Whither "Equity Crowdfunding?"
I was unaware that US Law had changed in November 2015 to allow Filmakers to engage in "for-profit" Crowdfunding.
Ok, let's define here: non-profit Crowdfunding is your Kickstarter/Indygogo model. Donors give to a project they believe in. Donors may receive material perks for donations, but no financial return is expected (also, Crowdfunding sites make "caveat emptor" quite clear--there is no guarantee that the crowdfunded project will actually release. "Axanar" is a case in point--if shut down by Paramount I, and other donators basically lose our money.)
For profit Crowdfunding is different--one is considered an investor with profit-sharing. Now, ignoring that most films lose money* and those that don't usually have cooked studio books to deny profit**, this isn't really a good idea, for reasons well discussed here: http://www.moviemaker.com/archives/blogs/cinema_law/be-very-very-careful-about-equity-crowdfunding/
*Let's look at "Force Awakens." Roughly $2 billion in box office--Disney makes all the money! Wait... Theaters take half of that (US theaters get 10% Box Office, rising 10%/week to a cap of 60%. Chinese theaters take 60-70%. I don't know the split for other countries. 50% is a rough estimate). Okay, a cool billion... Minus $250 million for budget. Minus $200 million in marketing and distribution. Leaving $550 million... Once the back-end deals are done 25% of that goes to Abrams, Ford, Hamill, Fischer, etc. We're down to about $375 million in profit. This offsets the $275 million Disney estimates losing on "Tomorrowland," leaving $100 million in profits. Yeah, $100 million is a lot of money, but if that movie had only done $1.5 billion? No profit. Disney isn't going to make a crapton of cash on the films--the profit is in the merchandise!
**Did I say Hollywood studios cook the books? I did! See the following for how Warner Bros. "lost" $160 million dollars on a Harry Potter film that grossed almost a billion. http://deadline.com/2010/07/studio-shame-even-harry-potter-pic-loses-money-because-of-warner-bros-phony-baloney-accounting-51886/ Let's not forget the famous case of Art Buchwald suing Paramount over the "nonexistent" profits for "Forrest Gump." http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/25/movies/gump-a-huge-hit-still-isn-t-raking-in-huge-profits-hmm.html