Author: Anita Elberse
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Why the future of popular culture will revolve around ever bigger bets on entertainment products, by one of Harvard Business School's most popular professors What's behind the phenomenal success of entertainment businesses such as Warner Bros., Marvel Entertainment, and the NFL—along with such stars as Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and LeBron James? Which strategies give leaders in film, television, music, publishing, and sports an edge over their rivals? Anita Elberse, Harvard Business School's expert on the entertainment industry, has done pioneering research on the worlds of media and sports for more than a decade. Now, in this groundbreaking book, she explains a powerful truth about the fiercely competitive world of entertainment: building a business around blockbuster products—the movies, television shows, songs, and books that are hugely expensive to produce and market—is the surest path to long-term success. Along the way, she reveals why entertainment executives often spend outrageous amounts of money in search of the next blockbuster, why superstars are paid unimaginable sums, and how digital technologies are transforming the entertainment landscape. Full of inside stories emerging from Elberse's unprecedented access to some of the world's most successful entertainment brands, Blockbusters is destined to become required reading for anyone seeking to understand how the entertainment industry really works—and how to navigate today's high-stakes business world at large.
Author: Tom Shone
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
It's a typical summer Friday night and the smell of popcorn is in the air. Throngs of fans jam into air-conditioned multiplexes to escape for two hours in the dark, blissfully lost in Hollywood's latest glittery confection complete with megawatt celebrities, awesome special effects, and enormous marketing budgets. The world is in love with the blockbuster movie, and these cinematic behemoths have risen to dominate the film industry, breaking box office records every weekend. With the passion and wit of a true movie buff and the insight of an internationally renowned critic, Tom Shone is the first to make sense of this phenomenon by taking readers through the decades that have shaped the modern blockbuster and forever transformed the face of Hollywood. The moment the shark fin broke the water in 1975, a new monster was born. Fast, visceral, and devouring all in its path, the blockbuster had arrived. In just a few weeks Jaws earned more than $100 million in ticket sales, an unprecedented feat that heralded a new era in film. Soon, blockbuster auteurs such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and James Cameron would revive the flagging fortunes of the studios and lure audiences back into theaters with the promise of thrills, plenty of action, and an escape from art house pretension. But somewhere along the line, the beast they awakened took on a life of its own, and by the 1990s production budgets had escalated as quickly as profits. Hollywood entered a topsy-turvy world ruled by marketing and merchandising mavens, in which flops like Godzilla made money and hits had to break records just to break even. The blockbuster changed from a major event that took place a few times a year into something that audiences have come to expect weekly, piling into the backs of one another in an annual demolition derby that has left even Hollywood aghast. Tom Shone has interviewed all the key participants -- from cinematic visionaries like Spielberg and Lucas and the executives who greenlight these spectacles down to the effects wizards who detonated the Death Star and blew up the White House -- in order to reveal the ways in which blockbusters have transformed how Hollywood makes movies and how we watch them. As entertaining as the films it chronicles, Blockbuster is a must-read for any fan who delights in the magic of the movies.
Author: Janet Staiger
Publisher: NYU Press
Archie Bunker. Jed. Laverne and Shirley. Cliff Huxtable. Throughout the entire history of American prime-time television only four sitcoms have been true blockbusters, with Nielsen ratings far above the second- and third-rated programs. Weekly, millions of Americans of every age were making a special effort to turn on the set to see what Archie, Jed, Laverne, and Cliff were doing that week. The wild popularity of these shows--All in the Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Laverne & Shirley (and its partner Happy Days), and The Cosby Show--left commentators bewildered by the tastes and preferences of the American public. How do we account for the huge appeal of these sitcoms, and how does it figure into the history of network prime-time television? Janet Staiger answers these questions by detailing the myriad factors that go into the construction of mass audiences. Treating the four shows as case studies, she deftly balances factual explanations (for instance, the impact of VCRs and cable on network domination of TV) with more interpretative ones (for example, the transformation of The Beverly Hillbillies from a popular show detested by the critics, to a blockbuster after its elevation as the critics' darling), and juxtaposes industry-based reasons (for example, the ways in which TV shows derive success from placement in the weekly programming schedule) with stylistic explanations (how, for instance, certain shows create pleasure from a repetition and variation of a formula). Staiger concludes that because of changes in the industry, these shows were a phenomenon that may never be repeated. And while the western or the night-time soap has at times captured public attention, Blockbuster TV maintains that the sitcom has been THE genre to attract people to the tube, and that without understanding the sitcom, we can't properly understand the role of television in our culture.
Author: Kevin S. Sandler, Gaylyn Studlar
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
On April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg off Newfoundland. Taking more than 1,500 souls with her, Titanic sunk on what was intended to be the glorious maiden voyage of the biggest, most expensive, and most technologically advanced ship ever built. In 1997, James Cameron's Titanic, the most expensive and technologically advanced movie ever made, hit theaters. In 13 weeks, it became the highest-grossing film in North America, and shortly thereafter, the first motion picture to earn a billion dollars worldwide. The cultural studies and film scholars who have contributed 13 essays to this collection ask the key question--Why? What made Titanic such a popular movie? Why has this film become a cultural and film phenomenon? What makes it so fascinating to the film-going public? The articles address everything from the nostalgia evoked by the film to the semiotic meaningfulness created around "The Heart of the Ocean" diamond that figures so prominently as a symbol in the film. Contributors address questions of the representations of class, sexuality, and gender; analyze the cross-cultural reception of the film in nationally specific contexts; examine the impact of strategies for marketing the film through music; and cover the implications of the budget toward the film's success. Finally, the contributors address the film's multi-faceted relationship to genre, history, stardom, and contemporary social and economic means.
The first video cassette recorders were promoted in the 1970s as an extension of broadcast television technology -- a time-shifting device, a way to tape TV shows. Early advertising for Sony's Betamax told potential purchasers "You don't have to miss Kojak because you're watching Columbo." But within a few years, the VCR had been transformed from a machine that recorded television into an extension of the movie theater into the home. This was less a physical transformation than a change in perception, but one that relied on the very tangible construction of a network of social institutions to support this new marketplace for movies. In From Betamax to Blockbuster, Joshua Greenberg explains how the combination of neighborhood video stores and the VCR created a world in which movies became tangible consumer goods. Greenberg charts a trajectory from early "videophile" communities to the rise of the video store -- complete with theater marquee lights, movie posters, popcorn, and clerks who offered expert advice on which movies to rent. The result was more than a new industry; by placing movies on cassette in the hands (and control) of consumers, video rental and sale led to a renegotiation of the boundary between medium and message, and ultimately a new relationship between audiences and movies. Eventually, Blockbuster's top-down franchise store model crowded local video stores out of the market, but the recent rise of Netflix, iTunes, and other technologies have reopened old questions about what a movie is and how (and where) it ought to be watched. By focusing on the "spaces in between" manufacturers and consumers, Greenberg's account offers a fresh perspective on consumer technology, illustrating how the initial transformation of movies from experience into commodity began not from the top down or the bottom up, but from the middle of the burgeoning industry out.
Albert Zuckerman, legendary literary agent, has worked with many bestselling authors, including Ken Follett, Olivia Goldsmith, Antoinette Van Heugten, Michael Lewis, and F. Paul Wilson. Zuckerman is a master at teaching writers the skills necessary to crack the bestseller list. For this revised edition of Writing the Blockbuster Novel, Zuckerman has added an analysis of Nora Roberts's The Witness, which he uses along with classic books like Gone With the Wind and The Godfather, to illustrate his points. Zuckerman's commentary on Ken Follett's working outlines for The Man From St. Petersburg provide a blueprint for building links between plot and character. A new introduction discusses social media and self-publishing. Writing the Blockbuster Novel is an essential tool for any aspiring author. As Dan Brown said in an interview: "Not long ago, I had an amusing experience meeting the author of a book I received as a gift nearly two decades ago a book that in many ways changed my life. I was halfway through writing my first novel when I was given a copy of Writing the Blockbuster Novel. [Zuckerman's] book helped me complete my manuscript and get it published. [When] I met Mr. Zuckerman for the first time. I gratefully told him that he had helped me. He jokingly replied that he planned to tell everyone that he had helped me write The Da Vinci Code."
What makes today's Hollywood films so successful? Is it the sheer scale of special effects that gives films like "Jurassic Park" or "The Matrix" their mass audience appeal? Geoff King looks at the underexplored dynamic relationship between narrative and spectacle in contemporary Hollywood cinema. He uses the myth of the American frontier against a range of Hollywood filmsand drawes examples from the digital-effects-based and virtual-reality spectacles, space fictions, action films, war epics and disaster films that now dominate cinema.
Seeking to rebuild the Russian film industry after its post-Soviet collapse, directors and producers sparked a revival of nationalist and patriotic sentiment by applying Hollywood techniques to themes drawn from Russian history. Unsettled by the government's move toward market capitalism, Russians embraced these historical blockbusters, packing the American-style multiplexes that sprouted across the country. Stephen M. Norris examines the connections among cinema, politics, economics, history, and patriotism in the creation of "blockbuster history"—the adaptation of an American cinematic style to Russian historical epics.
The Bestseller Code
Author: Jodie Archer, Matthew L. Jockers
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
"When a story captures the imagination of millions, that's magic. Can you qualify magic? Archer and Jockers just may have done so."—Sylvia Day, New York Times bestselling author Ask most people about massive success in the world of fiction, and you’ll typically hear that it’s a game of hazy crystal balls. The sales figures of E. L. James or Dan Brown seem to be freakish—random occurrences in an unknowable market. But what if there were an algorithm that could reveal a secret DNA of bestsellers, regardless of their genre? What if it knew, just from analyzing the words alone, not just why genre writers like John Grisham and Danielle Steel belong on the lists, but also that authors such as Junot Diaz, Jodi Picoult, and Donna Tartt had telltale signs of success all over their pages? Thanks to Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, the algorithm exists, the code has been cracked, and the results bring fresh new insights into how fiction works and why we read. The Bestseller Code offers a new theory for why Fifty Shades of Grey sold so well. It sheds light on the current craze for dark heroines. It reveals which themes tend to sell best. And all with fascinating supporting data taken from a five-year study of twenty thousand novels. Then there is the hunt for "the one"—the paradigmatic example of bestselling writing according to a computer's analysis of thousands of points of data. The result is surprising, a bit ironic, and delightfully unorthodox. This book explains groundbreaking text-mining research in accessible terms and offers a new perspective on the New York Times bestseller list. It's a big-idea book about the relationship between creativity and technology that will be provocative to anyone interested in how analytics have already transformed the worlds of finance, medicine, and sports. But at heart it is a celebration of books for readers and writers—a compelling investigation into how successful writing works, and a fresh take on our intellectual and emotional response to stories.
Although the blockbuster is the most popular and commercially successful type of filmmaking, it has yet to be studied seriously from a formalist standpoint. This is in opposition to classical Hollywood cinema and International Art cinema, whose form has been analyzed and deconstructed in great detail. Directed By Steven Spielberg fills this gap by examining the distinctive form of the blockbuster. The book focuses on Spielberg's blockbusters, because he is the most consistent and successful director of this type of film - he defines the standard by which other Hollywood blockbusters are judged and compared. But how did Spielberg attain this position? Film critics and scholars generally agree that Spielberg's blockbusters have a unique look and use visual storytelling techniques to their utmost effectiveness. In this book, Warren Buckland examines Spielberg's distinct manipulation of film form, and his singular use of stylistic and narrative techniques. The book demonstrates the aesthetic options available to Spielberg, and particularly the choices he makes in structuring his blockbusters. Buckland emphasizes the director's activity in making a film (particularly such a powerful director as Spielberg), including: visualizing the scene on paper via storyboards; staging and blocking the scene; selecting camera placement and movement; determining the progression or flow of the film from shot to shot; and deciding how to narrate the story to the spectator. Directed By Steven Spielberg combines film studies scholarship with the approach taken by many filmmaking manuals. The unique value of the book lies in its grounding of formal film analysis in filmmaking.
Author: Jie Jack Li
Publisher: Oxford University Press
"This book uses the cases of several landmark drugs to discuss the history of the pharmaceutical industry, and discusses what could be next"--Provided by publisher.
Ultimate X-Men Vol. 7
Author: Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Collects Ultimate X-Men #34-39. Wolverine returns to New York after a short time away from the X-Men -- with a strange strike force armed with sophisticated military technology on his tail. To survive, he's forced to rely on the Big Apple's own Spider-Man and Daredevil, with a little help from his fellow X-Men!
Author: H. I. Larry
Publisher: Scholastic Canada
Can Zac Power take on Hollywood AND save the world? In the ninth installment in the popular Zac Power series, our boy hero finds himself in Hollywood. Fancy cars, designer clothes -- just what a world-famous spy deserves! That is, until he realizes BIG has a new plan to brainwash the most powerful spies in the world. Zac may just be the only one who can stop them. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, cool gadgets and spy lingo in every chapter, readers everywhere will agree -- Zac Power ROCKS!
Author: John Jarrett
Publisher: Pitch Publishing
Say hello to the world's only undefeated heavyweight champion, a guy called Rocky Marciano, who defied physical limitations - 'He's too small, too short, too light, too old.' With just a 67-inch reach, two left feet and under six feet tall, tough, hard-hitting Marciano blasted his way to 49 wins, 43 inside the distance. He was impervious to pain: you could knock him down but you couldn't knock him out. Marciano KO'd Jersey Joe Walcott in a 1952 thriller to become world champion. Defending his title five times, he brought the million-dollar gate back to boxing in 1955 when he crushed Archie Moore in his final fight. He then criss-crossed America making public appearances, for cash only. He built a network of friends, businessmen and Mob guys who willingly paid his way, fed him, dressed him and flew him around. And that's how he died, hitching a ride in a plane that crashed in an Iowa cornfield in 1969, on the eve of his 46th birthday. His mantra was, 'If you want to live a full life, then live dangerously.' Rocky did that, all right!
Wreck My Life
Author: Mo Isom
Publisher: Baker Books
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Inspiring Story of How Brokenness Leads to Bold Faith Jesus promises peace and trouble for his followers. But most of us accept the peace and are confused and angry when adversity comes our way. All-American soccer star Mo Isom knows the struggle firsthand. While her life seemed like a success, she was battling an eating disorder, the suicide of her father, and a horrific car accident. It wasn't until God wrecked her life that she discovered the glory of renewal through Jesus Christ and that wreckage can be sacred rather than scarring. Readers take the journey from broken to bold with her and learn to surrender their lives to the King who was wrecked on their behalf. Endorsements "Mo reminds us that brokenness is actually the very place God meets us the most, and the place where we can find Jesus like never before."--Jefferson Bethke, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus > Religion "Every person who picks up this book will be challenged, entertained, and more connected with God by reading it."--Annie Downs, author of Let's All Be Brave