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October 27, 2008

Poliwood: Chetwyn and Simon on Polics and Hollywood; Vidcast One: Oliver Stone's Latest Disaster Movie

Disaster of a movie.

Pretty scary stuff. Just ask the investors.

Although I think we all know these people aren't "investors." A lot of the people fronting the money have no expectations whatsoever they'll get their money back -- they're effectively donations to the Democratic Party.

And the rest of the funding? I think just comes from a studio's funding pool. I'd like Simon and Chetwyn to clarify this, but I believe studio bombs are charged against the profits of studio hits. So a guy who invests in a money-making film must "share the wealth," as it were, and subsidize the various bombs on the studio's slate before he begins making profits on his good investment.

Not sure how they get away with that, but I believe that's the system. I know Sony avoided paying out net profits on the first Batman by claiming that every single expense they incurred on other pictures for the next ten years had to be charged against Batman's profits before Batman itself was acknowledged of having made a "net profit" at all.

Correction: JJ Sefton points out that studios are mostly involved in distribution these days.

So insert "production compay" for studio.

Whichever way you slice it, two of the producers of Batman, who pushed the project along through long years of trying to get anyone interested, were told ten years after the film had become (for a time) the highest grossing picture of all time that there were still "no net profits." The film, the Peters-Guber company claimed, was still in the red.

This is why Hollywood types laugh at the concept of "net profits" and only accept gross profits (that is, actual dollars generated, irrespective of costs and charge-offs). No films in Hollywood ever make net profits, it turns out.



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posted by Ace at 06:13 PM

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