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Cinematic creativity and production budgets: Does money make the movie?

  • Author(s): Simonton, Dean Keith
  • et al.

Although filmmaking requires substantial capital investment, it is not known whether cinematic creativity is positively correlated with the size of the film's budget. Therefore, budgetary impact was investigated in a sample of feature films released between 1997 and 2001. Although production costs were positively related to box office success (as measured by both first weekend and gross), such expenditures had no correlation with best picture awards and were negatively correlated with critical acclaim (as gauged by both film reviews and movie guide ratings). These divergent consequences could be partly interpreted in terms of how the budget and success criteria differentially correlated with what have been identified as the four creative clusters of filmmaking, namely,the dramatic, visual, technical, and musical.

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