Thursday, December 17, 2009

Storytellers Roland Emmerich versus John Steinbeck

In 1937, 1938 and 1939 50% of all stories purchased by the studios were original and 50% were from previously published books, plays and magazines. In 1943, John Steinbeck was the highest paid author in terms of what the movie rights sold for to his novels.  Contrast Steinbeck's $3.7 million payday with the rumored $100 million paid Roland Emmerich to direct, co-write and co-produce the 2009 film 2012 ($20 million advance against 20% of first dollar gross profits).

1930s and 1940s Film Story Right Costs
In 2008 Equivalent $'s/(unadjusted $'s)

1.  $3.7 million/($300,000) to John Steinbeck in 1943 for his novel The Moon is Down
2.  $1.2 million/($100,000) to Ernest Hemingway in 1943 for his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls
3.  $1.1 million/($70,000) paid John Steinbeck in 1940 for his novel The Grapes of Wrath
4.  $774,000/($50,000) paid Margaret Mitchell in 1939 for the movie rights to her novel Gone With The Wind
5.  $769,000/($50,000) paid Daphne du Maurier in 1940 for her novel Rebecca
6.  $249,000/($20,000) paid Murray Burnett and Joan Alison in 1941 for their unproduced and unpublished play "Everybody comes to Rick's" which was renamed Casablanca

No comments: