By David Poland email@example.com
How NOT To Make Any Money On A Hollywood Blockbuster
Slate has apparently assigned Edward Jay Epstein the Hot Button beat. And this piece on German tax breaks is interesting. It’s not really accurate, but it is interesting.
The impression of the piece is that other countries essentially pay for the entire production of films budgets over $80 million out of vanity. The reality, which he forces you to unearth in his “lead with what sounds cool” writing is that $65 million on Tomb Raider was, according to him, pre-sold to the six largest action markets outside of the U.S. and Australia. According to his numbers, $10 million came from the German tax deal and another $12 million for shooting in the U.K. That left Paramount’s bill at $7 million, which they covered by pre-selling to Showtime… a cable network owned by Viacom and in the case of a huge success, a win that could make production partners angry to the point of litigation (see: Lord of the Rings).
What Epstein fails to mention in all this is that this strategy put, in some part, the last regime at Paramount on the street. More than half of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider