Its main thrust analyses the change from developing lots of movies that might succeed or fail, with the successes paying for the failures, to banking on fewer sure things, or as they call them ‘tentpoles’ (which prop up the the rest of the business):
The number of tentpoles has risen, as has the average price per studio film, while smaller and mid-range movies have decreased. The money that used to be spent on a series of films is now being spent on a select few; instead of putting $500 million into the creation of eight, ten, or a dozen movies, the studios are pouring it all into just two or three at a time.
The other part explains that almost all big budget Hollywood movies are based on previous intellectual properties (IP), which come with a built-in audience to further increase chances of success. These IPs also help to attract bigger name actors and directors (increasing chances of success further still) because if they’re going to spend a few years making something they’d probably like to think it will reach the widest possible audience and give them even more cachet to make the next big thing. So now movies are really made as packages, with properties attached to attract other until there are enough people involved to make it worth spending $100-$200m on.
So… all this means that if you’re a talented writer who wants to make a movie, what you need to do is create something else. Maybe it’s a video game (Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, the upcoming Angry Birds), a book (Harry Potter, Twilight, about a billion others), a product (Transformers, the upcoming Monopoly) or a TV show (21 Jump Street, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Jackass etc.). Then you’ll be all set to write/exec produce a movie.
Strangely enough, as it was in the old days, when making commercials led many people to make movies, advertising might well be a fertile training ground for this new diversification:
Or even a movie itself:
So if you want to make a film, just get into advertising, ask for all the odd briefs and let nature take its course.