This is the fee charged by a studio/distributor to the exhibitor in order to have their film exhibited in their theater(s). This is usually in the form of a percentage of revenue generated at the box office in any given market. This percentage can range from as low as 10% all the way up to 50%. A typical distribution fee is 30%. This is not to be confused with film rentals which is the studio’s portion of the box office calculated after the distribution fee has been paid.
NOTE: When it comes to accounting numbers, distribution fee is not factored in as “revenue” or “earnings” even though the money goes straight to the studio/distributor. This is just another one of those strange accounting principles practiced in the movie industry.