary Spinelli, Jeffrey Gelber, Lucas Carter, Marc Maurino, Mattson Tomlin, Peter Hoare, Ryan Belenzon and Zak Olkewicz), and 78 writers having appeared twice.
Of these 721 different writers, 301 (42%) have also appeared on the Young & Hungry List, 324 (45%) have gone on to appear on the black list, 30 were Launch Pad Alums (4%), and 69 (10%) have also appeared on the Blood List.
Of all 721 Hit List writers, only 28 (4%) have appeared on all four major annual lists – Hit List, Young & Hungry List, Black List and Blood List since 2010. (This does not include the 2017 black list).
Just like in 2016, 12 different agencies made the Hit List in 2017, with 8 having appeared on every Hit List since 2010 (APA, CAA, Gersh, ICM, Paradigm, UTA, Verve, WME), 1 having appeared on all but 2012’s list (Original Artists), 1 having appeared every year since it’s inception (ESA), and 2 appearing for the very first time (RGM Artists, Woolf + Lapin Agency).
Of this year’s list of 90 projects, 75 were represented by an agency (83%), with Verve and their new acquisition of David Boxerbaum from Paradigm taking the top spot for the very first time with 17 projects (19%). How big was that Boxerbaum move? Six of Verve’s 17 (35%) made the move from Paradigm with him (including their only 2 in the top 10) giving them the best late season move of the year. Go a step further and factor in the fact that only 75 of the 95 projects on this year’s list had aents, and Verve actually represented 17 of those 75 (23%), with Boxerbaum deliver 6 of those 75 (8%) Verve.
Right behind Verve this year was UTA matching their 2012, 2015 & 2016 total of 15 projects on the list, pushing them past both CAA (12) and WME (8) to claim this year’s number two spot, as well as the lead for the most appearances of all time on the Hit List with 109 of the 707 specs of all time (15%) or the 607 that had agents at time of announcement (17%). But, don’t get too comfy, as though CAA dropped a few this year, and WME came in with 10 fewer scripts on the list than last year (also tying the low mark they’d also hit in 2013 & 2014), they still represent 106 and 104 projects overall.
Following Verve, UTA, CAA and WME was APA (7) hitting their annual average, ICM (6) surging back from their worst outing ever in 2016, and just missing hitting their annual best by one, Gersh (4) almost seeing their 2016 best outing cut in half, Paradigm (3) immediately missing Boxerbaum, as they hit their all time low in 2017, and ESA and Original Artists, joining newcomers RGM Artists and Woolf + Lapin Agency each with 1 project on the list.
The eight-year story:
While Verve topped 2017, it was UTA that took the top overall agency for the first time since 2010, using their 15 projects this year to amass an eight-year total of 109 of the 607 (17%) agented projects or of the 707 total projects (15%) that have made the Hit List since 2010. Following very close behind them are CAA with 106 and WME with 104, before we see a sizeable drop to 70 overall for Verve (17 of which came in 2017 as 24%), 56 overall for APA, 50 overall for Paradigm, 44 overall for Gersh and 39 overall for ICM. An additional 14 agencies have landed 9 or fewer specs on the list since 2010.
Since 2010, UTA has topped the list twice (2010, 2015) and landed in the top 3 every other year, CAA has topped the list three times and failed to make the top 3 once, WME has topped the list twice, but failed to make the top 3 twice, Verve has topped the list once, and failed to make the top 3 six times, APA has never topped the list, and only made the top 3 once, Paradigm has never topped the list, but has made the top 3 twice, Gersh has never topped the list and only made the top 3 once, and ICM has also never topped the list, but has made the top 3 once.
In looking back on UTA’s annual numbers, they have become one of the most consistent places in town, being the only agency to have had 15 or more projects on an annual Hit List five or more times, as opposed to CAA and WME’s three times apiece. For UTA I’m sure being the only agency with an agent in the top 3 individual agent (Charlie Ferraro) category all eight years doesn’t hurt that consistency.
TOP 5 AGENCIES BY YEAR:
2011 (11 different agencies listed)
22 – CAA
20 – WME
13 – UTA
06 – ICM (tied – 4th)
06 – Paradigm (tied – 4th)
05 – Gersh
2010 (13 different agencies listed)
16 – UTA
11 – CAA (tied – 2nd)
11 – WME (tied – 2nd)
08 – APA
06 – ICM
04 – Gersh
04 – Paradigm
While 2017 delivered the least amount of individual agents (107) we’ve seen in a few years, it also delivered the second most individual appearances (186) since 2010. This means, of the 75 scripts with agents, they averaged 2.5 agents per script.
What made 2017 even more impressive was that even with the smaller number of individual agents, the agents at the top set new records in the number of projects they were involved in. Sitting atop the list for the very first time was Verve’s Parker Davis, who represented 8 of the 75 scripts (11%) with agents, and in doing so also became the agent with the most ever projects on a Hit List, surpassing UTA’s Charlie Ferraro and WME’s Tanya Cohen who previously held the record with 7. Not only was this Parker’s first time to top the agents list, but in the four years since he’s first appeared on the list, he set his own personal best this year, following his appearances in 2014 (2), 2015 (5) and 2016 (4).
Following Davis this year was UTA’s Charlie Ferraro tying the record he’s previously set in 2016 with 7 of the 75 agented projects (9%), Verve’s David Boxerbaum with 6 of the 75 agented projects (8%), and APA’s Adam Perry and CAA’s Praveen Pandian each with 5 of the 75 agented projects (7%). Though there is some slight overlap with Davis and Boxerbaum both being at Verve, these numbers essentially mean that the top five agents this year appeared on 31 of the 75 agented projects (41%) that hit the list.
In terms of the most represented overall, that title still firmly rests with UTA’s Ferraro, who following his 2017 additions, now sits with 44 projects represented in the past eight years, followed by Verve’s Boxerbaum with 34, APA’s Perry with 25, WME’s Cohen with 22, and Verve’s Adam Weinstein with 21 total.
The eight-year story:
Since 2010 we have seen 311 different agents make 1,228 appearances on the annual Hit List, with 21 of them making their debut in 2017. Of those 311 agents, 177 have appeared more than once, with 10 different agents topping the annual list since 2010, with David Saunders topping the list for APA in 2010 with 4, Mike Esola topping the list for WME in 2011 with 7, Charlie Ferraro of UTA and Phillip D’Amecourt of WME topping the list in 2012 with 6 a piece, Adam Levine of Verve, Charles Ferraro of UTA, Chris Ridenhour of APA and Rob Herting of Verve topping the list in 2013 with 6, Tanya Cohen topping the list for Verve in 2014, Adam Perry of APA and David Boxerbaum of Paradigm topping the list in 2015 with 6, Charlie Ferraro of UTA and Tanya Cohen now of WME topping the list in 2016 with 7 a piece, and of course Parker Davis of Verve topping the list with 8 in 2017.
Of note to the above is that 4 of the 10 people who topped the list previously are no longer with with the company they did so with, as Esola transition from WME to UTA before than exiting UTA in 2017, Herting transition from Verve to CAA, Cohen transitioned from Verve to WME and Boxerbaum transitioned from Paradigm to Verve.
Since the Hit List began 100 of the 707 specs (14%) that made the list did not have agents at the time of announcement.
TOP INDIVIDUAL AGENTS BY YEAR:
2016 (121 different agents listed)
07 – Charles Ferraro – UTA
07 – Tanya Cohen – WME
2012 (93 different agents listed)
06 – Charles Ferraro – UTA
06 – Phillip D’Amecourt – WME
2011 (91 different agents listed)
07 – Mike Esola – WME (now at UTA)
2010 (74 different agents listed)
04 – David Saunders – APA
This year we saw 38 different management companies appear on the list representing 80 of the 90 (89%) Hit List specs, with 10 of the companies making their very first appearance. Of the other 28 companies, 6 of them have appeared on every list since 2010 (Circle of Confusion, DMG, Energy Entertainment, Gotham Group, Kaplan/Perrone, Madhouse), 3 of them have missed just one year (Anonymous Content, Heroes & Villains, Industry), 5 have missed just two years (Brillstein, Hopscotch, Principato/Young, Rosa, Zero Gravity), 2 have missed three years, (3 Arts, Echo Lake), 3 have made four of the eight years (Grandview, Kailey Marsh, Lee Stobby), 4 have made three of the eight years (Bellevue, Epicenter, Exile, Writ Large) and 5 have appeared twice since 2010 (Fourth Wall, Good Fear, Hollander, LBI, Shuman).
Three companies tied for the top management company spot in 2017 with 7 of the 80 (9%) managed projects apiece. Madhouse Entertainment, which also took the top spot in 2012 and 2014, tied with two companies not only taking the top spot for the very first time, but setting their own personal bests with Gotham Group and Grandview each also representing 7 projects. This means these three companies collectively represented 21 of the 80 (26%) managed projects on this years list. Gotham Group has appeared on every list since 2010, while Grandview has appeared every year since 2014. Rounding out the top management companies are Bellevue with 6 of the 80 managed projects (8%), and 3 Arts, Kaplan/Perrone and Writ Large each with 4 projects (5%) on the list and Echo Lake, Good Fear and Plattform with 3 projects (4%) apiece. An additional 28 companies represented the remaining 36 projects on the list, with 16 companies having more than one appearing.
The eight-year story:
Since 2010, 634 of the 707 (90%) projects making the Hit List have had a management company at the time of the list release.
As mentioned above, Madhouse Entertainment, led by four-time individual management leader Adam Kolbrenner may have only topped the list twice before doing so again this year – 2012 (11) and 2014 (9), but for every other of their seven years making the list, they landed in second place – 2010 (4), 2011 (5), 2013 (8), 2014 (9) and 2015 (6) and hold the title of the most projects represented by a management company, with 58 of the 634 (9%) managed projects overall. And to top it all off, as mentioned above Kolbrenner has led the pack for individual managers 4 of the 7 years, and represented 44 of the 58 (76%) Madhouse projects.
Having landed on every list since 2010 The Gotham Group earned its highest numbers ever in 2017 on its way to a tie for the top spot with 7 of the 80 projects represented. Gotham has consistently landed in the top five spots for management companies over the past four years with 2014 (3), 2015 (3), 2016 (4) helping drive their overall totals to 24 of the 634 (4%) projects managed. 2017 also marks the first year a Gotham manager has topped the list, as Eric Robinson was solo at the top of the list with 6 of Gotham’s 7 projects (86%) coming in under his wing. As a company, Gotham comes in sixth overall, just behind Industry Entertainment.
Grandview not only put up their best numbers this year on the way to tying for top spot with 7 of the 80 projects represented, but they also carry one of the best four-year numbers of any management company, having done enough to come in 10th overall on the all time list with 17 of the 634 (3%) projects represented. But, if you factor in that they’re a newer company, and have only appeared in each of the past four years, that number now becomes 17 of the 330 projects, for 5% of all managed projects since 2014.
Another younger company in the management space came in just behind the companies tying for first with 6 of their own projects landing on the 2017 list. Bellevue first appeared on the list in 2015 (6), representing the second most projects that year, and was third on the list in 2016 (7) before jumping back up to second place this year. For a company that has only been on the list three years, they’ve not only seen their company take 19 of the 254 (7%) managed projects, but they’ve been seen their manager Jeff Portnoy land at or near the top every year as well with a first place finish in 2015 (4), second place in 2016 (5) and second place finish in 2017 (5). Portnoy has individually represented 14 of the 19 (74%) projects Bellevue has seen on the list.
THE TOP MANAGEMENT COMPANIES BY YEAR:
2017 (38 different management companies listed)
07 – The Gotham Group (tied 1st)
07 – Grandview (tied 1st)
07 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied 1st)
06 – Bellevue
2016 (34 different management companies listed)
09 – Circle of Confusion
08 – Madhouse Entertainment
2015 (43 different management companies listed)
09 – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
06 – Bellevue (tied – 2nd)
06 – Circle of Confusion (tied – 2nd)
2014 (36 different management companies listed)
09 – Circle of Confusion (tied – 1st)
09 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied – 1st)
08 – Industry Entertainment
2013 (28 different management companies listed)
09 – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
08 – Energy Entertainment (tied – 2nd)
08 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied – 2nd)
2012 (32 different management companies listed)
11 – Madhouse Entertainment
08 – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
2011 (32 different management companies listed)
07 – Circle of Confusion (tied – 1st)
07 – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment (tied – 1st)
07 – New Wave Entertainment (tied – 1st)
05 –H2F (now DMG) (tied – 2nd)
05 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied – 2nd)
2010 (46 different management companies listed)
09 – Circle of Confusion
04 – Anonymous Content (tied – 2nd)
04 – H2F (now DMG) (tied – 2nd)
04 – Madhouse Entertainment (tied – 2nd)
This year’s list of individual managers slipped one manager shy of 2016’s list by coming in with 77 individual managers who made 112 appearances across the 80 managed projects on the list, leading to an average of 1.5 managers per script managed.
And, in following suit with Gotham Group’s first ever appearance as top management company, its none other than Gotham’s Eric Robinson taking the top spot for the first time this year with 6 of the 80 (8%) managed projects represented, and doing so by tripling his previous best outing in 2014 (2).
Robinson also represents 6 of the 7 (87%) projects Gotham had on the 2017 list to push them into first place as a company.
Following Robinson this year is Bellevue manager Jeff Portnoy with 5 of the 80 projects (6%), who in the three years of being on this list has never appeared below second place in the individual manager category, after taking the top spot in 2015 (4), second place in 2016 with 5, and tying that number again for second place in 2017. Coming in just behind Portnoy this year is overall top manager Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment with 4 of the 80 (5%) projects this year adding to his eight year totals of 44 out of 634 (7%) overall, and Writ Large’s Britton Rizzio also with 4 of the 80 (5%), and a solo claim to the 8th overall spot with 18 projects represented since the company’s first appearance on the list in 2015. Madhouse’s Kendrick Tan, Good Fear’s Scott Stoops and Grandview’s Zac Frognowski would each come in next with 3 projects represented apiece.
The eight-year story:
Since 2010 we have seen 252 different managers from 119 different management companies make 917 appearances across 634 of the 707 (90%) Hit List projects. As individuals, 19 of the 252 (8%) have appeared 10 or more times, with 5 of them landing on all eight lists, 3 of them landing on seven lists, 17 landing on six lists, 11 landing on five lists, and 17 landing on at least half of all lists.
Sitting atop the list is Madhouse Entertainment’s Adam Kolbrenner with 44 of the 634 (7%) managed projects since 2010 and of the 58 (76%) Madhouse projects overall , a number so impressive it almost doubles that of the next managers on the list, as Energy Entertainment’s Brooklyn Weaver clocks in with 28 overall, representing every Energy project since 2010, Kaplan/Perrone’s Aaron Kaplan with 27 overall, DMG’s Chris Fenton with 22 overall, and rounding out the top five is Kaplan/Perrone’s Josh Goldenberg with 21 overall projects. Kaplan and Goldenberg combine to represent 48 of the 52 (92%) projects Kaplan/Perrone has ever had on the list.
Of the 707 projects to land on the Hit List since 2010, only 73 (10%) have not had managers at the time of announcement.
TOP INDIVIDUAL MANAGERS BY YEAR:
2017 (77 different managers list)
06 – Eric Robinson – The Gotham Group
2016 (79 different managers listed)
08 – Adam Kolbrenner – Madhouse Entertainment
2015 (84 different managers listed)
04 – Jeff Portnoy – Bellevue
04 – Josh Goldenberg – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
04 – Michael Wilson – Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment
2014 (73 different managers listed)
07 – Adam Kolbrenner – Madhouse Entertainment
2013 (62 different managers listed)
08 – Brooklyn Weaver – Energy Entertainment
2012 (74 different managers listed)
09 – Adam Kolbrenner – Madhouse Entertainment
2011 (64 different managers listed)
07 – Mike Goldberg – New Wave Entertainment (now at APA)
2010 (74 different managers listed)
04 – Adam Kolbrenner – Madhouse Entertainment
04 – Britton Rizzio – Circle of Confusion (now at Writ Large)
04 – Chris Fenton – H2F (now at DMG)
Thrillers once again return to the top spot in 2017, with 41 of the 90 (45%) scripts carrying the thriller tag on it’s way to the Hit List. Following thrillers this year were dramas (39) continuing their year-over-year growth, and action (21) , sci-fi (18), period pieces (14) all coming in right around the eight-year averages. Surging to their highest numbers to date in 2017 were horror projects (13) and supernatural projects (10), with both comedies (11) and adventure projects (2) hitting all-time lows.
The eight-year story:
So, what can we learn from these numbers, looking over an eight year breakdown? After topping all genres in 2013 (51 projects), then dropping significantly in 2014 (31), thrillers have been the only genre to see steady increase year-over-year, and that’s what’s led it to become the top genre overall with 288 of the 707 (41%) projects wearing the genre. Following it are dramas, which after an incredibly low 8 projects in 2010, has never been below 17 since, and has hit, or just missed 40 projects a year in each of the past three years on the way to covering 236 of the 707 (33%) projects on the Hit List. Comedies hit an all-time low in 2017 with just 11 projects, yet still maintain the third most used genre of all time with 199 appearances overall (28%). Action projects come in with 197 appearances overall (28%), sci-fi with 118 (17%), adventure also hiting an all-time low this year and only appearing on 50 (7%) projects, with horror 45 (6%), period pieces 40 (5%), romance 33 (4%) and biopics 32 (4%) rounding out the top ten.