Location of Repository

Stardom and the profitability of film making: Warner Bros. in the 1930s

By Michael Pokorny and John Sedgwick


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

Topics: UOW11
OAI identifier: oai:westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk:2855
Provided by: WestminsterResearch

Suggested articles



  1. (1995). (Ed.) Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business,
  2. (1985). (Eds), The Motion Picture Guide.
  3. (1983). A New Deal In Entertainment: Warner Bros. in the 1930s.
  4. (1993). Asset Specificity and Long-Term Contracts:
  5. (1996). Bose-Einstein Dynamics and Adaptive Contracting
  6. (1999). for a well known film analyst’s conception and description of the risk environment facing production companies.
  7. (1988). Hollywood and the Box Office,
  8. (1990). Incorporating the Star: The Intersection of Business and Aesthetic Strategies in
  9. (1999). Information, Blockbusters and Stars:
  10. (1992). MGM Film Grosses, 1924-1948: the Eddie Mannix Ledger.”
  11. (1999). Movie Stars and the Distribution of Financially Successful Films in the Motion Picture Industry -
  12. (1999). Movie Stars and the Distribution of Financially Successful Films in the Motion Picture Industry: A
  13. (1998). Movie Stars and the Distribution of Financially Successful Films in the Motion Picture Industry.”
  14. (1975). of the Census
  15. (2000). Popular Filmgoing During 1930s Britain: A Choice of Pleasures, Exeter,
  16. (1997). Profit-Sharing Versus Fixed Payment Contracts: Evidence from the Motion Picture Industry.”
  17. (1994). Richard B. Jewell’s RKO Film Grosses, 1929-51: the C.J. Trevlin Ledger:
  18. (1994). RKO Film Grosses, 1929-51: C.J.
  19. (1986). Stardom as Occupation.”
  20. (1991). Superstardom in Popular Music:
  21. (1999). The Gross: The Hits, Flops – The Summer that Ate Hollywood,
  22. (1997). The Net Profits Puzzle.”
  23. (1998). The Risk Environment of Film Making:
  24. (1981). The Role of Market Forces in Assuming Contractual Performance”,
  25. (1995). The Warners’ Ledger 1921-22 to 1941-42: A
  26. (1999). Uncertainty and the Movie Industry: Does Star Power Reduce
  27. (1994). Understanding Hollywood’s Organization and Continuing Success”,
  28. (1994). Variety and Superstardom in
  29. (1995). Warner Bros. Film Grosses, 1921-1951: the William Schaefer Ledger.”

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.