The Movie Business Book  book cover
4th Edition

The Movie Business Book

ISBN 9781138656291
Published August 1, 2016 by Routledge
652 Pages

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Book Description

This rebirth of the popular textbook is all-new, compared to prior editions.

Tapping experts in an industry experiencing major disruptions, The Movie Business Book Fourth Edition is the authoritative, comprehensive sourcebook about process, covering everything from online micro-budget movies to theatrical tentpoles.

Because barriers to entry are disappearing, this must-read is for students, industry newcomers, young professionals and movie buffs.

This book pulls back the veil of secrecy on financing, producing, marketing and distributing, including business models, deal-making, release windows, revenue streams, studio accounting, DIY online self-distribution and more.

First-hand, insider accounts serve as primary references involving negotiations, management decisions, workflow, intuition and instinct, from the unique vantage-point of world-class talent and executives.

The Movie Business Book is an essential guide for those launching or advancing careers in the global media marketplace.


Update on some MBB4 participants:

TOM QUINN co-founded NEON, distributor of Oscar-winning Best Picture PARASITE. Read Tom’s chapter “Independent Distribution,” p. 383.

KEVIN FEIGE, President and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Studios and producer of every Marvel movie, continues to mold the MCU for Disney+ in the wake of the pandemic. Read Kevin’s chapter “Marvel Studios,” p. 148.

DAVID S. GOYER wrote the video game “Vader Immortal: a Star Wars VR Series.” Read David’s chapter “The Screenwriter,” p. 55.

JAY DUPLASS continues to nurture new talent, and is Executive Producer of five independent features. Read Jay’s chapter “A Filmmaker’s Journey,” p. 43.

SHARI R. REDSTONE is now Vice-Chair of the Board, ViacomCBS Corp. Read Shari’s chapter “Theatrical Exhibition,” p. 401.

MICHAEL LONDON is in pre-production as producer on CHARLIE JOHNSON IN THE FLAMES starring Liam Neeson. Read Michael’s chapter “The Entrepreneurial Producer,” p. 19.

JAMIE WILKINSON sold his company VHX-TV to Vimeo and is now Chief Product Officer at Kickstarter. Read Jamie’s chapter “Online Self-Distribution,” p. 445.

ERIC B. FLEISCHMAN founded Defiant Studios and continues to produce independent films by new talent under a slate financing deal. Read Eric’s chapter “Producing in the DIY Model,” p. 474.

BLAIR RICH was promoted to President, Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures Group and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Read Blair’s chapter “Motion Picture Marketing,” p. 277.

JEWERL ROSS client, Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, will direct all episodes of Amazon’s series “Underground Railroad.” Read Jewerl’s chapter “Representing the Screenwriter,” p. 67.

ALAN HORN, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, after a record-making 2019, is closely involved in revamping Disney’s release schedule due to the pandemic. Read Alan’s chapter “A Chairman’s Perspective,” p. 139.

RONALD J. SANDERS is now President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Theatrical Distribution and President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Read Ron’s chapter “Home Entertainment,” p. 433.

LINDA BENJAMIN is now IMAX Senior Vice President, Entertainment Business Affairs and Operations. Read Linda’s chapter “Release Windows and Revenue Streams,” p. 329.


Drawing from a variety of experts in an industry that has seen major disruptions and technology advancements since the third edition, The Movie Business Book offers a comprehensive, authoritative overview of this fascinating, global business. A must-read for film students and industry newcomers, this new edition features key movers and shakers, such as filmmaker-actor Jay Duplass, (The Puffy Chair, Cyrus), Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn, director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Bourne Identity), National Amusements President Shari E. Redstone, Warner Bros. Pictures Worldwide Marketing Executive Vice President Blair Rich, and many others. A definitive sourcebook, it covers the nuts-and-bolts details about financing, revenue streams, marketing, globalization, micro-budgets and much more.

Table of Contents



Introduction - By Jason E. Squire


The Entrepreneurial Producer - By Michael London (Producer, West Los Angeles, CA)

The Director - By Doug Liman (Director, Producer, New York, NY)

A Filmmaker's Journey - By Jay Duplass (Co-Writer, Co-Director, Actor, Los Angeles, CA)


The Screenwriter - By David S. Goyer (Screenwriter, Director, Producer, Los Angeles, CA)

Representing the Screenwriter - By Jewerl Ross (Owner, Silent R Mangement, Los Angeles, CA)

The Story Editor - By Romy Dworman (Senior Vice President, Story Department, Universal Pictures, Universal City, CA)

Exploiting Intellectual Property Rights - By Joel Gotler (CEO, Intellectual Property Group, Los Angeles, CA)


Movies, Money and Madness - By Peter J. Dekom (Entertainment Lawyer, Los Angeles, CA)

Getting Paid! - By Rob Aft (President, Compliance Consulting, Los Angeles, CA)

Analyzing Movie Companies - By Harold L. Vogel (Financial Analyst, Vogel Capital Management, New York, NY)


A Chairman's Perspective - By Alan Horn (Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA)

Marvel Studios - By Kevin Feige (President, Marvel Studios, Burbank, CA)

The Movie Company as Financier-Distributor - By David V. Picker (Former President, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, United Artists, New York, NY)

The Independent Spirit - By Barbara Boyle (Professor and Associate Dean, Entrepreneurship, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, West Los Angeles, CA)


The Entertainment Lawyer - By Linda Lichter (Partner, Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman, Inc., West Hollywood, CA)

Business Affairs - By Stephen M. Kravit (Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, The Gersh Agency, Beverly Hills, CA)

The Completion Guarantee - By Steve Mangel (President, UniFi Completion Guarantors, Los Angeles, CA)

The Talent Agent - By Jessica Tuchinsky (Producer, Former Talent Agent, Creative Artists Agency, Beverly Hills CA)


Production Management - By Micahel Grillo (Executive Producer, Los Angeles, CA)

The Social Network: Production Workflow - By Allen Kupetsky (Second Assistant Director, Los Angeles, CA)


Motion Picture Marketing - By Blair Rich (Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Pictures Worldwide Marketing, Burbank, CA)

Market Research - By Kevin Goetz (Founder and CEO, Screen Engine/ASI, Los Angeles, CA)

Film Festivals and Markets - By Steve Montal (Film Festival Consultant, Los Angeles, CA)


Release Windows and Revenue Streams - By Linda Benjamin (Former Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Relativity Media, Beverly Hills, CA)

Studio Accounting - By Ilan Haimoff (Partner, Green Hasson Janks Accountants, Leader, Contract Compliance and Forensics Department, Los Angeles CA)


Studio Distribution - By Daniel R. Fellman (President, Warner Bros. Pictures Domestic Distribution, Burbank, CA)

Independent Distribution - By Tom Quinn (Former Co-President, RADiUS, The Weinstein Company, New York, NY)


The Exhibition Business - By Shari E. Redstone (President, National Amusements, Norwood, MA)

The Independent Exhibitor - By Robert Laemmle and Greg Laemmle (Laemmle Fine Arts Theatres, Los Angeles, CA)


Home Entertainment - By Ronald J. Sanders (President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution, Burbank, CA)

Online Self-Distribution - By Jamie Wilkinson (Co-Founder and CEO, VHX Corporation, Brooklyn, NY)


DIY: An Introduction - By Jason E. Squire (USC School of Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles, CA)

Producing in the DIY Model - By Eric B. Fleischman (Producer, Los Angeles, CA)


Consumer Products - By Al Ovadia (President, Al Ovadia & Associates; Former Executive Vice President, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Los Angeles, CA)


Global Markets - By Rob Aft (President, Compliance Consulting, Los Angeles, CA)

An Overview of the Chinese Film Industry - By Shaoyi Sun (Professor of Film and Media Studies, Shanghai Theatre Academy, Shanghai, China)


Entertainment Technologies: Past, Present and Future - By Dan Ochiva (Founder and President, NYC Production and Post News, New York, NY)


About the Editor

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Jason E. Squire is Professor of Practice at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His longstanding research helped establish "movie business" as a distinct area of academic study. Global honors include Visiting Professor, Beijing Film Academy and Master of Entertainment Studies, DeTao Masters Academy, Shanghai. After an executive career of work with United Artists, 20th Century-Fox, and with producer Alberto Grimaldi (Gangs of New York; Fellini Satyricon; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly), Squire joined the USC faculty. He has lectured in China, Japan and the United Kingdom. Media appearances include CCTV-6; China Daily; CNN Money; La Opinion; Le Monde; Los Angeles Times; Marketplace; NHK Japan; Reuters; The New York Times; Variety; Wall Street Journal.

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Author - Jason E.  Squire

Jason E. Squire

Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts
Los Angeles, CA, USA

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"As storytellers, it’s vital to know both creative and business issues. This book is a valuable source for navigating your career."

Stan Lee, Founder, Board Chairman, Chief Creative Officer, POW! Entertainment

"A valuable book full of smarts and straight talk. I use it in my class at USC."

—Leonard Maltin, Film Critic and Historian

"If anyone is still crazy enough to want to be in the movie business, they should absolutely read this book!"

—Tom Rothman, Chairman, Motion Picture Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment

"This book covers all the bases for anyone interested in film, from running a studio to distributing your own indie film. Squire has assembled an impressive group of professionals who make their living making movies. Who better to learn from?"

—Mary Sweeney, Chair, Film Independent Board of Directors

"The Movie Business Book provides a very comprehensive look at the film industry, not from the perspective of scholars, but from that of practitioners. This will be a very valuable book for students interested simply in how the industry works, and for those interested in a career within that industry. Given its perspective, this collection provides a wonderful resource and a complement to other film studies texts."

- Paul Soukop, SJ, Santa Clara University, in Commercial Research Trends, vol.35 issue 4

"If you are on the business side of filmmaking — or aspire to be — then I recommend this book to you without hesitation. It not only provides solid, up-to-date information but also some great role models of top people in the industry. Read up, then come back and help me make a movie!"

- J.Ott from