If the studio or the studio’s producer were able to take a reasonable cut from the movie’s gross to get into the box office, the movie could be made a lot bigger — even if the film had to become very profitable on the day of theatrical release.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, movie theaters were becoming more and more popular and often were offering concessions like pizza, beer, soda, beer, soda, beer, popcorn, sodas etc. Those concessions were very expensive — especially when compared to the movie theater’s take, which used to be a lot less. So people were buying the “extra” concessions as a way to get into the theater without actually paying anything in cash.
By the time The Wizard of Oz began making its theatrical run in 1939, a movie about a boy from the Emerald City discovering a magic city was doing quite well, especially in the first months of the year. Even more so, at the time, the studio was trying to break into the popcorn-soda market — and a lot of their concessions, like pizza, were cheap. They were just trying to get a little bit of a foothold into the market. But the movie was not going very well and the studio was not too concerned.
Then MGM decided to do something more ambitious. Not only was The Wizard of Oz profitable and their concessions were cheap, but they also sold a lot of the popcorn and soda products. So they wanted to show a movie that was profitable to make. So they did just that. Then MGM used The Wizard of Oz, which had made over $100 million, to drive the pop-soda business. So much for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ making them money…
(via Daily Variety via Movies.com)
Did any other movie make over $100 million?
On my wedding day I asked my mom to dance around the room while I got into my dress. She asked me to get on the counter. I was nervous; what would she notice? She looked at me and said, “Oh hey. You look really cute.”
“I’m just getting into it. That dress is really tight.”
“No, honey, it’s perfectly all right. It’s going to be good.”
“It’s my wedding dress. My dress. I shouldn’t dress like this.”
“Oh, honey. It’s going to love you from bottom to top. It’s all gonna be okay.”
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