Consolidation and corporatization have long been facts of life in Hollywood. But what does it mean when the outlaw business of porn, supposedly immune to economic downturns, follows suit?
Larry Flynt’s LFP, which controls Hustler Video and more than 30 skin mags, recently acquired porn video company VCA, longtime home of performers like Ron Jeremy and Ginger Lynn.
Last year, LFP also signed a licensing deal with adult entertainment major Vivid Entertainment. LFP now handles all video and DVD distribution on their titles.
This leaves only a handful of significant adult producers like Wicked Pictures and Pleasure Prods. that control all elements of their companies.
“It’s a fallacy to say the adult business is recession-proof,” Vivid co-chairman Steven Hirsch tells Variety, noting that the licensing arrangement allows his company Vivid “to focus on other aspects of our business.”
However, it seems unlikely that even a behemoth like LFP, headquartered in a black tower that anchors the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega in L.A., will ever be interested in cornering the market.
The mainstream pic biz is saddled with the principle that more movies cost more money. But porn is an industry in which production expenses can be limited to a video camera and enough money to convince at least two people to have sex.
“There’s a ton of little companies that produce a lot of movies for very little money,” says Hirsch of his seemingly unending stream of competition. “We have to deal with that every day.”