An Economic History of Film (Routledge Explorations in by John Sedgwick, Michael Pokorny

By John Sedgwick, Michael Pokorny

The motion picture boomed within the 20th century, and continues to be going powerful this present day. although, the economics of flicks has been apparently lower than explored earlier. cutting edge and informative, this obtainable booklet, which include contributions from a few of the best specialists within the region, is a big leap forward in our realizing of this crucial subject.

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Additional resources for An Economic History of Film (Routledge Explorations in Economic History)

Sample text

Unfortunately for the European companies, as sunk costs increased and market size became ever more important, the European market began to disintegrate and European film companies became increasingly locked into their small home markets. Both cultural and legal trade barriers increased. Before 1914, European countries were relatively open to each other’s products, but during and after the war, consumers became more hostile to the products of enemy countries, especially with cultural products such as films.

For the two other large French companies, Gaumont and Éclair, an escalation strategy would have been more difficult. Although both companies had facilities in the USA, they were much smaller than Pathé, making an escalation strategy more risky. The one large Danish company, Nordisk, was financially strong enough to have adopted an escalation strategy and, in fact, seems to have done so: the company was one of the first to release feature-length films. 29 Nordisk, however, held only a small market share on the American market.

The evolution of audience taste: feelings against foreign film The downfall of European film in America might also find an explanation in a shift in audience tastes. It could be that consumers increasingly disliked foreign films. A detailed case study by Richard Abel on the attitudes of the American film business and audience towards the films of Pathé Frères indicates that, in the late 1900s, a feeling against foreign films emerged (Abel 1999). In 1910 the American trade press ran a ‘smear campaign’ against Pathé films.

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