篮球竞彩nba www.xvrnl.com How Does the Film Industry Actually Make Money?
I’ve been trying to come to terms with two seemingly irreconcilable facts. First, “Men in Black 3” has made more than $550 million worldwide. Second, while a representative from the parent company of Columbia Pictures told me that the movie is now “in the win column,” it seemed until recently as if Columbia might actually lose money on it. How could that be? It’s not so complicated. Its production costs were close to $250 million; worldwide marketing most likely added at least that much; and a big chunk of the ticket sales go to theaters and distributors.
我一直在努力理解兩個看似矛盾的事實。第一，《黑衣人3》(Men in Black 3)在全球收入已過5.5億美元。第二，當哥倫比亞電影公司母公司的一位代表告訴我，該片目前“正在賺錢”時，給人的感覺是哥倫比亞的這部片子直到不久前都在賠錢。這怎么可能呢?其實并不那么費解。該片的制作費將近2.5億美元;全球推廣很有可能至少也是這個數;還有大筆票房收入要分給院線跟發行商。
There must be an easier way to make money. For the cost of “Men in Black 3,” for instance, the studio could have become one of the world’s largest venture-capital funds, thereby owning a piece of hundreds of promising start-ups. Instead, it purchased the rights to a piece of intellectual property, paid a fortune for a big star and has no definitive idea why its movie didn’t make a huge profit. Why is anyone in the film industry?
All business requires guessing, but future predilections of moviegoers are especially opaque. If a large company wants to introduce a new car, it can at least base its predictions, in part, on factors like where oil prices are headed. Movie executives, on the other hand, come up with a host of new theories each summer about what audiences want — 3-D tent poles, 2-D tent poles, vampires, comics, board games and so on — then, sometimes over the course of a weekend, ricochet toward a new theory. Will the tepid economics of “Men in Black 3” spell trouble for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” this holiday weekend’s big release? Who knows.
做任何生意都需要猜測，但影迷的口味尤其難以捉摸。如果一家大公司想推出一款新車，它的預測起碼可以建立在諸如油價趨勢這類因素上。但是電影業的高管們每年夏天就只能憑空推想觀眾想要看什么——3D、2D，吸血鬼、動畫、桌面游戲等等——結果就是一個周末的功夫，風向突然就轉了?！逗諞氯?》不溫不火的成績，是否預示著這個周末將要上映的《超凡蜘蛛俠》(The Amazing Spider-Man)前景堪虞?誰知道呢。
Unlike other decades-old industries, Hollywood not only has a hard time forecasting, but it also has difficulty analyzing past results. Why was “The Hunger Games” such a big hit? Because it had a built-in audience? Because it starred Jennifer Lawrence? Because it was released around spring break? The business is filled with analysts who claim to have predictive powers, but the fact that a vast majority of films fail to break even proves that nobody knows anything for sure.
好萊塢跟其他經營數十年的產業的不同之處在于，現在它不僅很難對前景做出預測，而且很難對已取得的成績進行分析。為什么《饑餓游戲》(The Hunger Games)能一炮而紅?是因為它有鐵桿觀眾群?是因為由詹妮弗·勞倫斯(Jennifer Lawrence)擔任主角?是因為它趕在春假期間上映?業界充斥著聲稱擁有預測能力的分析家，但大量電影賠錢的事實證明，沒人能對任何事情打保票。
Making matters more complicated is that the industry is filled with professionals — starting with the lowliest junior agents — adept at explaining why they were responsible for a project’s success. This self-mythologizing has real economic impact. Most major brands spend lots of money ensuring that people have a positive association with them, but most people don’t even notice which studio made which movie. (Disney and its Pixar subsidiary are notable exceptions, “John Carter” notwithstanding.) In fact, movie studios are much better at helping brands they don’t own — certain stars, directors, producers and source material, like “The Hunger Games” — capture a huge chunk of the money.
The reason a majority of movie studios still turn a profit most years is that they have found ways to, as they say, monetize the ancillary stream by selling pay-TV and overseas rights, creating tie-in video games, amusement-park rides and so forth. And the big hits, rare as they may be, pay for a lot of flops. Still, the profits are not huge. Matthew Lieberman, a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, expects growth over the coming years to be somewhere around 0.6 percent.
Hollywood is, somewhat surprisingly, a remarkably stable industry. Over the past 80 years or so, its basic model — in which financiers in New York lend money to creative people in Los Angeles — has been largely unaltered. Partly as a result, today’s biggest studios — Columbia, Disney, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox — have been on top since at least the 1950s. This stability is initially puzzling because movie studios don’t have many assets. Worse, every one of their projects is a short-term collaboration between a bunch of independent agents.