The material conditions under which movies (as commodities) are produced, sold, and consumed form essential aspects of cinema history. Within capitalist economies, the motives of agents engaged in film production and circulation are irrevocably tied up with the pursuit of gain. This pursuit occurs in a risky environment conditioned by audience’s demand for novelty: consumers need to discover what it is that they like and know from past experience that they can be disappointed. Accordingly, if consumers ex ante do not know fully what they want from movies, producers, and by implication, distributors and exhibitors cannot know fully how best to please them.