Chapter 24

The Money, Part 2

HOW DOES A MOVIE MAKE MONEY?

One would think that there would be a straightforward answer to this. A movie makes money by earning more than it costs to make. Right? Not so simple. First, we have to define what we mean by “making money.” Are we talking about showing a profit? If I raise $2 million to make a low-budget independent film, how much money does that film have to make until I start to pay money back to my investors? The film has a $2 million production budget. That means that it costs $2 million dollars to get the film from script to a finished version, ready for delivery. That $2 million has nothing to do with the cost of getting a film booked into theatres or sold to cable TV.

Let’s assume I’ve found a ...

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