In the February 5 New Yorker, Louis Menand crystallizes the essence of the film industry:
The history of Hollywood is a comic routine of bad guesses, unintended outcomes, and pure luck. Half of the failures were well-intentioned, and half of the successes were, by ordinary standards of fairness and decency, undeserved. People do get rich making movies; more often than not, theyâ€™re the wrong people. Thatâ€™s why moviemaking is so much fun to read about. Unless, of course, itâ€™s your money.
This explains completely why it’s so important to stop digital piracy. File sharing exposes filmmakers for the recidivist gamblers they really are:
The people who make the popcorn basically know what theyâ€™re doing. The people who make the movies basically donâ€™t, at least not until the product is out there, and then itâ€™s too late. Moviemaking is a business almost in spite of itself.
The complete piece is online here, at least as long as the magazine leaves it up.