[SFRA-L] robb on PKD / BLADE RUNNER and Money

Richard Erlich ErlichRD at MUOhio.edu
Mon Mar 7 13:37:01 EST 2011

On 07/03/2011, at 8:54, Easterbrook, Neil wrote:

> Lewis--
> Good points. I should have added that Scanner lost money. I don't  
> know final numbers on BR, but yr probably right abt the return on  
> investment. I recognize this, but was thinking abt aesthetics.  
> Silly me.
> Abt Robb: I have a lengthy section on Robb in that SFFTV essay  
> (3.1, spring '10).
> --N
> <ATT00001.txt>

Hi, Guys:

The money on BLADE RUNNER gets complicated (and is important, though  
not all-important). The Wikipedia entry has BR with an estimated  
budget of $28M and total grosses of some $33M, which isn't very  
impressive. On the other hand, the film is out in several versions,  
with all sorts of spin-offs, hence excellent opportunities for  
fastidious fine-tuning for artistic perfection — plus creative  
accounting and milking this cash-cow for all she's worth.
	IMDB-Pro has the estimated budget also at $28M, US gross at $27M,  
but with decent foreign box office, which can be crucial.

Note that the actual sale of tickets is of less immediate importance  
to initial investors than the selling of distribution territories. I  
don't understand how this works — like, not at all — but someone with  
"an equity position" can make a respectable return on investment on a  
film that's produced and sold for distribution but never sells a  
ticket to an actual movie-goer.
Side note: Even the whores in the movie biz usually want to make  
decent movies, if only by the standards of their exploitation genres.  
At least from a distance, the industry looks a whole lot more  
respectable than, say, finance — to set the bar low — and not all  
that inferior to the academy, which has had, from time to time, over  
its long history, a charlatan or two.

Rich E.

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