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'A blockbuster junkie'

9 April 2007

'To understand the blockbuster phenomenon you have to look at the successes rather than bask in the schadenfreude of the failures. It's not easy to convey the impact on corporate thinking of the sheer cataract of money that floods the coffers when a really humungous hit comes your way. A single book that sells a million copies will generate revenues larger than the annual turnover of 90% of Britain's publishing companies. And every copy sold beyond the numbers in the budget earns a profit of 35%, without a penny added to overheads.

Once this phenomenon has happened to you, you are a blockbuster junkie, and you have the cash to indulge you addiction. If you are one of the larger corporate players, it doesn't take long to work out that the best way to contain risk is to place several bets. A single seven-figure punt carries a significant risk of failure, but a single hit will more than likely outweigh the cost of two failures.'

Anthony Cheetham in the Bookseller