An Economic History of Film (Routledge Explorations in Economic History)

An Economic History of Film (Routledge Explorations in Economic History)

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0415458676

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The movie industry boomed in the twentieth century, and is still going strong today. However, the economics of movies has been curiously under explored until now. Innovative and informative, this accessible book, which includes contributions from some of the leading experts in the area, is a huge step forward in our understanding of this important topic.

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that were published in the Warner Bros. accounts for the period. They take no account of the company’s accumulated assets and liabilities, and the accounting conventions applied to these. Also, they do not represent performance within the strict limits of a trading year, since films released in one season generated revenue during the following season. Rather, they are to be interpreted as reflecting Warner Bros.’ annual performance with regard to its pure filmmaking activities. See Sedgwick and

(manufactured) products into premium branded products – for example, by the use of stars as spokespersons for products or by the licensing of what we today call ‘merchandise tie-ins.’ The United States At first, the technological novelty of film was sufficient to attract an audience, reinforced between 1900 and 1910 as additional novelties such as colored film and film with sound came into vogue.17 Around 1907 the first fixed cinemas, ‘nickelodeons,’ emerged, with at most a few hundred seats. Companies

Tomlinson 12 Pacific Centuries Pacific and Pacific Rim economic history since the 16th century Edited by Dennis O. Flynn, Lionel Frost and A.J.H. Latham 13 The Premodern Chinese Economy Structural equilibrium and capitalist sterility Gang Deng 14 The Role of Banks in Monitoring Firms The case of the Crédit Mobilier Elisabeth Paulet 15 Management of the National Debt in the United Kingdom, 1900–1932 Jeremy Wormell 16 An Economic History of Sweden Lars Magnusson 17 Freedom and Growth The rise of

the mean box office take. The quest for ‘hit’ production was elusive, yet necessary if the combine was not to become totally dependent on the products of rival studios, with the consequent probability of being subjected to opportunistic behaviour, and explains the disproportionate budgets available for such gambles. As King (1986: 162) has written: ‘What the lucky producer (of a “hit” production) has, therefore, is a monopoly (copy) right to a film which will give his company access to his

$326,000. In order to estimate the net profit generated by a film, data on distribution costs are required. Unfortunately such data are not available for the films produced by Warners over the period. However, such data are available for the 1,130 films produced by MGM and RKO (see Glancy 1992 and Jewell 1994), allowing for the distribution costs, and hence net profits, of each of the Warners films to be estimated. Specifically, the distribution costs of a film are presumably directly related to the

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