The screenwriter William Goldman famously explained the economics of Hollywood this way: Nobody knows anything. By focusing on the box-office race that is spoon-fed to them each week, journalists may entertain their audiences, but they are missing the real story. By neglecting the changing economics of Hollywood—and the politics that flow from it—they leave their audience, much like a movie audience, in the dark about what is really shaping Hollywood. 

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Edward Jay Epstein is the author of The Hollywood Economist and The Big Picture: The Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood.