14 November, 2007

Hollywood strike underlines bleak outlook for movie business

International Herald Tribune:

" As Hollywood digs in for a second week of a strike, the screenwriters might want to send a few angry picketers over to Will Smith's place. Or Steven Spielberg's.

And maybe the studio executives should think about joining them on the line.

As it turns out, the pot of money that the producers and writers are fighting over may have already been pocketed by the entertainment industry's biggest talent.

That is the conclusion of a surprisingly bleak new assessment of financial dynamics in the movie industry titled "Do Movies Make Money?" The researchers' answer: not any more.

The report, by the research company Global Media Intelligence in association with its partner Merrill Lynch, concludes that much of the income - past and future - that studios and writers have been fighting about has already gone to the biggest stars, directors and producers in the form of ballooning participation deals. A participation is a share in the gross revenue, not the profit, of a movie. "

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