Show me the money!

Weidenbaum Center to host forum on economics of movie industry

How can a blockbuster movie lose millions at the box office? Who decides what movies get made and whether they will be coming to a movie theater near you? What do new digital production and distribution technologies mean to the movie industry’s bottom line?


The event is open to the public, but registration is required by April 1. The $35 fee includes lunch and a wine-and-cheese reception. For registration and other information, contact Melinda Warren (935-5652;
Those are just a few of the questions to be addressed in a forum on “Entertainment Economics: The Movie Industry,” to be held 9:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. April 3 in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom in Anheuser-Busch Hall.

Organized by the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, the forum will bring together movie industry insiders, businesspeople, faculty and students for a discussion of economic issues facing Hollywood.

The program is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics and the Program in Film & Media Studies, both in Arts & Sciences.

The forum will open with a session on “Digital Production and Distribution,” featuring a keynote address by Laurence J. Thorpe, senior vice president of Sony Electronics Inc. Several experts in digital production and distribution will be on hand for a panel discussion to be moderated by Charles Moul, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics.

Afternoon sessions include “Hollywood Money: Financing and Accounting,” a roundtable of industry analysts and insiders to be moderated by Paul Rothstein, Ph.D., professor of economics; and “What Movies Get Made: Past and Future,” a panel on filmmaking and distribution issues to be moderated by Jeff Smith, Ph.D., associate professor in Film and Media Studies and in the Per-forming Arts Department in Arts & Sciences.

The conference will be recorded and placed on the Weidenbaum Center Web site as streaming video and audio. Transcripts of the talks will also be on the Web site within a month of the conference date. For more information, go online to

For a detailed list of panelists and specific session times, go online to