The State of the Spec Screenplay Market: The Scoggins Report

by ScreenCraft on March 17, 2015

Our friends at SpecScout have just released their 2014 Scoggins Report (better late than never, right?). Compiled with data from their website and many other sources, the Scoggins Report is a survey of the spec screenplay market. It tells you which companies are buying spec scripts and pitches over the past year, and it's a bellwether for the state of the business of screenwriting.  This report does not include the many independent producers who optioned screenplays and commissioned writing assignments.


Overall, the spec market is down compared to the past three years. This is because there were fewer non-studio buyers. On the other hand, the studios partially filled the void, buying 33% more specs in 2014 than in 2013. A total of 90 specs were sold in 2014. When including pitches, the number jumps to 148.


What does this mean for you? When you consider that tens of thousands of spec scripts are written every year, the report illustrates just how slim the odds of selling are. Don’t get discouraged, though. Your spec script can still be a valuable sample for you to get writing assignments from producers and development executives.


Here are the top five studio buyers for 2014 (specs only):

  1. Columbia (Sony) - 9

  2. Fox - 8

  3. Universal - 6

  4. New Line (Warner Bros) - 5

  5. Disney - 3, Lionsgate - 3, Paramount - 3


Here are the top studio buyers when including pitches:

  1. Fox - 19

  2. Columbia (Sony) - 14

  3. Universal - 10

  4. Lionsgate - 6, New Line (Warner Bros) - 6, Paramount - 6


Here are the top non-studio buyers (specs only):

  1. Voltage - 3

  2. Cold Iron - 2, FilmNation - 2, Wonderland Sound & Vision - 2


Here are the top genres (specs only):

  1. Action/Adventure - 23

  2. Thriller - 17

  3. Drama - 16

  4. Sci Fi/Fantasy - 14

  5. Comedy - 13

  6. Horror - 7


Here are the top agencies (specs only):

  1. CAA - 20

  2. WME - 15

  3. UTA - 10

  4. APA - 7, Paradigm - 7


Here are the top management companies (specs only):

  1. Energy - 7, Benderspink - 7

  2. Kaplan/Perrone - 6

  3. Circle of Confusion - 5, Gotham / Principal - 5


You can read the entire 40-page report--including info on individual specs--here.

Have a screenplay that's worth gaining the attention of many of the companies listed here?  Check out our genre-specific screenplay contests here.


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