Read e-book online An Economic History of Film (Routledge Explorations in PDF

By John Sedgwick, Michael Pokorny

The motion picture boomed within the 20th century, and continues to be going robust this day. in spite of the fact that, the economics of films has been apparently less than explored before. leading edge and informative, this available publication, together with contributions from many of the major specialists within the sector, is a big breakthrough in our figuring out of this crucial subject.

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Extra resources for An Economic History of Film (Routledge Explorations in Economic History)

Sample text

Overseas markets, with the exception of North America, were not essential to European film companies, who constituted only a small part of the world film market. Export figures of French motion picture films from 1913–1918 show that the non-western market accounted for only 10 to 15 per cent of exports, and did not decrease. The same also holds true for Britain (Stephenson America’s master 33 1922). First of all, these figures show that exports continued during the war, and second, they probably overestimate the importance of nonwestern markets, those small markets to which copies (positives) were shipped.

However, changes should reflect real changes in the market. America’s master 29 exporting films through an American company in spring 1907, and the next year had its own sales office (Mottram 1988). Around 1907, the Pathé Frères company was the largest film producer and distributor in the world. Gaumont, its main French competitor was about a third its size. Other French companies, such as Éclair, Méliès and Lux, were much smaller. The French film companies thrived on exports. Pathé Frères, Gaumont, Méliès and Éclair all set up American studios, and some of them also had studios in Germany, Britain and Italy.

Very-high-budget films generated losses in four of the ten years in which high-budget production took place, and in only two of the six remaining years did the percentage contribution to aggregate annual profits of high-budget films exceed the proportion of production budgets that they absorbed (1936 and 1942). That is, financial success in the 1930s derived from medium- to lower-budget production, whereas in the 1990s it was higher-budget production that made the major contribution to financial success.

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