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FA_16 Ch. 12: The Movie Industry

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Nicole Cox

on 28 September 2016

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Transcript of FA_16 Ch. 12: The Movie Industry

The Motion Picture Industry
Star System
= An operation designed to find and cultivate actors under long-term contracts, with the intent to develop those actors into famous "stars" who would enhance the profitability of the studio's films.
Theatrical Films
= the primary output of the film industry.

... films created to be shown first in traditional movie theaters. Virtually all theatrical films in the United States appear in nontheatrical locations after they have completed their run in movie theaters.
= a film that brings in more than $200 million at the U.S. box office.
Multiplex= 8-15 screens

The Majors
=the six most powerful companies in Hollywood. The majors dominate the film industry largely because of their distribution power.
Production firms= companies that come up with story ideas, find scriptwriters, hire the personnel needed to make the movie, and make sure the work is carried out on time and budget.
Back-End Deal

= a deal in which production firm convinces a famous actor or director to take a lower salary in exchange for getting a percentage of the gross revenue the film earns.
* Refers to the screening of the film

* The largest 3% of movie chains control 60% of the screens on which films are shown.

* The relationship between theater chains and distributors is mutually beneficial...they each need each other.
The End
The Rise of Motion Pictures
* As early as the 1790s, magicians were using slides to project pictures onto smoke during their shows.

* Eadweard Muybridge experiment,
"can horses fly?"


The Rise of Motion Pictures
* "Silent" movies

*Public fear regarding motion pictures and illegal/ immoral activities

* By the 1920s, 5 major firms controlled most of the movie industry
Modern Motion Pictures
Modern Motion Pictures
Modern Motion Pictures
Megaplex= 16+ screens
Modern Motion Pictures
Modern Motion Pictures
= companies that find theaters in which to show the films and promote the films to the public.
Distribution Firms
Modern Motion Pictures
Modern Motion Pictures

History of Cinema
Persistence of vision

* Thomas Edison and the Kinetoscope
* At first, single viewing...by 1896, films projected onto screens for larger audience

* Initial wonderment at the technology was soon followed by boredom with the content

* By 1903, some films developed more of a story line and plot (“The Great Train Robbery”)

* Movies as escape; appealed to immigrants, working class

* 1903-1908, basic foundations of the film industry were laid

* 1905- the Nickelodeon emerges

* Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC)

* Resistance

* Cater to more affluent audiences: lavish movie palaces

* Turning point: the 1915 film “Birth of a Nation”

* Power shifted to the studios (vertical integration)

* Block booking, star system

Warner Bros.
Twentieth Century Fox

The Hays Office (est. 1922)
* Created voluntary guidelines for motion pictures, known as the Motion Picture Code.

* Not enforced, led to the Motion Picture Production Code (MPPC) of 1930
Mae West prompted changes in the MPPC
Subjects off limits?

Sale (DVD)
Cable/Satellite, Broadcast
Downloaded/Streamed to computers, TVs, mobile

Post-Theatrical Release
Movie Screens & Blockbusters
* 2005-2011
- 500-600 movies per year
- exhibited to 40,000 screens
* Blockbuster= brings in more than $200 million at the U.S. box office
- few per year
- bring in a high percentage of money
that all films make as a whole
* the majors produce a third or less of what their names appear on
Increasing attention is being paid to international movie-going due to the rise of multi- and megaplexes.
2002= 5.2 billion tickets sold; 2011= 3.9 billion sold

Inverse relationship between ticket sales and ticket prices:
- avg. ticket price has risen to $7.93 per ticket in 2011,
up from $6.88 per ticket in 2002.

* 10 major distributors are responsible for more than 90% of U.S. theatrical activity

Top 10 Grossing Films, Worldwide Box Office
- Idea
- Pitch= presentation to producer
- Treatment= more detailed outline
- Full script
-Green-light= top exec. approves; has idea it will succeed in the market.
Development – Comes up with ideas, writes script and pitches it.
Preproduction – Develops, plans and visualizes idea. Makes budget, hires crew, makes the schedule.
Production – Shoot scenes, working with cast, locations and reviewing footage.
Postproduction – Edits the film, adds titles, music and special effects.
Distribution – Takes product to theaters, and post-theatrical.

Stages of Movie Making
* Release Dates Considerations
Competitor’s release
Summer Blockbuster
Day-and-Date – same time worldwide

* Release Patterns (by theater, not screen)
Wide Release – 600+
Saturation Release – 2,000+
Platform – movie released in fewer areas and on a
smaller number of screens
Exclusive Release – only a handful of selected theaters


Exhibition License = date available to theater, the number of weeks available, when & where competitors can show, price point arrangements.

Straight Cut= Distributor take a certain percentage of the ticket revenue.

Percentage-above-the-Nut= the theater chain calculates the cost of operations and negotiates with distributors the percentage above this break-even point (called "the nut") that it will pay to distributors.

Where has the movie industry entered your home, hang out places, and devices?

The industry assumption is U.S. audiences won’t attend foreign movies, do you agree with this assertion and practice?

A criticism of the industry is that work is derivative. Why do you think they do this? Have sequels?

Do you think more diverse films would help or hurt the industry?

Marketing in the movies:

What elements do big movie companies consider in script selection? Exemplify with movies you’ve seen recently.

Getting the money to finance the film is the most difficult part of the movie-making process.
In part, this is because of all the people involved.
Two primary responsibilities of distribution firms: getting the films they distribute into theaters and marketing the films effectively to target audiences.
Theater chains often like dealing with major distributors because of their sophisticated marketing operations.
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