Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Money-losing films 1960-2004

Caveat 1: My data transcription from Parrish was fast and dirty. Any given year's total might be out by as much as 5-10%.
Caveat 2: It's not clear how seriously we should take Parrish's data in any case. For example, it's fairly hard to believe that there were as few failures in the early '60s as he records. To draw any serious conclusions (e.g., about Studio System vs. Movie Brat vs. Post-Movie Brat eras), we'd need to see the failure rates (i.e., data normalized to the number of films released that year), how big the failures were, the series extended back further into the studio era, profitability once secondary sources (dvds, etc.) and international receipts are factored in, and so on. As it stands, however, the graph is only a starting point for further discussion: it might suggest that failure rates have gone up sharply in Hollywood, which militates in favor of bigger and bigger off-setting hits - blockbuster-itus, endless sequels and stripmining of existing brands and properties. Maybe.

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