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The following appeared as part of a column in a popular entertainment
“The producers of the forthcoming movie 3003 will be most likely to maximize
their profits if they are willing to pay Robin Good several million dollars to star in
it— even though that amount is far more than any other person involved with the
movie will make. After all, Robin has in the past been paid a similar amount to
work in several films that were very financially successful.”
In this argument the author concludes that paying Robin Good several million dollars to star in the movie “3003” is the most likely way
for the movie’s producers to maximize their profits. The author’s line of reasoning is that because Robin has been paid similar amounts
of money to work in other films that were financially successful, it is likely that “3003” will also be financially successful if Robin stars in
it. This argument is unconvincing in two important respects.
The main problem with this argument involves the author’s assumption that the financial success of the other films was due entirely to
Robin Good’s participation. If this were the case, it would certainly make good sense to pay Robin handsomely to star in “3003.”
However, the author offers no evidence to support this contention.
Moreover, there are many factors that could account for the financial success of the movies in which Robin previously appeared, other
than the mere fact that Robin appeared in them. For example, their financial success might have been due to the photography, the plot
of the story, the director, or any combination of these. Lacking a more detailed analysis of the reasons for the success of these other
movies, it is folly to presume that their financial success was entirely due to Robin’s participation.
In conclusion, this is a weak argument. To strengthen the conclusion that hiring Robin is the best way for the producers of “3003” to
maximize their profits, the author would have to provide evidence that the financial success of the movies Robin previously worked in
resulted solely from the fact that Robin starred in them.