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Cofinancing to Manage Risk in the Motion Picture Industry

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  • Ronald Goettler
  • Phillip Leslie

Abstract

Cofinancing is a term used in the movie industry to describe films for which multiple firms share the cost of production and revenues. We find that one-third of movies produced by major studios between 1987 and 2000 are cofinanced. Anecdotal evidence strongly indicates that cofinancing is for the purpose of risk management. However, the major studios are publicly traded firms, which allows investors to make their own diversification decisions, leading us to question the importance of cofinancing for risk management. Contrary to industry claims, we find that cofinancing decisions are unrelated to the distribution of individual movie returns-studios do not appear to cofinance relatively risky films. But we do find that studios are more likely to cofinance movies that account for a large fraction of their total annual production budget, which reduces portfolio risk via the law of large numbers. Toward an alternative explanation for cofinancing, we also find that cofinancing between two major studios impacts the release dates of their other movies. Copyright Blackwell Publishing 2005.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2003-E34.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1090529974

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Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
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Cited by:
  1. Ricard Gil & Wesley Hartmann, 2007. "The Role and Determinants of Concession Sales in Movie Theaters: Evidence from the Spanish Exhibition Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 325-347, June.
  2. Gil, Ricard, 2007. ""Make-or-buy" in movies: Integration and ex-post renegotiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 643-655, August.
  3. Gil, Ricard & Hartmann, Wesley R., 2008. "Why Does Popcorn Cost So Much at the Movies? An Empirical Analysis of Metering Price Discrimination," Research Papers 1983, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  4. Jordi McKenzie, 2009. "Revealed word-of-mouth demand and adaptive supply: survival of motion pictures at the Australian box office," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 279-299, November.
  5. W. D. Walls, 2009. "The Market for Motion Pictures in Thailand: Rank, Revenue, and Survival at the Box Office," International Journal of Business and Economics, College of Business, and College of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 8(2), pages 115-131, August.
  6. W. Walls, 2010. "Superstars and heavy tails in recorded entertainment: empirical analysis of the market for DVDs," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 261-279, November.

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