Hollywood uber-insider Anne Thompson provides a compelling, authoritative, behind-the-scenes dissection of how Hollywood does business in THE $11 BILLION YEAR, a 2014 HarperCollins release. Zeroing in on 2013 - the industry's box-office recordbreaker - Thompson takes the reader through the year-long machinations that took place involving studios, stars, exhibitors, marketers, assorted deal-makers, etc. and resulted in memorable mega-hits and colossal flops.
Thompson's book is aptly sub-titled FROM SUNDANCE TO THE OSCARS, AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE CHANGING HOLLYWOOD SYSTEM. Despite the record profits, change is afoot in Tinseltown whether Hollywood bigwigs desire it or not. Quality films are facing far harder sledding getting made than in the past. Increasingly, studios are banking on cookie-cutter sequels with non-stop action and tons of CGI. Getting funding for dream projects is no longer a sure thing even if your name is Steven Spielberg! Lesser talents are forced to shop their skills at HBO or cable. The glamour of new movie openings has been diluted by developments such as Netflix and online streaming and so on.
Thompson's guided tour interweaves insightful summaries of business at major studios like Columbia, Disney and Universal with intriguing descriptions of the wheeling-and-dealing at festivals such as the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes, Cinemacon and the South by Southwest Conference along with fascinating summaries of the changing face of technology.
THE $11 BILLION YEAR is one of the very best books I've read in recent years on the movie industry. Movie buffs will enjoy this fascinating, perceptive and hugely entertaining look at how the Hollywood system works. Highly recommended.
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