by Dish Staff
Erika Olson recommends Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse’s Blockbusters: Hit-Making, Risk-Taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment:
Her statistics-driven approach shows that no matter what facet of the entertainment industry you’re talking about – and no matter how contrary to common sense it may seem – those who make the biggest financial investments in a select few products are actually taking the least risky path to success. Perhaps that’s why 40 (!!!) big-budget superhero movies will be hitting theaters between now and 2020. Or why 1998 was the last year that stand-alone (versus sequel/trilogy/universe) films made up the majority of an annual “top-ten highest-grossing movies” list. In 2011, the entire top 12 were franchise titles.
Now, as Scott Tobias of The Dissolve recently pointed out, it’s not like “blockbuster” always equates to “awful.” But for anyone who still enjoys – or wants to make – an indie or otherwise original film, Elberse’s findings are important to understand.