When you watch a movie, whether it be at the cinema or in the comfort of your own home, it's seldom you actually think about where the movie was produced and how each film company secured the rights to the movie you're watching on the screen. The movie business is extremely competitive. The six major film companies discussed below comprise 90 percent of the US and Canadian box office revenue. If you're pondering a career in film, you may want to pay very close attention to the statistics below.
And while there are a few "mini-majors" still turning a profit in the industry (Lions Gate Entertainment and MGM for example), it's fairly difficult for film companies to stay afloat while competing with these highly successful empires.
Below you will find the six major film companies (also known as "The Big Six") and a brief description of each:
1. Warner Bros. Pictures. Comprising a whopping 19.7 percent of the US/Canadian market share (2007 figures), Warner Bros. Pictures is the biggest player in the film industry. Securing the rights to major films like Harry Potter, Superman, Batman, The Matrix and Star Wars have made Warner Bros. the No. 1 name in the business.
2. Paramount Pictures. With 15.5 percent of the US/Canadian market share (2007 figures), Paramount Pictures continues to be one of the most successful film production companies in the world. Star Trek, War of the Worlds, the Mission Impossible series, Transformers and Tropic Thunder are just a few of the popular films produced by Paramount Pictures.
3. Walt Disney. One of the most renowned film production companies in the history of the business, Walt Disney now holds 15.3 percent of the US/Canadian market share (2007 figures). With highly successful movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure, Meet the Robinsons and Enchanted, there's no doubt that Disney will continue to play a key role in the industry for years to come.
4. Columbia Pictures. Comprising 12.9 percent of the US/Canadian market share (2007 figures), Columbia Pictures remains a big player in the business. Some of this company's recent successes include Casino Royale, The Da Vinci Code, the Spider-Man series and Step Brothers.
5. Universal Studios. 12.2 percent of the US/Canadian market share (2007 figures) belongs to Universal Studios, which continues to make millions for the film industry. With major hits like the Bourne series (Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum), The American Pie series, Knocked Up, American Gangster and The Incredible Hulk, it's very clear that Universal Studios knows what it takes to make money in this industry.
6. 20th Century Fox. Also known as "Twentieth Century Fox," this highly successful movie production company makes up 11.9 percent of the US/Canadian market share (2007 figures). Some of the biggest and most successful movies from this empire include the X-Men series, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Star Wars Episodes II and III, and the Fantastic Four.
Once again, if you're looking for a career in the film industry, the six companies listed above are the cream of the crop. If you have the opportunity to work for one of these companies, we wouldn't suggest passing it up.