Stardom and the profitability of film making: Warner Bros. in the 1930s

Pokorny, M. and Sedgwick, J. 2001. Stardom and the profitability of film making: Warner Bros. in the 1930s. Journal of Cultural Economics. 25 (3), pp. 157-184.

TitleStardom and the profitability of film making: Warner Bros. in the 1930s
AuthorsPokorny, M. and Sedgwick, J.
Abstract

This paper examines the film production performance of Warner Bros. during the 1930s, placing particular emphasis on the manner in which Warners invested in stars. Warners are shown to have acted rationally in the sense of having consistently invested in previously successful actors. An assessment is then made of how successful such a strategy proved to be. Drawing a distinction between high and medium/low budget production, the deployment of established stars in high budget productions did not appear to have constituted a successful strategy. The production of medium/low budget films, by contrast, provided a more stable environment, in which there were clear returns to the deployment of previously successful actors.

KeywordsFilm industry, stardom, risk, portfolio theory
JournalJournal of Cultural Economics
Journal citation25 (3), pp. 157-184
ISSN0885-2545
YearAug 2001
FilePokorny_&_Segwick_2001_final.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1023/A:1010964032248
Publication dates
PublishedAug 2001

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