Entertainment: New Gold in the Hollywood Hills

One reason that there was no business like show business was because show business was hardly a business at all. The flamboyant, self-made movie moguls of the past had little understanding of ledgers or cost accounting; they made money almost despite themselves, a feat no longer possible under the pressures of TV and increasingly selective audiences. Nowadays, there is an acute awareness that the movie industry is big business—and that it must be run like one.

Hard evidence of that fact emerged on two fronts last week. Columbia Pictures, immersed in a taut fight with dissident stockholders, won a pledge...

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