Hollywood’s foreign earnings during the 1930s

John Sedgwick, M. Pokorny

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This work examines the importance of foreign markets to Hollywood during the 1930s. The work is empirical in nature and draws upon a financial data set (including foreign revenue streams) of all feature films released by the MGM, RKO and Warner Bros. studios during the decade. The work concludes that the idea that Hollywood garnered its profits from overseas, while meeting production costs at home, is too simplistic. An investigation of the 1790 film budgets found in the data set indicates that the most successful films overseas were big budget films that needed to be highly popular with domestic audiences if they were to be profitable. In developing this analysis, the idea of Hollywood producing films designed specifically for overseas markets is rejected.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-97
    Number of pages15
    JournalTransnational Cinemas
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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