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The Hollywood Economist 2.0: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies Paperback – January 24, 2012
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"The answer to [the] mysteries of modern-day film financing can be found in The Hollywood Economist, Edward Jay Epstein's latest foray into the seamy underbelly of Hollywood spreadsheets."
—The Wall Street Journal
"[A] terrific job.... There's fun to be had in knowing specifics, and Epstein offers plenty."
Praise for Edward Jay Epstein's The Big Picture
"A rich adventure that will change the way you look at movies."
"Edward Jay Epstein is here to tell us that when it comes to Hollywood these days, we've got it all wrong."
—The Washington Post Book World
"One of the virtues of The Big Picture is Mr. Epstein's astonishing access to numbers that movie studios go to great lengths to keep secret....A groundbreaking work that explains the inner workings of the game."
—The Wall Street Journal
"Hollywood has needed one of these for a long time--a user's manuel. This one could not be more complete....[Grade] A."
“In his adroit charting of the confidence flow between the various entities and eras Mr. Epstein kicks up a lot of little surprises. . . Edward Jay Epstein is quite good.”
—Larry McMurtry, The New York Review of Books
“. . . [A] valuable education for those seeking to enter and under- stand the entertainment industry. . . . Factually impressive.”
—Joel Hirschhorn, Variety
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Top Customer Reviews
Epstein is a very good journalist and a good writer, so what is in the book is generally good.
The degree of detail available with specific examples of film financing deals is excellent.
So as long as you know what you're buying you won't be disappointed.
Government subsidies in many states and countries and the infamous tax loop hole in Germany are covered, as well as the risks studios take with expensive blockbusters and how much money they make through pay-TV, DVD sales and rentals. The book also explains how movie theaters earn a living -- and repeats it a couple of times in different chapters. It also explains the effect of the business model on the story lines used in movies and why formula movies dominate theatrical releases compared to TV shows, which are a lot more varied nowadays. How the studios react to new technology from VHS video to DVDs to streaming video are among the other covered topics. Some famous people in the business, such as studio executives, directors and actors are also briefly mentioned, but the book does not focus on their personalities or life stories.
Some of what Epstein has included in 2.0 is outright dated, even wrong: His discussion of Netflix is highly outdated (Netflx is stronger now than ever before due to VOD); his analysis of why HBO likes adult fare is terribly dated (in 2013, Epstein writes that HBO is devouring Hollywood's teen-oriented product voraciously); and he still doesn't really address the economics of 3D, or where that technology, pricing structure, and studio commitment is headed. But some of what he includes provides information that you just can't find elsewhere. His reporting on Hollywood is excellent, heads and shoulders above what you find in the "New York Times" or "Los Angeles Times" or "Associated Press" or, even, "Variety" or "The Hollywood Reporter". Epstein is not embedded with Hollywood, and it shows in his strong reporting.
One final note: This book STILL STILL STILL lacks an index! What the...??
With the dated information and repetitiveness, "The Hollywood Economist 2.Read more ›
As some have referred that the book is a compilation of previous articles/blog entries, one could agree but does not necessarily take away from the content. Continuity fails in a few places as the content repeats, but overall this quick read will provide one with `some' of the inside workings of Hollywood.
Many are familiar with the `3 Shell Game' where one attempts to find the pea. In this book one learns that in the movie business where illusion is front and center, the finance side has more illusion than the movie itself and is a '20 Shell Game'. Movies rarely make money as a standalone entity and are purposely structured not to. As the author documents, the finance structure of the movie itself is an illusion and is used as a veil to somewhat hid the fee structure of the key principals behind it.
Nevertheless content in the end will still be king, but as we move more and more to the digital world content may suffer. Suffer as fewer and fewer folks attend movies and content needs to appeal to many markets with simultaneous distribution. Will villains start to disappear as Communists, Nazis, and terrorists are now deemed off limits when 70% of your potential revenue is on a global scale? Time will tell, but in the meantime have fun at the movies.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First, this isn't really a book. It's a collection of somewhat repetitive articles. I don't think the format detracts too much, but know what you're getting into. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Shlok Vaidya
Explains why there are no more movies. Depressing but true.Published 6 months ago by Michael Doliner
Really allows you to understand the minute details of movie develop that make or break the financial success for any stakeholders.Published 13 months ago by Michael Bright
I enjoyed the book because it contains a long investigation about this market. I definitely would recommend this book for anybody willing to be part of this amazing industry.Published 14 months ago by Rolando
We'll crafted eye opening review of REAL Hollywood economics.Published 15 months ago by Jeremy Edwards
The hidden reality behind the financial aspects of moviemaking is an accurate description of this excellent book. You can learn the theory of movie finances in other books. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Francisco
Jay Epstein pulls back the curtain on the movie industry and how it's business works.
Simply amazing journalism on display. Read more
Great primer into the economics of Hollywood, and very enjoyable. As some other reviews noted, it does have some repetition, but this did not really bother me.Published 19 months ago by Frederick Lutz