11) DreamWorks SKG Studios – $180,900,000
After a string of commercial and critically acclaimed hits including the Shrek franchise, Castaway, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can and Anchorman, Katzenberg became the CEO of the newly created DreamWorks Animation (DWA), which became a mutually traded enterprise and entirely independent company in 2004.
10) The Weinstein Company (TWC) – $181,726,400
Independent producers, brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein started The Weinstein Company in 2005, and have run up a string of film and television hits ever since. With the likes of the Spy Kids, Scary Movie and Scream franchises, as well as The King’s Speech and Django Unchained, the studio has made an impact from its inception.
9) Lionsgate – $420,419,393
Lionsgate Films was created in 1997 from what was previously Cinepix Film Properties, a Canadian independent film producer, and was renamed Lionsgate Entertainment Corporation (LGE). The studio’s first success came with the release of American Psycho in 2000 and has followed it with Girl with a Pearl Earring, Fahrenheit 9/11, Hotel Rwanda, Crash, 3:10 to Yuma, Precious, Kick-Ass as well as the global phenomena of the Saw, Transporter, The Expendables, Twilight Saga and Hunger Gamesfranchises, which saw Lionsgate reap over $400 million this year.
8) Paramount – $882,022,462
Having survived the Great Depression, the studio’s later output includes The Ten Commandments, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Psycho, Vertigo, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Chinatown, Apocalypse Now, Forrest Gump, Titanic and the Iron Man franchise. At nearly $900 million in revenues for 2014, Paramount is alive and kicking it as well as ever.
7) Universal – $956,267,478
Later studio hits include Jaws, Animal House, The Deer Hunter, Coal Miner’s Daughter, E.T. The Extraterrestrial and Sophie’s Choice. Currently the studio is known for the success of its films like Bridget Jones’ Diary, Gladiator, Meet the Parents, American Pie/Fast and the Furious/Bournefranchises, Bridesmaids and Dumb and Dumber To.
After more than one hundred years in operation, Universal seems poised to take their nearly $1 billion in revenues for 2014 well into the next century.
6) Sony/Columbia Pictures – $1,181,819,246
5) Warner Bros. – $1,311,488,764
The studio was purchased as a subsidiary of Warner’s Communications Inc. in 1969 which later merged with Time Inc. in 1989, becoming Time Warner Inc. The studio’s recent film hits include the Batman, Harry Potter and Hangover franchises, 300, The Bucket List, The Blind Side, The Lego Movie and Interstellar. At over $1.3 billion gross in 2014, the little studio the Warner brothers built is among the most successful media companies in history.
4) Buena Vista – $1,395,509,401
3) MGM – $1.53 billion (approx.)
After absorbing United Artists in 1982 and becoming MGM/UA Entertainment Company, media mogul Ted Tuner briefly owned the studio, before selling it back to Kerkorian. Following a brief ownership by France’s Credit Lyonnais, Kerkorian once again purchased MGM, who by 2007 had an unimpressive record of success as its steward. However the studio has certainly survived its darkest hours and continues its run of hits like Casino Royale, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, 21 Jump Street and The Hobbit series. The studio racked up a healthy 1.5 billion dollars in 2014.
2) Fox – $1,560,253,473
After Zanuck retired in 1971, the studio’s future was uncertain as it passed between a number of brief owners until it was finally bought by Rupert Murdoch in 1985, bringing it much needed cash and stability. The studio’s recent hits include the X-Men and Night at the Museum franchises, the likes of which saw Fox draw over $1.5 billion at the box office this year.
1) Disney – $1.78 billion (approx)
By the mid 1960s, Walt was envisioning an expansive new project in Florida to be called DisneyWorld that would outdo his successful California Disneyland theme park opened in 1955. Sadly, Walt died in 1966 and Roy in 1971, but their empire survived them in a big way. The Walt Disney Studios owns Touchstone, Pixar, Marvel and The Walt Disney Motion Pictures and Animation Studios, which is pretty much like owning Fort Knox. These sub-studios of the company have recently produced the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy to help pull in over $1.78 billion for the Disney Mint this year.