Hollywood Economics

Fascinating prologue you can read regarding Hollywood economic history, and how it has transformed today.

Tempted to go get the book now.

I recently finished Epstein’s The Big Picture and I really recommend it. The first few chapters on the history of Hollywood are not particularly insightful, perhaps because that’s ground that has been covered dozens of times elsewhere. But once you get up to the video/DVD revolution section of the book, it becomes rather eye-opening. It especially lays clear what a farce it is for the videogame industry to brag about matching domestic box office receipts when 1)domestic box office as a percentage of a film’s total revenue has been plummeting for decades, 2) studios don’t particularly care because the vast majority of revenue is made in ancillary markets – ancillary markets that videogames don’t even have much less generate revenue from.

The latter half of the book is so filled with surprising details that I have to resist bullet-pointing the best of them here. In the section on the economics of exhibition and how movie theatres make their money off the 1000% mark-up on soda and popcorn, one Fox exec boiled his job down to: “I’m not in the business of making art, I’m in the business of getting teenagers to walk past the popcorn counter.”

That’s refreshingly honest and sure explains a lot about the average quality of movies… did this exec also name Uwe Boll as his favorite director?

They chose the newly incorporated village of Hollywood, California—a place they could control—for their new home. In

Learn something new everyday.

What was told to me in film school was that the film industry wanted to get going in NYC, but they were too close to Edison who apparently was quite a tyrant with his inventions. Rumor is he even had muscle to do his enforcing.

Then the filmmakers looked at Florida and Cuba, but Cuba was too far away and Florida wouldn’t yield enough to their wishes. So then they found the Hollywood farm.

Of course on the first day of classes this same professor told us that sound travels up, and that’s why you boom scenes from above…