Check out this list of movie studios to find out more about the people who make some of your favorite movies.
The Difficulty of Listing Movie Studios
It isn't difficult to find a comprehensive list of movie studios. Many of the smaller studios are wholly owned by the larger studios while some are only partly owned. The difficulty also comes in due to the sheer volume of movie studios. There are, of course the major movie studios that will be included in this list. However, with all the smaller studios popping up making indie films, it's difficult, if not impossible to list them all. Here is a list of major movie studios and a few of their subsidiaries.
The Big Six List of Movie Studios
Back when large movie studios were king in Hollywood, there were six major movie studios known as "The Big Six." Currently, these studios are still referred to as "The Big Six" and with all the mergers and acquisitions, they only seem to be getting bigger.
In the early 1900's, rival film companies, The Famous Players Film Company and Lasky Corporation, merged to form Paramount Pictures. The studio remains one of the highest grossing film studios in the country. Paramount Pictures is the oldest operating studio in Hollywood, beating out Universal by a mere 30 days. The studio is also where famed director Cecil B. DeMille got his start in the film industry.
Paramount also currently owns DreamWorks SKG, but the acquisition deal did not, however, include the very profitable DreamWorks Animation.
20th Century Fox
Also a result of a major studio merger. 20th Century Fox was result of the Fox Film Corporation and 20th Century Pictures combining forces in 1935. The studio is located in Century City, California, and is considered one of the major six film studios in Hollywood. The studio is now owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's company, News Corporation. Fox subsidiaries include:
- Fox Searchlight Pictures
- Fox Broadcasting Company
- Fox Home Entertainment
- 20th Century Fox Television
This major movie studio was founded in 1903 by brothers Szmul, Aaron, Hirsz and Itzhak Wanskolaser, who changed their names to Sam, Albert, Harry and Jack Warner. The studio is currently a subsidiary of Time Warner. Other Warner Brothers subsidiaries include:
- DC Comics
- The WB Television Network
- Warner Brothers Animation
- The CW Television Network
Another major film studio finding its beginnings in the early 1900's is also located in Universal City, California. The studio was founded by Carl Laemmle and is the second oldest film studio in Hollywood. General Electric currently holds 80 percent of Universal and the studio is now referred to as NBC Universal.
Universal and its parent company General Electric also produce and distribute films for the following movie studios:
- Imagine Entertainment
- Amblin Entertainment
- Morgan Creek Productions
- Working Title Films
- Shady Acres Entertaiment
The company was founded in 1920 by brothers Jack and Harry Cohn, along with partner Joe Brandt, and in 1989 the studio was sold to mega media conglomerate Sony Electronics Organization.
Though many have referred to Disney in the past as one of the smaller movie studios in Hollywood, the company started by the venerable Walt Disney is actually a close third, behind Warner Brothers and Paramount, in total revenue in the United States and Canada.
Mergers, Acquisitions and Production Deals
It seems as though every major movie studio has production and distribution deals with other movie studios, so they're all interrelated somehow. Over the years, due to financial burdens, fiscal mismanagement or soaring production costs, the smaller studios have had no choice but to merge with larger studios just to avoid bankruptcy. Given that top name actors are paid millions upon millions of dollars these days, it's hard, if not impossible for a small movie studio to survive.