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Movie Money: Understanding Hollywood’s (Creative) Accounting Practices, 2nd ed.

April 13th, 2011

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Book Overview:

The distribution of a motion's picture's "profits" is, for most filmmakers, a murky, labyrinthine domain ruled by studio/distributor accountants and lawyers. "Movie Money" unravels, demystifies, and clearly explains the film industry's unique, arcane creative accounting practices. It examines a film's various revenue-consuming components and presents numerous film-industry definitions of gross and net profits and the many ways in which these figures are calculated. It also provides in-depth discussions of various aspects of profit participation terminology, accounting practices, and deal practices along with chapters on audits, claims, and negotiating tips and tricks. This Second Edition greatly expands the first edition's coverage of basic cable providers and new rulings regarding motion picture industry financial reporting practices and new material on vertical integration (i.e., studio self-dealing).


Book Review

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out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12796 user reviews
Accounting Books The distribution of a motion's picture's "profits" is, for most filmmakers, a murky, labyrinthine domain ruled by studio/distributor accountants and lawyers. "Movie Money" unravels, demystifies, and clearly explains the film industry's unique, arcane creative accounting practices. It examines a film's various revenue-consuming components and presents numerous film-industry definitions of gross and net profits and the many ways in which these figures are calculated. It also provides in-depth discussions of various aspects of profit participation terminology, accounting practices, and deal practices along with chapters on audits, claims, and negotiating tips and tricks. This Second Edition greatly expands the first edition's coverage of basic cable providers and new rulings regarding motion picture industry financial reporting practices and new material on vertical integration (i.e., studio self-dealing).
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  1. Steve
    April 19th, 2011 at 14:27 | #1

    Rating

    I’m not an accountant, so there’s always going to be a limit to how much of accountancy I understand. However this book does as good a job as possible explaining the principles (or lack of them) and terminology associated with “Hollywood Accounting”.

    The book also contains a series of dramatized examples, following a simple story, complete with a “Hollywood Ending”!

    Personally, I can’t wait to see the movie, and I would welcome a good sequel. :D

  2. Frank Casanova
    April 23rd, 2011 at 17:31 | #2

    Rating

    This is serious stuff! Written by three of the top “Profit Participation Auditor-Accountants” in Hollywood, this is a very informative, very scary inside look at how the legendary “Hollywood Accounting” really works. They also go into why it is the way it is…and that does give you some sympathy for the devil. It’s not an easy read since we’re talking about legalese and accounting strategies here, so it’s not for the casual hobbist. I found it absolutely fascinating and extremely useful since I consider myself a serious filmmaker who wants to know what a good deal and a bad deal may look like…and want to make some money with my movies, not just hit a few festivals and it end up a trophy on the shelf. If you’re serious, this is a must read…but bottom line: Don’t try to do this yourself. Even the everyday lawyer or CPA will get bamboozeled if they don’t have a movie biz experience.

  3. Michael
    April 27th, 2011 at 22:23 | #3

    Rating

    This book will help anyone who desires to learn how their box office ticket dollars are spent. The authors take you step by step through a standard profit participation agreement. I feel the authors are not as aggressive as they should be hollywood’s unethical “creative accounting”. The distributors and the audit firms would like artists to believe that the lack of knowledge is why many artist are “cheated” out of their net profits or as Eddie Murphy stated “monkey profits”. All net profit participants should read this before they listen to their lawyers and auditors. Many auditors and attorneys are willing participants in the “net profit scam”!

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