4 walling is never very successful financially unless you have the money the distributor would have to have for advertising, and the connections to get the critics and reviewers into the theater. It also depends on why you are 4 walling. If it's just to show your cast and crew, great, spend the money. If you think you're going to make money with less than, say, $200,000 at the least for advertising, you are probably wrong and a little delusional (sp?). If you think you are going to make money and do not have a marquee actor or a big, big festival rep., you are dreaming and why not just let all the distributors that have contacted you spend their money because it did so well in the festivals and has a marquee actor? What happens if the critics hate it? Best of luck with your film, be careful with your money. http://www.proletariatpictures.com
We do have a critical review that helps and a producer's rep that's worth his weight at least in silver. Things have been moving forward by the normal channels.
However, as for a contingency plan to return our investment if a deal doesn't materialize, 4 walling is being looked at. The picture was made for very little money which always helps. And within a 300 mile radius of us is one of the most populated areas in the USA. We have ins with cable networks and various advertising outlets and booking agents. Our grass roots advertising has been working for us. Sweat equity goes a long way towards building an audience base. It's just would mean another year or two of my life with this picture that has already taken 3 years too long.
As for name actors, I totally agree with star power. I will never do another picture without at least one or two stars. But by the same token, there's still a large demographic that will look past the names and enjoy a good story.
We shall see which way the wind blows. Hopefully it won't come to self-distribution. Plan for the worse.