The following appeared as part of a column in a popular entertainment magazine.
“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.”
The argument claims that to maximize their profits the producers of the forthcoming movie 3003 should hire Robin Good to act in the movie regardless of his extremely high fees. To support this conclusion the argument claims that Robin has in the past been paid a similar amount to act in several movies that were financially successful. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention several key factor on basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak and has several flaws.
First, the argument readily assumes that the producers will maximize their profits if they hire Robin Good to act in their film. This statement is a stretch since the argument presupposes that this is the only possible solution and that no other action would achieve the same result. For example, it is possible that there are other actors that could help the producers achieve the same results for a smaller fee or the marketing team could use their knowledge to attract more people to see the movie. The argument could have been much more clearer if it stated that hiring of Robin Good is the only solution which can result in maximizing the profits.
Second, the argument claims that several films in which Robin Good acted were very financially successful in spite of his high fees. This is again very weak and unsupported claim since the argument assumes without justification that a background condition remained the same. Just because Robin Good earned a fortune for his former employers in past, it does not have to mean that this will be the case in present. For example, new and younger actors are more popular than Robin Good and people like to watch them in movies or the quality of Robin Good acting is not so high as it used to be. If the argument provided the evidence that nothing has changed regarding the popularity and acting of Robin Good then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.
Finally, is Robin Good the only actor that can maximize the profits of the movie? Are there any other solutions that can have the same effect? Without convincing answers to this questions one in left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than a substantive evidence.
In order to assess the merits of a certain decision, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case whether the producers could find other solutions in order to maximize their profits and whether Robin Good is still high-quality and popular actor who can attract people to cinemas. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
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