An Economic History of Film: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

An Economic History of Film

1st Edition

Edited by Michael Pokorny, John Sedgwick


372 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415458672
pub: 2007-09-01
Hardback: 9780415324922
pub: 2004-09-09
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203358047
pub: 2004-09-09
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The economics of the movie industry has been curiously neglected by scholars, especially given the material circumstances in which film has been produced, distributed and exhibited in capitalist economies and its central importance in the lives of the huge numbers attracted to it as a commodity.

This book provides an economic framework for understanding developments in film history. Film is a peculiar commodity with a unique set of characteristics. The topic hence is interesting and covered with aplomb by the contributors to the volume. The book includes sections on:

  • long-term trends in the film industry
  • the transformation of film from a primitive commodity to a heavily branded product
  • the operation of the studio system
  • the end of the studio system in post-war America
  • the role and payment of stars
  • Hollywood’s approach to risk during the 1990s.

Experts from the UK and North America have come together in these pages and the result is a readable, insightful and enlightening book that will gain many fans amongst those with an interest in the economics of film, economic historians, film historians and aficionados of the movie industry generally.


'An impressive collection of impeccable scholarship, An Economic History of Film’ is bound to become indispensable reading for every scholar of film who agrees that in order to fully understand the cultural impact of film, one has to study the economics of the business as well.' Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

Table of Contents

1. The Characteristics of Film as a Commodity 2. America's Master: The European Film Industry in the United States, 1907 to 1920 3. Stars and Stories: How Films Became Branded Products 4. Revenue Sharing and the Coming of Sound 5. The Block Booking of Films Re-examined 6. Warner Bros. in the Inter-War Years: Strategic Responses to the Risk Environment of Film Making 7. Product Differentiation at the Movies: Hollywood 1946 to 1965 8. Movie Stars and the Distribution of Financially Successful Films in the Motion Picture Industry 9. Movie Contracts: Is ‘Net’ ‘Gross’? 10. Hollywood and the Risk Environment of Movie Production in the 1990's 11. Understanding Hollywood's Organization and Continuing Success

About the Series

Routledge Explorations in Economic History

This long established series provides a platform for books which break new ground in the understanding of the development of the modern world economy. Equally rooted in economics and history, the series is not limited to any particular period or region. Individual titles focus on particular countries, key industries, themes, or international economic relations.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / General