The Studio System: The Success Of Early American Cinema

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The studio system was essential in the success of early American Cinema. It ensured that total control of the movies belonged to the biggest studios in Hollywood that made them (Classic Hollywood Central Editors, 2011). The ‘Big Five’ created the studio system to ensure they made the most profit. The ‘Big Five’ consisted of 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Paramount, Warner Bros., and RKO Radio. There were three smaller studios close behind: Universal, Columbia, and United Artists (the Little Three). One of the ways the ‘Big Five’ made a lot of profit was through block booking. Block booking was the practice of a studio selling its films in bulk. These bulks consisted mostly of B-movies and one A-quality movie that the theater wanted. By using this tactic, studios were guaranteed to make money because their movies would be shown at the theaters. This was also a way of getting rid of the competition. …show more content…
It meant that the ‘Big Five’ theaters only showed the A-quality movies that they wanted. Another method that was used during the studio system was the Star System. Movie stars were employed by the studio and were bound to them by contracts. They had to maintain the image the studios created for them when they were in

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