An Investor Gets a Hollywood Ending


Boston real-estate developer Steven Samuels's first foray into film financing was a $500,000 investment in a Demi Moore film called "Half Light." Before the movie was even released, his initial investment had doubled. In 2006, after wind storms on the set in Wales, the sudden departure of the film's co-producer and a variety of other headaches, the film went directly to DVD, and Mr. Samuels took a hit.

At that point, he seemed to be just another Hollywood sucker, not unlike many other outsiders -- from wealthy individuals to hedge funds and private-equity investors -- who have gambled on Hollywood and lost. But rather than pack up and go home, Mr. Samuels decided to try again, investing in three more films.

And come Sunday's Academy Awards, one of those films -- the $25 million "Michael Clayton," nominated for Best Picture and six other honors -- could pull off a surprise win and get him an Oscar statuette. The film has already grossed $47.8 million at the domestic box office, and its Oscar nominations are likely to give it a big boost on DVD.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

Awards, Film Business, Hollywood

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