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Their first big hit was the $1.2 million Breakin', which, riding the crest of the break-dancing craze, grossed some $40 million. That set the pattern, and even today the average Cannon movie costs only $5 million to shoot, less than half of the industry's $11 million standard. "What do you have to do to put that kind of money on the screen?" asks Golan sarcastically. "You can buy a city for that." A Cannon film is almost always presold, he adds, to pay cable, videocassette distributors and foreign markets, and even if it flops at the box office, chances are that it will still break even. "You must be a professional idiot to lose money in this business," he says.
While Golan and Globus are often derided as mere dealmakers, many people enjoy working without the usual studio restraints and like the instant decisions they get from Cannon. In the last couple of years, such inducements have lured stars like Katharine Hepburn and Nick Nolte for The Ultimate Solution of Grace Quigley (a bomb, alas) and Sylvester Stallone for his upcoming Over the Top. Over the years, the cousins have made some 116 films together.
In fact, they are as thrifty with themselves as they are with everyone else, comparatively speaking. They pay themselves salaries of $350,000 each, much less than the top studio heads make. "You know what is our wine?" asks Globus. "Coca-Cola." Both have families in Israel and make frequent trips there.
Perhaps because they are only cousins, they harbor no sibling rivalries. Golan is the creative half of the team; Globus is the business half, the salesman. In Hollywood, their offices adjoin, and they shout from one room to the other. When they are separated, they talk by phone four or five times a day. "I have minuses; he has minuses," says Globus. "Together we are one perfect man." Or one old-fashioned mogul, 1985 style. --By Gerald Clarke. Reported by Michael Riley/Los Angeles and Robert Slater/Jerusalem