Like I said before, those two did good compared to the others. I don't consider those numbers great.
Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they say they sell more then they do to try to get more sponsor money; it's very common. Even with those numbers, they are not comming close to breaking even with their original budget.
You need to understand that each deal is structured differently. Also, you can't assume that video sales are overstated. All a sponsor has to do is contact the distributors to find out what sales are like, its really not worth it to make shit up because everybody knows what everybody else sells anyways. I can personally tell you what video sales look like across the board…and other producers could happily do the same.
NWD might sell 30,000 units and get an average of $5 per unit. Thats $150,000. The total cost to produce the film, promote it and premiere it are upwards of $200,000. However, Freeride doesn't produce the NWD series to sustain it's business. They handle commercial media production for Red Bull and a host of other clients…those lucrative contracts support a full time staff and full salaries. The NWD film itself is a marketing tool and a way to keep Freeride relevant in the space.
The Collective/Roam might sell 30-40 thousand units each. Depending on their distribution and retail price they will see $4-8 per unit sold. Thats roughly 200K in gross revenue. They have a budget from sponsors that pays for the bulk of the production etc…
I could go on for days about the intricacies of each producer and how they turn MTB videos into a real business. Suffice to say that it doesn't sound like this business is a good fit for you.