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The Hollywood Economist 2.0: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies
 
 

The Hollywood Economist 2.0: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies [Kindle Edition]

Edward Jay Epstein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

A fully revised edition of the popular guide to Hollywood finances, updated to reflect even newer films and trends

In a Freakonomics-meets-Hollywood saga, veteran investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein goes undercover to explore Hollywood’s “invisible money machine,” probing the dazzlingly complicated finances behind the hits and flops, while he answers a surprisingly difficult question: How do the studiosmake their money?

We also learn:

+ How and why the studios harvest silver from old film prints ...

+ Why stars do—or don’t do—their own stunts ...


+ The future of Netflix: Why the “next big thing” now seems in such deep trouble...

+ What it costs to insure Nicole Kidman’s right knee…

+ How Hollywood manipulates Wall Street:
including the story of the acquisition of MGM… wherein a consortium of banks and hedge funds lost some $5 billion… while Hollywood made millions.

+ Why Arnold Schwarzenegger is considered a contract genius…

+ The fate of serious fare:
How HBO, AMC, and Showtime have found ways to make money offer adult drama, while the Hollywood studios prefer to cater to teen audiences.

+ Why Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is considered a “masterpiece” of financing ...



From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3010 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House; Reprint edition (24 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZZP5QA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,747 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Bell
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A light written but well compound view of hollywood business. It lacks referencing and I will invite the author to release his resources, some obvious but many appearing as own thoughts when are clearly the result of his reading other investigations.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting and easy to read 29 Jan 2012
By Duck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Quality of the writing resembles a series of blog posts, so some topics are repeated more than a few times. The chapters added for the second edition at the end of the book, mainly about streaming and downloadable movies, feels a bit rushed and the writing style in them feels a little different. Otherwise, it is a fine book for anybody interested in the business model of the movie making and how it evolved over the past couple of decades. The tone of the author is not critical or hectoring or full of adulation. I did not get the feeling that he was trying to make political points, for or against the studios. He just describes what he has learnt about this business over the years.

Government subsidies in many states and countries and the infamous tax loop hole in Germany are covered, as well as the risks studios take with expensive blockbusters and how much money they make through pay-TV, DVD sales and rentals. The book also explains how movie theaters earn a living -- and repeats it a couple of times in different chapters. It also explains the effect of the business model on the story lines used in movies and why formula movies dominate theatrical releases compared to TV shows, which are a lot more varied nowadays. How the studios react to new technology from VHS video to DVDs to streaming video are among the other covered topics. Some famous people in the business, such as studio executives, directors and actors are also briefly mentioned, but the book does not focus on their personalities or life stories.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A collection of articles 27 Mar 2012
By Thad McIlroy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought the book thinking it would be a coherent account: it's not. It's an uneven collection of articles from different magazines and web sites published over several years. The "2.0" means there are some additional articles. There's no index, further limiting the book's value.

Epstein is a very good journalist and a good writer, so what is in the book is generally good.

The degree of detail available with specific examples of film financing deals is excellent.

So as long as you know what you're buying you won't be disappointed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT completely revised, or updated 6 Mar 2013
By Tim1965 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am a very strong admirer of Epstein's "The Big Picture," and found his "The Hollywood Economist" strong -- but mostly because it contained most of what he'd already written in "The Big Picture." What I found weak in "The Hollywood Economist 2.0" is the lack of thoughtfulness. Epstein loads 2.0 with several pieces he's written for other publications (or his blog). Unfortunately, these often lack consistent tone of voice with his book chapters, making for an uneven reading experience. There is also a great deal of repetition in the added material, which means you get less for your money (and investment of reading time) than you might think.

Some of what Epstein has included in 2.0 is outright dated, even wrong: His discussion of Netflix is highly outdated (Netflx is stronger now than ever before due to VOD); his analysis of why HBO likes adult fare is terribly dated (in 2013, Epstein writes that HBO is devouring Hollywood's teen-oriented product voraciously); and he still doesn't really address the economics of 3D, or where that technology, pricing structure, and studio commitment is headed. But some of what he includes provides information that you just can't find elsewhere. His reporting on Hollywood is excellent, heads and shoulders above what you find in the "New York Times" or "Los Angeles Times" or "Associated Press" or, even, "Variety" or "The Hollywood Reporter". Epstein is not embedded with Hollywood, and it shows in his strong reporting.

One final note: This book STILL STILL STILL lacks an index! What the...??

With the dated information and repetitiveness, "The Hollywood Economist 2.0" should be required reading only if you've not read "The Hollyood Economist" or "The Big Picture". If you have read his earlier works, you'd be better off just reading his blog and not buying this. Wait for a real, honest-to-goodness revised-and-updated edition.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 20 Shell Game 26 Jan 2013
By James East - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Review of Kindle edition of 2.0

As some have referred that the book is a compilation of previous articles/blog entries, one could agree but does not necessarily take away from the content. Continuity fails in a few places as the content repeats, but overall this quick read will provide one with `some' of the inside workings of Hollywood.

Many are familiar with the `3 Shell Game' where one attempts to find the pea. In this book one learns that in the movie business where illusion is front and center, the finance side has more illusion than the movie itself and is a '20 Shell Game'. Movies rarely make money as a standalone entity and are purposely structured not to. As the author documents, the finance structure of the movie itself is an illusion and is used as a veil to somewhat hid the fee structure of the key principals behind it.

Nevertheless content in the end will still be king, but as we move more and more to the digital world content may suffer. Suffer as fewer and fewer folks attend movies and content needs to appeal to many markets with simultaneous distribution. Will villains start to disappear as Communists, Nazis, and terrorists are now deemed off limits when 70% of your potential revenue is on a global scale? Time will tell, but in the meantime have fun at the movies.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great primer 26 Jun 2014
By Frederick Lutz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great primer into the economics of Hollywood, and very enjoyable. As some other reviews noted, it does have some repetition, but this did not really bother me.
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