THE BIG SIX OR THE M, MAJOR STUDIOS,
As a Co- Executive Producer for Films I am often asked who are the players in regards to movies and who make up the next gerneration of Min Major studios. I have listed them below starting with the big six. The one to watch right now hands down would be Lionsgate although, they are listed as studio they are more of P&A and distribution than production.
For a current list of Production comapnies and their status click here
^1 Paramount: 19.3% (Prev. totals: 2010—16.8%; 2009—14.3%; 2008—17.2%; 2007—16.1%; 2006—11.0%; 2005—9.8%; 2004—6.8%)
^2 Warner Bros.: 18.1% (Prev. totals: 2010—18.0%; 2009—20.1%; 2008—19.4%; 2007—20.5%; 2006—14.9%; 2005—21.7%; 2004—17.7%)
^3 Sony (Columbia/Screen Gems): 12.6%; Sony Classics: 0.8% (Prev. totals: 2010—12.8%; 2009—14.2%; 2008—13.4%; 2007—13.4%; 2006—19.3%; 2005—11.1%; 2004—16.8%)
^4 Disney: 12.2% (Prev. totals: 2010—14.3%; 2009—11.9%; 2008—11.4%; 2007—15.3%; 2006—16.7%; 2005—14.6%; 2004—16.5%)
^5 Universal: 10.1%; Focus Features: 1.2% (Prev. totals: 2010—9.2%; 2009—10.0%; 2008—12.9%; 2007—12.7%; 2006—10.9%; 2005—13.2%; 2004—10.8%)
^6 20th Century Fox: 9.6%; Fox Searchlight 1.5% (Prev. totals: 2009—14.8%; 2009—16.1%; 2008—13.2%; 2007—11.9%; 2006—17.0%; 2005—16.5%; 2004—11.7%)
THE MINI MAJORS " The next generations in movie studios"The "mini-majors"The studiosLions Gate Entertainment, which moved in 2006 from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Santa Monica, California, was the most successful North American movie studio based outside of the Los Angeles metropolitan area before its relocation. Now known as Lionsgate, it was founded in 1997 by financier Frank Giustra. (The company is unrelated to Lion's Gate Films, the Los Angeles–based production company run by filmmaker Robert Altman in the 1970s.) In 2003, the company doubled in size with the acquisition of Artisan Entertainment. In January 2012, Lionsgate acquired Summit Entertainment, which was the highest-grossing mini-major the previous three years. Summit was founded as an independent overseas sales company in 1991, moved into production in the mid-1990s, and was reconstituted as a full-fledged studio in 2006. It saw its first major success with Twilight in autumn 2008, followed shortly after by its first Oscar-winning production, The Hurt Locker. Through its acquisition of Summit, Lionsgate added the highly profitable Twilight franchise to its Saw and Tyler Perryfranchises. Lionsgate also owns a minority stake in the independent distribution company Roadside Attractions.
The Weinstein Company was founded in late 2005 by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein after their departure from Miramax, which they had founded in 1979. In 1993, they sold control of Miramax to the Walt Disney Company, continuing to run the studio in quasi-independent fashion under the Disney umbrella. When the Weinsteins left Disney, they retained the right to the Dimension Films brand, which is used by The Weinstein Company (as it was by Miramax) for genre films. After the success of 1408, released in June 2007, the studio went two years without a hit. It experienced several high-level executive defections in 2008, and announced major layoffs that November. The Weinsteins have a long-standing relationship withQuentin Tarantino—all of the feature films he has directed through 2009 have been distributed either by Miramax, when it was led by the brothers, or The Weinstein Company. The successful release of his Inglourious Basterds in August 2009 was seen as a "turnaround" for the studio.
MGM, after decades as a major studio, continues to distribute motion pictures and television content as a minor, privately held media company. In April 2005, it was purchased from Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corporation by a consortium including Sony, cable company Comcast, Providence Equity Partners, and three other private investment firms. While Sony continues to hold a minority equity stake in the company, MGM has a deal with 20th Century Fox for the distribution of home video and overseas theatrical product. MGM is also the majority shareholder of the latest incarnation of United Artists, whose other lead owners are Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner. Via its original 1981 merger with UA, MGM controls the rights to theJames Bond franchise. Columbia codistributed the first two Bond films starring Daniel Craig after the 2005 purchase. After a third Bond film with Craig was put on hold when MGM slipped into deep financial trouble, Sony reached an agreement with MGM in April 2011 to distribute the next entry in the series.
DreamWorks was founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. Once again independent after two-and-a-half years under the Viacom/Paramount corporate umbrella, it is now backed by India's Reliance ADA Group. DreamWorks will not be a full-service studio—it will produce and finance films, but as it did for most of its first era as an independent, it will arrange distribution through the majors. In February 2009, after dropping out of a deal with Universal, DreamWorks struck such a deal with Disney, though Paramount will be releasing the DreamWorks pictures developed there through mid-2011. The first independent DreamWorks film to be released under the new deal, via Touchstone, was I Am Number Four in February 2011. Katzenberg, who is completely divested from the new DreamWorks, now runs DreamWorks Animation as a totally separate business. The company maintains a close-knit distribution deal with Paramount that runs through 2012.
In 2007, CBS Corporation started a new movie division, CBS Films, focusing on star-driven projects with midrange budgets of $50 million or less. The company released its first film,Extraordinary Measures, in January 2010.
In March 2011, former executive at The Weinstein Company and Lionsgate, Tom Ortenberg, had formed Open Road Films with the company's owners, Regal Entertainment and AMC Theatres focusing 8-10 wide released films a year.
The standingsIn 2011, a record five mini-majors each pulled in more than 1% of the total domestic box office. Summit's $415.2 million in grosses and 4.1% market share put it atop the mini-majors for the third straight year. Weinstein and its Dimension subsidiary together pulled in $291.8 million, a 2.9% share. Relativity was third with $228.3 million and 2.2%; Lionsgate was fourth with $183.4 million and 1.8%; and FilmDistrict was fifth with $126.1 million and 1.2%. In 2010, Summit led with $519.9 million in grosses and a 5.0% market share. Lionsgate was close behind with $513.9 million in grosses, good for a 4.9% share. They were far ahead of the other mini-majors, none of which reached $100 million in grosses or a 1% share. In 2009, Summit's mini-major-leading figures were $480.4 million in grosses and a 4.5% market share. Lionsgate's $401.5 million in grosses gave it a 3.8% share. Two other companies commanded market shares greater than 1%: Weinstein/Dimension (2.0%) and Overture Films (1.5%). In 2008, Lionsgate topped the mini-majors with $441.5 million in grosses, a 4.5% market share. Three other companies had over $100 million in box office grosses: Summit (2.4% market share), MGM/UA (1.7% market share), and Overture (1.1% market share).
In 2007, Lionsgate and MGM/UA were virtually tied for the position of most successful mini-major in terms of market share, each with 3.8%. No other independent studio had even a 1% market share. In 2006, Lionsgate had a 3.6% market share, The Weinstein Company had a 2.5% market share, and MGM/UA had a 1.8% market share. In 2005, the still independent DreamWorks SKG had 5.7% and Lionsgate had 3.2%. Of MGM/UA's four significant money-earners during 2005, it released three before its acquisition by the Sony-led consortium; MGM/UA's total market share for the year was 2.1%. The Weinstein Company, in its first three months of operation, gained 0.5% of the year's total market share. In 2004, DreamWorks SKG had 10.0% (more than the Paramount Motion Pictures Group), Newmarket had 4.3% (due almost entirely to The Passion of the Christ), Lionsgate had 3.2%, and MGM/UA had 2.1%.