The Gradual Rise And Rapid Fall Of American International Pictures

Like the other exploitation companies, AIP experienced a particularly successful period until the mid-1970s, achieving an impressive increase in both its profits and revenues (see Table 6.2).30

By 1975, the company was in such good shape that Arkoff was not afraid to choose competition with the majors over retrenchment in a changing film marketplace. Even though AIP's capitalisation was considerably larger than that of the other low-end independents, its financial basis was nevertheless still minimal compared to the conglomerate-owned majors. For instance, at the time when Universal was investing $12 million in Jaws for production costs alone, AIP's credit line (funds the company could borrow from the banks to use for production costs) for the whole of 1975 was $11 million.31 Despite this inequality, AIP proceeded in the financing and distribution of very expensive pictures for the company's standards such as

Table 6.2 American International Pictures' net profits, 1970-6


Net profit (US dollars)

Revenues (US dollars)

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