Stardom and the Profitability of Film Making: Warner Bros. in the 1930s
This paper examines the film production performance of Warner Bros. during the 1930s, placing particular emphasis on the manner in which Warners invested in stars. Warners are shown to have acted rationally in the sense of having consistently invested in previously successful actors. An assessment is then made of how successful such a strategy proved to be. Drawing a distinction between high and medium/low budget production, the deployment of established stars in high budget productions did not appear to have constituted a successful strategy. The production of medium/low budget films, by contrast, provided a more stable environment, in which there were clear returns to the deployment of previously successful actors. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001
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