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Publisher's Summary

When movies cost hundreds of millions to make and market, the magnitude of the wagers is astonishing. Vast riches rain down on those who gamble wisely, and careers are made and lost in one weekend. But never is this box-office race more feverish than during the summer blockbuster season, when the studios roll out their most expensive, effects-laden pictures in a feverish race to win the box-office derby.

Peter Bart, editor-in-chief of Variety, brings us a marvelously entertaining behind-the-scenes portrait of moviemaking, spotlighting the summer of 1998. He takes us through the entire cycle of would-be summer blockbusters, from script through casting and production and finally into release. Interviewing dozens of the most powerful names in Hollywood, Bart gives an in-depth account of why some succeeded and others failed.

©1999 Peter Bart (P)1999 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Bart brings a remarkably plugged-in perspective to the movie community's annual demolition derby." (Entertainment Weekly)
"[A] fascinating inside look at filmmaking that leaves one wondering how anything cohesive is ever projected on the big screen." (Library Journal) "Bart's insider status ensures that we get the lowdown....[This book] has a far more compelling story line than any of the summer films he dissects, and the characters are far better developed." (Detroit Free Press)

What listeners say about The Gross

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  • 02-15-13

classic Peter Bart

A really good history of Hollywood during the go-go years. Great fun if you were there and illuminating for anyone in the industry at the time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Intersting book... horrible reader.

The worst reader I've heard from anything I've downloaded off Audible. Not only did he mispronounce a number of the names (Jet Li = Lie, Warren Beatty = Beetty) but even common words get butchered, and a few times titles of the films are said wrong (all I can remember is "6 Days, 7 Weeks" at the moment, but there were others.)

Really an irritating experience. Though the book is fairly interesting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Fascinating topic, distracting reading

It is easy to engage with Bart's fascinating idea--follow 1998's summer movies from inception to release and then tell the story. Brilliant stuff. It's quick and engaging, if a little too journalistic on occasion, but overall a very good read.

But the audiobook's reader makes mistakes that derail and distract--for example, he can't pronounce "Warren Beatty," one of the book's central figures. He also screws up the name "Jet Li" several times. In a book where pronunciations are flexible (or fictional), this is less of an issue, but here, where we're talking about real people with real names, it's a shame that he couldn't take the time to ask someone.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good overview of the movies of Summer of 98

I really enjoyed this book. Bart does a good job of going over the movies that came out in the Summer of 98. He builds up what the major studios were doing up to this point and lays out the summer in a week to week fashion. This book is definitely for those who enjoy the inside business of the movie industry as most of the authors' recounting surrounds the business aspect.

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Very educational about the industry. Great!!

A great study of the movies of 1998 and a comparison between those films, their filmmakers, and the films of other eras.

Most of the books I read are memoirs or studies of the entertainment industry, and this book does a great job telling the stories of some of Hollywood's biggest movies, biggest personalities, and all of the business it takes to bring the silver screen to your hometown.

Very enjoyable both for the history of film and the stories behind the industry.