Every movie I ever worked on was a startup. We just didn’t call it that. We assembled a development crew. We pitched our idea to a network or group of investors. We got money. We put it into production, sending crews into the field, rewriting scripts, getting it into post, getting music composed and graphics made. Then we would hand the finished project off to the network that paid for it. We let them take care of promoting it. Guess what? Often, that didn’t go well.
Wait a minute. A network? Failing at promotion? <snicker>
You know what happened? With their network resources, their vast reach, they failed to build a culture around the movie. Most often, networks discover cultures by accident, which is lucky. Or by design, by continually commissioning the same project over and over about Las Vegas/Jesus/WW2/the Bible/UFOs/blowing stuff up. Or chef/cake competitions. Or Real [People] of [Location.] Mixing those elements in the same recipe over and over meant they did not need to build a culture for each new project. They already had one waiting for them. The project would connect with a pre-existing audience.