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The Gross: The Hits, the Flops: The Summer That Ate Hollywood
by Peter Bart
"The Gross" is an all-access pass to the movers, shakers, and fakers who make Hollywood run. Tinseltown is an edgy place where risk-taking is a way of life--and the risks now run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Summertime, when the studios unfurl their most expensive and effects-laden "tent-pole pictures," has become the only season in which Hollywood makes money ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by St. Martin's Press
(first published February 1999)
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Interesting read, but at times the organization of information is sloppy. Also, if the personal opinions of the writer were left out it would be more interesting - IMHO. Let the reporting speak for itself, which is quite good overall. Regardless, as a glimpse into the insanity of one Summer of moviemaking, it's worth a look if the subject intrigues you.
In 1969, William Goldman penned The Season, the quintessential insider's guide to the triumphs and failures of one Broadway season?but no author has since managed to do the same for Hollywood. Who better to attempt it than Bart, a former studio executive at Paramount, MGM/UA and Lorimar and currently editor-in-chief of Variety? Here Bart offers a savvy, gossipy, nuts-and-bolts look at the corporate machinations behind the summer films of 1998, a season of extravagant hype, box-office records and ...more
Good book with Bart's insider knowledge of Hollywood about the creation then results of a summer movie blockbuster slate. Even more exciting for me as at that time I worked within the studio system and remember that summer well and read most of those scripts when they were in development. Seeing how much has changed in the landscape since then, this was a good read overall. My only annoyance was with how Bart decided he needed to describe every executive or agent with a one sentence descriptor. ...more
I don't know what the point is of this book - 1998 wasn't a watershed or landmark year for film, and the focus anyways is on the marketing of that summer's movies rather than the movies themselves. Still, it's well-written and a nice reminder of a summer with some solid flicks (Saving Private Ryan, Out of Sight, Deep Impact).
Mar 04, 2010 Betsy rated it liked it
I like the idea of looking at one summer and why some movies flopped and others thrived. Unfortunately, this book was just o.k. and provided some great facts and reporting but little interesting analysis about why things went down the way they did.