The Hollywood Economist 2.0 (2010) by Edward Epstein looks at how the finances of Hollywood work. It’s a fascinating account of how the contents of Hollywood films are driven by financial considerations.
The book looks at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s remarkable contracts, star insurance, how concession sales drive the economics of what Hollywood makes and how TV, video, DVD and now streaming is driving how Hollywood runs its finances. The other thing that is covered in great detail is the incredible financial engineering that goes on with a myriad of corporate entities constructed for each film. The book details how Hollywood has out conned Wall Street in financially dodgy deals which is really something. For any country or state that tax breaks for the film industry the book also describes how Hollywood launders these breaks and it really makes you question why governments go to such lengths to try and persuade the industry to come and work in their jurisdictions.
It’s a very entertaining read. However the book is apparently a collection of magazine columns and there is some repetition. However, the book does really shed a light on what really drives how Hollywood operates.