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Movie Money: Understanding Hollywood's (Creative) Accounting Practices [Paperback]

Bill Daniels , David Leedy , Steven D. Sills
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Paperback $17.80  
Paperback, May 1998 --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
Movie Money: Understanding Hollywood's (Creative) Accounting Practices, 2nd ed. Movie Money: Understanding Hollywood's (Creative) Accounting Practices, 2nd ed. 5.0 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

May 1998 1879505339 978-1879505339 1st
Examining the numerous film industry definitions of "gross" and "net" profits, and the many ways in which these figures are calculated, this book attempts to unravel and explain the business' arcane "creative" accounting practices.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When columnist Art Buchwald sued Paramount for plagiarism and breach of contract over the 1988 film Coming to America, a by-product was the revelation that Hollywood's accounting practices are more than slightly deceptive. That movie grossed $350 million worldwide, but Paramount was able to claim that the movie failed to show a profit. Daniels and his coauthors shed light on the issue. One coauthor, David Leedy, was a CPA with an admitted grudge when he self-published a 1980 booklet Motion Picture Distribution--An Accountant's Perspective. He sold more than 5,000 copies out of a post office box in Hollywood. In 1990, he updated his guide, relying on revelations that came out of the Buchwald case, but a finished book never made it to market. This newest, more polished version is a result of a collaboration between Leedy and Daniels, an entertainment journalist, and Steven Sills, head of a Hollywood auditing firm. The authors target "entertainment professionals" as their intended audience, but Movie Money will fascinate anyone interested in show business. David Rouse

Product Details

  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Silman-James Pr; 1st edition (May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879505339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879505339
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,346,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Follow the Money! July 2, 2001
By Michael
This book will help anyone who desires to learn how their box office ticket dollars are spent. The authors take you step by step through a standard profit participation agreement. I feel the authors are not as aggressive as they should be hollywood's unethical "creative accounting". The distributors and the audit firms would like artists to believe that the lack of knowledge is why many artist are "cheated" out of their net profits or as Eddie Murphy stated "monkey profits". All net profit participants should read this before they listen to their lawyers and auditors. Many auditors and attorneys are willing participants in the "net profit scam"!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious stuff if you are serious about distribution July 30, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is serious stuff! Written by three of the top "Profit Participation Auditor-Accountants" in Hollywood, this is a very informative, very scary inside look at how the legendary "Hollywood Accounting" really works. They also go into why it is the way it is...and that does give you some sympathy for the devil. It's not an easy read since we're talking about legalese and accounting strategies here, so it's not for the casual hobbist. I found it absolutely fascinating and extremely useful since I consider myself a serious filmmaker who wants to know what a good deal and a bad deal may look like...and want to make some money with my movies, not just hit a few festivals and it end up a trophy on the shelf. If you're serious, this is a must read...but bottom line: Don't try to do this yourself. Even the everyday lawyer or CPA will get bamboozeled if they don't have a movie biz experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They wrote the book on Hollywood Accounting April 22, 2010
By Steve
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not an accountant, so there's always going to be a limit to how much of accountancy I understand. However this book does as good a job as possible explaining the principles (or lack of them) and terminology associated with "Hollywood Accounting".

The book also contains a series of dramatized examples, following a simple story, complete with a "Hollywood Ending"!

Personally, I can't wait to see the movie, and I would welcome a good sequel. :D
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Awesome Book. Explains the ins and outs of Hollywood accounting, great for any indie or experienced filmmaker. Teaches all kinds of important contract terms and information. Highly recommend reading before making your film.
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