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What You Didn't Know About the Movie Business

In the early days of Hollywood:

  • Six major studios made about 500 movies a year and earned 95% of their income from the theaters.
  • Little advertising was used to promote the movies.
  • The average movie cost about $4 million in today’s dollars to make.

Today’s Hollywood:

  • Six major studios make about 120 movies a year.
  • The average film today costs about $65 million to produce.
  • A major movie opens on 3,000 – 5,000 theater screens.
  • They are designed for teens and to attract foreign audiences.
  • Ad campaigns for major releases costs an average of $30 million. As a result, the marketing team has as much input on approving movies as the creative team.
  • Movies are exported to other countries, so for most, action is more important than dialogue.
  • Most movies have a 10 year shelf life as they pass through theaters, DVD’s, airlines, downloads, video games, etc…
  • Pay TV’s biggest concern is that heads of households don’t drop their services. That’s why HBO, Showtime, and other pay networks focus their programming on adult audiences.

— Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Phil Cooke, Ph.D, is a filmmaker, media consultant, and founder of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, California. His latest book is “Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking." Find out more at philcooke.com.