Hollywood Or Bust

California, here they come: foreign investors want to be in pictures

For tourists who sneak a glimpse of the moguls holding court in the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Hollywood's main products seem to be glamour and glitz. But the motion-picture business is a vital U.S. industry, one of America's strongest competitors against foreign economic rivals. Hollywood, despite its native excess and extravagance, will reap an estimated $8 billion from U.S. box-office and home-videocassette revenues this year. All told, the entertainment business ranks as the second largest net U.S. exporter, after the aerospace industry.

Now well-financed foreign investors want a piece of America's profits. They are acquiring U.S. studios, bankrolling...

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