Kickstarter has announced that a total of $102.7 million has been pledged towards independent film projects since the site launched in mid-2009. Film, as we've already seen, pulls in some of the most money of any Kickstarter category, although individual projects don't make as much money as big-name design proposals. According to Kickstarter's overall stats, about $450 million has been pledged for all projects and $387 million collected; roughly the same percentage — totaling $85.7 million — of money in the film category was collected.
Within the film category, documentaries are the most heavily funded with about $43 million; narrative films received about $32 million and short films around $17 million. Documentary films and shorts, however, make up virtually all of Kickstarter's big success stories. The site boasts that three of the top 20 best-reviewed films of 2012 (based on Rotten Tomatoes scores) were funded through its site: Brooklyn Castle, The Waiting Room, and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry were all highly regarded Kickstarter documentaries, and the latter two are on the shortlist for Oscar nomination. A handful of other documentary projects have received similar accolades in past years.
Three of the top-reviewed films of 2012 were crowdfunded projects
Of around 8,000 successfully funded projects, Kickstarter says 86 have seen a theatrical debut and 14 more are planned to screen in 2013, suggesting that even accounting for the normal Kickstarter failure rate, the vast bulk of movies are released online. Despite this, the site can clearly claim some credit for helping fund films on the indie theatrical circuit.