The Hollywood Economist 2.0
The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies
Edward Jay Epstein
“[A] terrific job…. There’s fun to be had in knowing specifics, and Epstein offers plenty.”—Entertainment Weekly
In The Hollywood Economist, veteran investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein goes undercover to find the answer to a puzzling question: Why is it that even the biggest grossing new movies, raking in millions at the box office, rarely break even during their theatrical release? How does Hollywood make money?
Epstein penetrates the dazzlingly complicated economics of Hollywood to uncover what he calls the studio’s “invisible money machine”—the bizarre financial schemes behind the hits and the flops:
- Studios harvesting silver from the old film prints
- Incredibly complicated auctions to sell foreign rights
- The manipulation of outside investors
- Filming in bizarre locations to get subsidies and avoid taxes
Along the way to understanding this dizzying world of finance, we also learn much about the star system and what makes Hollywood tick. Why is Arnold Schwarzenegger a contract genius? How much does it cost to insure Nicole Kidman’s knee? Why is Laura Croft: Tomb Raider considered a masterpiece of studio financing? What really gets a movie made?