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The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood Paperback – January 10, 2006
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The movie business is not an economically viable stand-alone business. Indeed, over 95% of the movies loose a ton of money at the Box Office even if they often generate hundreds of millions in such Box Office revenues. Movies have become extremely expensive advertising for a very risky long-term investment in an "intellectual property" right. The pioneer of such a business model was Walt Disney who fully grasped the possibilities of the ancillary businesses more than half a century ago.
Related ancillary revenues generated by videos, Pay TV, and Networks dwarf the revenues at the Box Office. While the major studios derived 100% of their revenues from Box Office in 1948, this percentage has continuously dropped to only 18% in 2003. Additionally, these ancillary businesses are almost all profits. The vast majority of the production costs have already been absorbed within the Box Office business.
However, a majority of movies still loose money when you figure the full life cycle of its "intellectual property." Epstein details throughout the book such a cycle for "Gone In 60 Seconds" with Nicolas Cage.Read more ›
Once a movie's theatrical release was the primary source of a studios income and indeed in the beginning the only income. Now however the theatrical release is just the beginning of income to the studios that now earn more income from video/DVD sales and rentals than the initial theatrical release. Also particular types of movies that lend themselves to action figures, promotional tie-ins, theme park rides and sequels are the major earners for the studios. Examples of these are Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Batman. These movies are easy to understand, involve multiple spectacular action scenes and cater to a young demographic who go to movies, buy the action figures and memorabilia associated with a movie and after seeing it more than once in the theatres may buy the DVD or video of the movie.Read more ›
Where this book really excels is not in the history of the business, where a fine job was done, but in the current discussion of the economics of the business. There are specific examples but probably the most telling is concerning the film, "Gone in Sixty Seconds", a typical car crash film starring Nicolas Cage. Most would probably assume this was not a profitable movie but he explains how movies are generally not profitable from ticket sales but through licensed video games, DVD sales and other promotions. This movie was hugely profitable but only when considering this ancillary income.
The example is carried further in explaining the mystic behind "net" and "gross" points. The known fact in Hollywood is always to get your points in "gross", prior to expense allocation. That's easier said than done. He goes through the whole math of the clearing house. As a former CPA it's an excellent explanation on what is "behind the curtain" in Hollywood accounting that leads to so many lawsuits.
Overall, I consider this on of the best books ever written about Hollywood.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're interested in the film business, this is fascinating and highly entertaining. You'll be enlightened, even by some of the obvious stuff.Published 7 months ago by Alex
A fast and good read. It takes you back from the very start keeping the direction of the book towards the business that is Hollywood and the men who influenced it. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Zohar S Lokhandwala
What a GREAT overview of Hollywood and how it makes its money. The pages are filled with fascinating insights, stories, and secrets. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Sundance Wilson
This book covers the film industry from its beginnings in the early 1900's through today and the effect of movie DVDs on the financials of movie production. Read morePublished 22 months ago by B. Forest
A great book that helps understand in a very simple manner how money is made with movies, with great stories in between.Published on January 26, 2014 by Phil Miler
Perhaps because he was a political science professor, Edward Jay Epstein writes "The Big Picture: The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood" with a precision not usually found... Read morePublished on November 14, 2013 by mirasreviews