The Big Picture
Money and Power in Hollywood
By Edward Jay Epstein
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812973822, 416pp.)
Publication Date: January 10, 2006
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
In this unprecedented, all-encompassing, and thoroughly entertaining account of the movie business, acclaimed writer Edward Jay Epstein reveals the real magic behind moviemaking: how the studios make their money.
Epstein shows that in Hollywood, the only art that matters is the art of the deal: Major films turn huge profits not from the movies themselves but through myriad other enterprises, from video-game spin-offs and soundtracks to fast-food tie-ins, and even theme-park rides. The studios may compete for stars and Oscars, but their corporate parents view wth one another in less glamorous markets such as cable, home video, and pay-TV.
Money, though, is only a small part of the Hollywood story; the social and political milieus–power, prestige, and status–tell the rest. Alongside its remarkable financial revelations and incisive profiles of the pioneers who helped build Hollywood, The Big Picture is filled with eye-opening insider stories. If you are interested in Hollywood today and the complex and fascinating way it has evolved in order to survive, you haven’ t seen the big picture until you’ve read The Big Picture.
Edward Jay Epstein is author of a number of books, including Inquest: The Warren Commission, News from Nowhere: Television and the News, Establishment of Truth, Legend: Lee Harvey Oswald, and Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer. He lives in New York City.
“A rich adventure that will change the way you look at the movies.”
“Edward Jay Epstein is here to tell us that when it comes to Hollywood these days, we’ve got it all wrong.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“One of the virtues of The Big Picture is Mr. Epstein’s astonishing access to numbers that the movie studios go to great lengths to keep secret. . . . A groundbreaking work that explains the inner workings of the game.”
–The Wall Street Journal
“Hollywood has needed one of these for a long time–a user’s manual. This one could not be more complete. . . . [Grade] A.”
“Entertaining and enlightening.”
–The New York Sun