GMAT : Analysis of An Argument

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An Argument

45. 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.

Question

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underline the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate in conclusion.

Analysis

In this paragraph 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 pf 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 conclusive evidence to support this contention.

Moreover, there are many factors that could account for the financial success of the movies in which Robin previously acted 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 not sound 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 will 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.