Let's Say It All Together: Nobody Knows Anything

The primary elections are another case study in the futility of making predictions.

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In “Adventures in the Screen Trade,” screenwriter William Goldman wrote that “nobody knows anything.” It is a quote that is enjoying a second life these days.

The book’s first mention of that line, which is repeated throughout, referred to the many studios that passed on films that would go on to be blockbusters. Every studio in Hollywood but one (Paramount) turned down “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” It became one of the highest-grossing films of all time, and was nominated for nine Academy Awards. “Star Wars” was passed on by the largest Hollywood studio at the time, Universal. It grossed $1 billion, and spawned a franchise with five films that are in the all-time top 100 in gross box office sales. Eventually, Walt Disney Co. purchased the Star Wars production company, Lucasfilm, for more than $4 billion.

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