What is a “good” movie in contemporary Hollywood?

What is a “good” movie in contemporary Hollywood?

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What is a “good” movie in contemporary Hollywood? If a film is commercially successful, does that make it good? Are creative interests and commercial interests mutually exclusive?

For this assignment you will research a film released by a major studio in the last three years that was either commercially successful (based on box office/sales), artistically successful (based on critical/audience reception) or both.


You will first research broadly around the film’s production history (the process of making and selling the film), reading industry trades and other news coverage of the film’s financing, development, production, marketing, distribution and release, as well as available marketing and promotional material, and any other discussion of how the film was made or sold (e.g. in roundtables, panels, etc.). You will then write an essay of 5-6 pages plus bibliography/end notes with at least five acceptable sources, discussing the film’s production history vis-a`-vis its commercial and artistic outcome. Supporting your claims with evidence from trades and scholarly writing on this film and on the process in general, you will discuss whether, in this instance, commercial success translated to creative success, or whether artistic and economic values conflicted with one another and were adversely affected. In other words, was this film a commercial success, a creative success or both, and did one have anything to do with the other? Finally, you will reflect on whether it is possible for commercial and artistic values to coexist, or whether one must always be subordinated to the other. The assignment is relatively open in terms of structure and argumentation, but a good rule of thumb is to spend roughly 2/3-3/4 of the paper discussing relevant aspects of the production’s history and commercial/artistic outcomes (this should be supported with evidence) and the last 1/4-1/3 reflecting on the larger question of whether these values can ever truly coexist.

You must use at least five reputable sources for your research. Those sources should include scholarly sources and industry trades such as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, and Deadline Hollywood, as well as newspapers like The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. Do not rely on sources such as Wikipedia or fan sites.

Your paper should be formatted according to Chicago format using endnotes (at least five) and a bibliography (https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html). You should use Times New Roman 12 point font, with 1” margins and no extra spaces between paragraphs, etc.


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