There’s plenty of art in arthouse and indie film productions, but today’s indie-focused panel at the Produced By Conference was all about commerce. Despite its pointed title – “Is The Sky Falling?” – the session certainly wasn’t all doom and gloom, thanks to the force of VOD.

Moderator Ted Mundorff, president and CEO of Landmark Theaters, kicked off the session by noting that the three highest grossing indie films of 2014 took in $192 million at the box office while the three top grossers in 2015 dropped to $91 million.

The panel of indie distributors and financiers agreed that VOD has been a boon to indie filmmakers.  “You have to be nimble today, ” said Molly Smith, Partner, Black Label Media. “You have to ride the theatrical wave and you need to pull back and find a life in the VOD space.”

“VOD helps mitigate the risk,” said Jonathan Saba, VP of Marketing, Saban Films.

Daniel Hammond, CCO, Broad Green Pictures, said, “VOD is a part of the business today,” before adding a reassuring “The sky has been failing for a couple of years now.”

On the other hand, Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street Media, argued that there is still a very strong market for movie-goers 35 and older in theatrical.

“I don’t think the sky is falling,” he said “It’s easier to make films than ever before and yes there are more options for consumers to view movies than ever before”.