The domestic box-office fell 5.2% and DVD sales dropped 11% in 2014. By those numbers alone one might have thought it was probably a tough year for the major Studios but the 2014 profit report is out and it shows that they did surprisingly well. Tentpole franchises, unexpected mid-range budget unexpected hits, SVOD sales to players like Netflix, cost control and TV hits all helped ease the blow and keep Studios in a good place. Below, how each Studio ranks and the key factors that contributed to their results.
1) WALT DISNEY: $1.7 billion
Disney has the golden touch, we all know that. But in 2014 they reaped big rewards for the mega-hit ‘Fronzen’, placing Disney at number one for the first time in 5 years, a place that was owned by Warner Bros ever since the report started coming out. Disney also has a big upper hand in home video since most of it’s audience is younger and kids are the biggest home video customers. 2015 will liked keep the good fortune going with a seventh ‘Star Wars’ film and two Pixar titles scheduled to come out.
2) 21ST CENTURY FOX: $1.5 billion
2014 was the best year for Fox since 2010. ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, the exquisite ‘Gone Girl’, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ and ‘Rio 2’ are the main hits responsible for this result. Fox’s strategy has been a bit different than the other Studios since they’re betting on a more diverse slate and some great mid-range budget hits like ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. (We, the audience, are very thankful for that, Fox). On the TV side, Variety reports that the syndication of ‘Modern Family’, a new season of ’24’ and SVOD revenue from the sale of ‘The Americans’ to Amazon helped temper the loss of the big hit ‘How I Met Your Mother’.
3) WARNER BROS: $1.3 billion
Falling from 1st place to 3rd is largely due to restructuring costs and a wave of flops like ‘Transcendence’. Big hits helped ease the losses, especially new TV shows ‘Gotham’ and ‘The Flash’ and ‘The Lego Movie’, ‘Godzilla’ and the final ‘Hobbit’ on theaters. To come, are multiple DC movies (yes, more superheroes), at least 3 more Lego movies and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies from J.K. Rowling.
4th, 5th and 6th place were taken, respectively, by NBCUniversal, Sony and Paramount.
Who do you think will have the best year in 2015?