Hollywood Economics: How Extreme Uncertainty Shapes the Film Industry / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $21.54
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 70%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $21.54   
  • New (5) from $65.89   
  • Used (10) from $21.22   


Just how risky is the movie industry? Is screenwriter William Goldman's claim that "nobody knows anything" really true? Can a star and a big opening change a movie's risks and return? Do studio executives really earn their huge paychecks?

These and many other questions are answered in Hollywood Economics. The book uses powerful analytical models to uncover the wild uncertainty that shapes the industry. The centerpiece of the analysis is the unpredictable and often chaotic dynamic behaviour of motion picture audiences.

This unique and important book will be of interest to students and researchers involved in the economics of movies, industrial economics and business studies. The book will also be a real eye-opener for film writers, movie executives, finance and risk management professionals as well as more general movie fans.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'If you want an applied exposition of the "wild" type of uncertainty, this is the book. I know of no better text to understand kurtosis, the contribution of the very small to the very large, and the dynamics of rare events. The value of this book lies way beyond the film industry. In addition it is is written with great clarity and does not use anything beyond intuitive mathematics.' — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, PhD, Empirica LLC, Bestselling author of Fooled by Randomness

'A heretical and wise perspective on the economics and consumer patterns of Hollywood. Provocative and eye opening for its depth and intelligent analysis.' — Thom Mount, Producer and former Universal Studios President

'This book provides dramatic evidence that, in comparison with the film industry, normally uncertain things are virtually sure things. Not even popular stars or large first-week audiences are valid predictors of a film's future success. The volume demonstrates what sophisticated analysis can and cannot reveal about an industry in which "no one knows anything". It will be extremely valuable to anyone with an intellectual, financial or other interest in the market for popular films and for anyone concerned with analysis of subjects characterized by extreme uncertainty. Nonspecialists should not be daunted by the demanding technical analysis for there is plenty that will readily be understandable and fascinating to any intelligent reader.' — William J. Baumol, Professor of Economics, New York University and Senior Research Economist at Princeton University, USA

'Professor De Vany has written a seminal work on the risks of film investment, a topic with which Hollywood may be painfully familiar, but which has rarely, if ever, been the subject of such thorough analysis. Through his statistical studies and analyses, Professor De Vany questions many of the assumptions made by Hollywood dealmakers, investors and studio executives.' — Sam Pryor, Partner, Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan, Adjunct Professor, Entertainment Law, USC Law School

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Arthur De Vany is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of California, Irvine and President of Arts Analytica, a consulting company specializing in energy, motion pictures and risk-return analysis.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part I: Box-office champions, chaotic dynamics and herding 1. The market for motion pictures: Rank, revenue and survival 2. Bose-Einstein dynamics and adaptive contracting in the motion picture industry 3. Quality evaluations and the breakdown of statistical herding in the dynamics of box-office revenue Part II: "Wild" uncertainty, tough decisions and false beliefs 4. Uncertainty in the movie industry: Can star power reduce the terror of the box office? 5. Does Hollywood make too many R-rated movies?: Risk, stochastic dominance and the illusion of expectation 6. Big budgets, big openings and legs: Analysis of the blockbuster strategy Part III: Judges, lawyers and the movies 7. Motion picture antitrust: The Paramount cases revisited 8. Was the antitrust action that broke up the movie studios good for the movies?: Evidence from the stock market 9. Stochastic market structure: Concentration measures and motion picture antitrust Part IV: A business of extremes 10. Motion picture profit, the stable Paretian hypothesis and the curse of the superstar 11. Contracting with stars when "nobody knows anything" 12. How extreme uncertainty shapes the movie business Epilogue: Can you manage a business when "nobody knows anything"?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)