Mr Marcus McGowan MSc PgDip BA (Hons)

This Business Education Learning Blog is aimed primarily at Higher Business Management students/teachers and ICT students/teachers.

The aim of this blog is to provide you with interesting articles, news, trivia as well as resources or links to materials which will help in your course of study.

I am a Teacher of Business Education and I have written for Education Scotland and BBC Bitesize.

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Show business: The Twilight Movies

Ever since Stephanie Meyer wrote her Twilight novels which were very successful, Hollywood came calling. It was left to small production company, Summit Entertainment, to bring the movies to the masses. Adapting existing medium is crucial for studios as it lessens the risk slightly due to a book having a built in core audience. But then when the casting is announced book fans always complain about who is picked to play the roles in any movie version!


If we look at the 5 film saga we can see patterns common to Hollywood film series’ which they often call franchises – but we know that has a different meaning when relating to the likes of McDonald’s and Subway.


So if we look at the table we can see the first film was a relatively low budget movie in Hollywood terms, and it raked in a $356m profit. As the budgets for the sequels increased so did the profit margins, which were around double of the original movie.





Box Office








New Moon












Breaking Dawn Part 1






Breaking Dawn Part 2







Of course rising costs will play a factor in the budget going up, as actors become successful their agents will negotiate larger salaries, and advertising and promotional costs will also rise. In addition, expectation of fans normally mean that sequels will have to be bigger and have more of a spectacle which in the case of using special effects means more money to be spent.


There are different ways of judging the success of the movie. In terms of sheer profit, then the final movie made the most, but in terms of profit in relation to budget then New Moon’s profit worked out as approximately 13 times the budget.


These margins are excellent for Hollywood and indeed again spell out the popularity of the vampire movies with the general public.


One potential study point or discussion point is to compare the success of the Twilight movies with the likes of Harry Potter, Avatar, and the James Bond series of movies. It would be interesting to see the profit made and also the return on the actual budget.


But as we know when Hollywood spends big on budgets it is a huge gamble and if it goes wrong it can sink a studio (Heaven’s Gate and Ishtar are notable box office disasters which crippled or closed studios). So that is why studios like a variety of movies – a bit like diversification – so for every big summer blockbuster they will have a mix of low budget romcoms, teen movies, and other low risk movies.


But at the end of the day, as William Goldman, the Oscar winning screenwriter once said about trying to predict the success of movies: “Nobody knows anything.”


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