BOFFO! by Peter Bart
How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb

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The formula for Hollywood success has long baffled even its greatest visionaries. For every blockbuster there are countless flops. Directors, producers, and actors who achieve great success with one film often suffer abject humiliation on the next. After all, George Lucas may have created the Star Wars franchise, but he also created Howard the Duck. Now Peter Bart, the editor-in-chief of Variety, co-host of Sunday Morning Shootout, and the former studio executive whose hits include The Godfather and Rosemary's Baby, presents a fascinating look at the hits that sizzle and the flops that fizzle.

In Boffo, Peter Bart reveals the backlot secrets behind the biggest hits and misses in both film and television: how movies with the biggest stars and budgets turned out to be bombs and how unknowns with no studio support overcame great adversity to make cinematic history. In so doing, Bart tells the history of pop culture itself. He looks at the mega successes of today, from The Lord of the Rings trilogy to the CSI phenomenon, the smashes of the past including Easy Rider, American Graffiti, and All in the Family, as well as the progenitor of all blockbusters, Birth of a Nation. Bart offers his signature straight-shooting analysis of the silk purses and the sows ears of the entertainment world.


About Peter Bart

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Peter Bart is editor-in-chief of "Variety, Daily Variety, "and "Daily Variety-Gotham Edition. "A true Hollywood insider, he has been a studio executive at Paramount and MGM/UA, and a reporter for the "Wall Street Journal "and the "New York Times. "He is the author of "The Gross, Fadeout: The Calamitous Final Days of MGM, "and two novels. His columns in "GQ "and "Variety "are widely respected, if not feared, in the industry.
Published June 14, 2006 by Miramax. 352 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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For example, when explaining the surprise Broadway megahit Cats, he also points to the concurrent blockbusters of ET and Michael Jackson's Thriller-both of which spread beyond their original art forms to become popular ""phenomena."" Around this time, he writes, ""pop culture had been transmogrif...

Jun 12 2006 | Read Full Review of BOFFO!: How I Learned to Love...

Entertainment Weekly

As a former Paramount executive and the editor in chief of Variety — the entertainment-industry trade paper that coined the word boffo — Peter Bart is superbly placed to write about Tinseltown.

Jun 21 2006 | Read Full Review of BOFFO!: How I Learned to Love...


Only in the up-is-down, black-is-white world of Hollywood would a film that was made for about $30,000 and grossed $140 million worldwide—not to mention garnering practically unprecedented pre-release buzz and being the first film to capitalize on the Internet as a promotional tool—be ultimately ...

Aug 08 2006 | Read Full Review of BOFFO!: How I Learned to Love...

Daily Kos

The author is not associated with any part of the movie, and was not provided tickets or any other incentive.

Jul 29 2007 | Read Full Review of BOFFO!: How I Learned to Love...


Variety even becomes a target of the film's humor: Pic highlights "Titanic Watch," a feature run in Variety throughout 1996 and '97 predicting failure for James Cameron's film, and urging readers to man the lifeboats while the future mega-hit was still only in production.

May 19 2006 | Read Full Review of BOFFO!: How I Learned to Love...

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