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I've been writing about movies and the movie industry for over four years now, but when I go to the movies with my dad and he asks me questions like "How do the movie theaters actually make money on the films they show?" I often come up short. The movies are an extremely complicated business, with contracts and unions and marketing costs and merchandise tie-ins all affecting what it means to say when a movie is profitable and when it's not. There are a lot of moving parts that take years to understand, but MySpace, of all places, is doing a pretty good job explaining the basics with an infographic they recently posted on their site.

You can see the whole infographic below, which breaks down how much money the movie industry brings in, which studios get most of it, how much movie theaters get out of it in different countries, and what the studios earn from putting movies on DVD, pay-per-view and television. Oh, and there's a list of which actors made the most money in 2009 and 2010. Johnny Depp unsurprisingly tops the list, but he makes almost a third more than the next-highest-paid competition, Sandra Bullock. And wait, how did Sarah Jessica Parker get on there?

Take a look at the infographic below. Hopefully someone will come up with another one that explains other mysteries, like why Sony thought spending $120 million to make How Do You Know was a good idea. The people deserve to know!

The Flow Of Money Through The Film Industry Find the latest movie trailers on Myspace

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