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Fox vs Paramount vs. Disney vs. Universal vs. Warner Bros. vs Sony: At the Box Office

Updated on October 29, 2017
Craig Easom profile image

Craig has been a writer on HubPages since 2013. He is currently studying for Marketing at Nottingham Trent University—in the land of Robin.

The movie studios behind the biggest and brightest movie productions throughout the decades. The battle of the major studios is filled with so little blood, it's somewhat disturbing.
The movie studios behind the biggest and brightest movie productions throughout the decades. The battle of the major studios is filled with so little blood, it's somewhat disturbing.

The 5 major movie studios have been included to this battle-off between competing Box Office entities - such as 21st Century Fox Studios, Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, Warner Bros.’s Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

As a part of our research into these Hollywood major movie studios we have collected the top-50-grossing-Hollywood-movies-of-all-time (updated on Saturday 28th October, 2017):

Avatar (Fox, 2009) - $2.7 Billion 2. Titanic (Para, 1997) - $2.1 Billion 3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney, 2015) - $2.06 Billion 4. Jurassic World (Uni., 2015) - $1.6 Billion 5. Marvel’s The Avengers (Disney, 2012) - $1.5 Billion 6. Furious 7 (Uni., 2015) - $1.5 Billion - 7. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Disney, 2015) - $1.4 Billion 8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (WB., 2011) - $1.3 Billion 9. Frozen (Disney, 2013) - $1.2 Billion 10. Beauty and the Beast (Disney, 2017) - $1.2 Billion 11. The Fate of the Furious (Uni., 2017) - $1.2 Billion 12. Iron Man 3 (Disney, 2013) - $1.2 Billion 13. Minions (Uni., 2015) - $1.1 Billion 14. Captain America: Civil War (Disney, 2016) - $1.1 Billion 15. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Para/DW, 2011) - $1.1 Billion 16. The Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King (NL, 2003) - $1.1 Billion 17. Skyfall (Sony, 2012) - $1.1 Billion 18. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Para, 2014) - $1.1 Billion 19. The Dark Knight Rises (WB, 2012) - $1.08 Billion 20. Toy Story 3 (Disney, 2010) - $1.06 Billion 21. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Disney, 2006) - $1.06 Billion 22. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney, 2016) - $1.05 Billion 23. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Disney, 2011) - $1.04 Billion 24. Despicable Me 3 (Uni., 2017) - $1.02 Billion 25. Jurassic Park (Uni., 1993) - $1.02 Billion 26. Finding Dory (Disney, 2016) - $1.02 Billion 27. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (Fox, 1999) - $1.02 Billion 28. Alice in Wonderland (Disney, 2010) - $1.02 Billion 29. Zootopia (Disney, 2016) - $1.02 Billion 30. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (WB [NL], 2012) - $1.02 Billion 31. The Dark Knight (WB, 2008) - $1 Billion 32. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (WB., 2001) - $974 Million 33. Despicable Me 2 (Uni., 2013) - $970 Million 34. The Lion King (Disney, 1994) 35. The Jungle Book (Disney, 2016) - $968 Million 36. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Disney, 2007) - $963 Million 37. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (WB., 2010) - $960 Million 38. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (WB [NL], 2013) - $958 Million 39. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (WB [NL], 2014) - $956 Million 40. Finding Nemo (Disney, 2003) - $940 Million 41. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (WB., 2007) - $939 Million 42. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (WB, 2009) - $934 Million 43. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (NL, 2002) - $926 Million 44. Shrek 2 (DW, 2004) - $919 Million 45. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (WB, 2005) - $896 Million 46. Spider-Man 3 (Sony, 2007) - $890 Million 47. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Fox, 2009) - $886 Million 48. Spectre (Sony, 2015) - $880 Million 49. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony, 2017) - $879 Million 50. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (WB, 2002) - $879 Million

12 Warner Bro.’s titles/2 New Line titles, 4 Sony Pictures titles, 2 DreamWorks titles, 3 Fox titles, 3 Paramount titles, 7 Universal Studios titles, 18 Disney (Buena Vista distribution network) titles

Walt Disney at the Box Office

Disney is the home to many popular movie franchise brands; including Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and the forever popular Disney own brand, Walt Disney Animation.

Walt Disney have left their mark over the decades that they have been a major studio in Hollywood, the most popular of which being Lion King, Toy Story, The Avengers, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Disney brand is perhaps the most powerful movie studio functioning for business in Hollywood today.

Every year that Disney functions for business, they are pumping out a new selection of Marvel movies, Pixar Animation movies, their own Walt Disney Animation movies, and various other home brand movies. Walt Disney is a dominating force over at the global box office, seeing returns for a single franchise coming in the billions of dollars each active year in business. This is astonishing, and surely says something about their business model, advertising efforts, and release cycles that each have their own segments for further business. If Disney release a new Star Wars movie (like The Force Awakens), then they are hot on the tail with a side movie (like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), and this doubles their income for a year in the franchise at the silver screen.

Walt Disney are ice cold when it comes to their relationships with their actors/actresses, even the youngest of casting leads for Walt Disney original Disney Channel shows that air on cable TV. Various stars have entered through the Disney Channel programming castings; including Hillary Duff, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, and after the studio has ended their respective Disney Channel shows, they will wash their hands of these rising stars on the back-end of the Hollywood show business. Hillary Duff was the biggest Disney Channel star during the airing of The Lizzie McGuire Show, but after the show ended, the official movie had released, the star was ridded from the Disney brand altogether. Sure, Hillary Duff took her hand to the Hollywood scene, gaining minor roles in movies like Cheaper By The Dozen and Cheaper By The Dozen 2, but her acting career grew stale after she turned 18, and her contract with Disney was terminated. Miley Cyrus, another Disney Channel star with her own show, Hannah Montana, was another road show that was stretched out by Disney, but after the star had finished her extended stay at Disney doing the Hannah Montana Show and the Hannah Montana movie, her contract was terminated. This may have worked out somewhat better for this ex-Disney star since Miley Cyrus’s music career hit off after she changed her look, style, and music referencing to the life of a rebellious early 20’s music pop icon. Selena Gomez, yet another ex-Disney star who had her own show, The Wizards of Waverley Place, was also terminated from her Disney contract after turning 18, but fortunately for Selena Gomez her music career hit-off right after her relationship with Justin Bieber began. The point being made here is that Walt Disney Studios is not the fairest of movie/TV show studios when it boils down to contracts with their casting stars, producers, movie directors, script writers and commercial assets, as the brand believes heavily in moving with the times. The studio does not want to find themselves intermingled with a dying star/starlet when their careers start to surpass their due-by date and Disney are still stuck with lengthy contracts. Walt Disney are financially the best asset in Hollywood, and this is all down to their tight restrictive budgeting, wealthy investment attractions, and only sticking with the in-crowd. This is why Robert Downey Jr. came as a surprise to the Hollywood movie industry in 2008 when his role playing Tony Stark/Iron Man blew up into the outer atmosphere, and suddenly audiences were going out of their way to see the latest Iron Man movie. Disney have played this card tight to their chest, hiring Robert Downey Jr. as and when they need him, but also through extremely lucrative deals with the studio. This is all blew out of the water in 2012 when it was announced that Walt Disney tied in a deal for Robert Downey Jr. for the production of Marvel’s The Avengers that year (2012) to receive back-end gross profits from pay-per-view, retail disc sales, and a percentage of box office gross sales, earning the star-studded star an estimated $50 million. Johnny Depp had done 4 Pirates of the Caribbean movies by this point, and had not come close to a deal as lucrative as this one, as Johnny Depp was earning his typical flat fee for a big-budget production, earning this star-studded star $20 million per Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Warner Bros at the Box Office

Warner Bros have been competing with Disney for their entire life-span; owning such franchises as DC Comics Studios, New Line Cinema, and Warner Bros. Animation. Warner Bros was the major studio behind such movie franchises as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Dark Knight trilogy. More recently, Warner Bros have found box office success with such series as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (already sequels in the works) starring Eddie Redmayne and the extended DC Universe - including such popular titles as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman.

Warner Bros have been on the bandwagon for box office explosions since the release of the first Harry Potter movie, and rode this wagon right up until the final instalment in 2011. The Harry Potter stars were paid handsomely for their acting efforts, earning the lead stars; Daniel Radcliffe an estimated $80 million, Emma Watson an estimated $60 million, and Rupert Grint an estimated $55 million by the end of the Harry Potter movie series franchise.

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy was yet another box office draw over the past decade, and has been drawing in audiences to the DC Comics movie universe ever since. In The Dark Knight trilogy Christian Bale played Bruce Wayne/Batman, and by the end of the trilogy he had earned approximately $70 million. This would have been doubled had Christian Bale agreed to do an appearance in another spin-off DC Comics movie around the time of its finish. But, Christian Bale refused, perhaps something to do with his pride as a talented actor in Hollywood, not giving way to the bribes for reeling actors into lower quality movies (sub-par to their standards).

Universal Studios at the Box Office

Universal Studios remains one of the more tangible major Hollywood movie studios, as there works spread across the board of movie genres that are reaching spectacular heights on their profits returns and commercial appeal for an extended period of franchise/or series time appearing over on the silver screen. Universal Studios have found lasting success with such movie series as the Jason Bourne spin-off from The Bourne series which originally stretched over 3 movies and that 1 that starred Jeremy Renner as the spy replacement, luckily only for the one movie. Universal Studios most popular box office successes have been through the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World titles, as well as the works that are being done under the Universal Studios subsidiary company, Illumination Entertainment, most prominently under their projects revolving around the Despicable Me series; and Minions spin-offs.

Most recently, there has been the exceptionally successful Jurassic World movie, starring Chris Pratt from The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Released in 2015, Jurassic World had attracted a lot of attention for its marketing efforts, and like it was meant to be - the movie grossed more than a billion dollars at the global box office. The movie is all set for a sequel, and another successful franchise reboot came in the form of Jason Bourne, a movie released in 2016. The “Jason Bourne” movie was supposed to bring the lead character from The Bourne series back into the light with a whole new perspective on the criminal world at large. Who could have imagined the real threats were coming from inside of the CIA headquarters. Well, perhaps anyone who has seen The Bourne series, and oh how the CIA is filled with corruptions and conspiracies.

Jason Bourne, released in 2016 under the Universal Studios banner, earned the Bourne actor Matt Damon a fair fee for his work of $30 million. This comes at a time when Matt Damon is doing a nose-dive back into the Hollywood movie scene, starring in such movies as The Martian and The Great Wall. Even though the Jason Bourne movie was not the best Bourne movie, it still worked as a franchise reboot. Tommy Lee Jones plays the man in charge of the operations under way at the CIA, but the actor failed to utilise his veteran acting skills for his part in this new age Bourne movie. The very fact that the Jason Bourne writers were trying to create a web of conspiracies from the CIA by using a social media giant seemed to play a little too harsh on the modern day people fears over Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook being a data collector/finder for the CIA. The fears of the digital age, undermined by the written work in 2016’s “Jason Bourne”.

© 2017 Dreammore

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