Issues raised by media in ownership and funding in contemporary media practice.
Issues raised by media in ownership and funding
in contemporary media practice
Ownership of the production, distribution and
exhibition companies affects the type of films that are
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (Twentieth Century-Fox Film
Corporation, with hyphen, from 1935 to 1985)—also known as 20th Century
Fox, or 20th Century Fox Pictures, is one of the six major American film studios
as of 2011. Located in the Century City area of Los Angeles, just west of Beverly
Hills, the studio used to be a subsidiary of News Corporation, but now it's
currently a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.
The company was founded on May 31, 1935, as the result of the merger of
Fox Film Corporation, founded by William Fox in 1915, and Twentieth Century
Pictures, founded in 1933 by Darryl F. Zanuck and Joseph M. Schenck.
20th Century Fox has distributed various commercially successful film series,
including Star Wars, Ice Age, X-Men, Die Hard, Planet of the Apes, Fantastic Four,
Alien and Predator. Television series produced by Fox include The Simpsons,
M*A*S*H, The X-Files, Family Guy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, How I Met Your
Mother, Glee, Modern Family and 24. Among the most famous actresses to
come out of this studio were Shirley Temple, who was 20th Century Fox's first
film star, Betty Grable, Gene Tierney, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. The
studio also contracted the first African-American cinema star, Dorothy
20th Century Fox is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America
When we are talking about ownership we are
talking about a monopoly where a few powerful
institutions control pretty much everything you
see here and read. Although there are other
independent companies, these global media
giants referred to as parent companies control
the production companies and the means to
(Different parts of the organisation involved in the same process)
Production: Is the creation of the film, however
it also means the decisions and processes that
go into making a film. There are different types
of companies involved in the production
process: Both major studios and also production
A production company is the company that is
responsible for making of a film and also maybe
responsible for raising finance for that film, but
this is not always the case. A production
company maybe a small company, which sells its
idea to a major studio or may co-produce a film.
This is often the case because films are so
expensive to make that.
There are 6 major studios in the world that they are a
subsidiary company of a handful of dominant media
companies which own most of media in the world from
TV, Film and even music. The same parent companies
who own the film studios also own the music industry
News Corporation-owns 20th Century Fox, The
Time Warner: Warner Brothers, IPC magazines
Disney: Walt Disney Motion pictures, Disney
Bertelsmann: Channel 5
Viacom-owns Paramount Pictures, Nickolodian, MTV
Sony-Sony Pictures-Columbia Pictures
Independent vs. Studio Films
Independent films are different from film studios because
they do not have as much money to both product, distribute
and market films this means they often have to work with
other companies to produce their films. Some institutions
need to join with other institutions which distribute films.
Vertigo Films is able to distribute its own films, Channel Four
distributed Slumdog Millionaire through Pathe. ,Working
Title's distribution partner is Universal, a huge US company
which can make, distribute and show films. The type of owner
ship within an institution matters as, for instance, Channel 4
and the BBC are able to show their own films at an earlier
stage than other films made by other institutions. They are
also better placed to cross-promote their in-house films
within their media organisations. The BBC makes films with
their BBC Films arm; Channel4's Film Four produces
films, Working Title also produce films, as does Vertigo
How does ownership effect the production of a film?
The first stage of production is getting financial backing.
Independent companies and particularly smaller British
companies, which are not linked to a an American conglomerate have
to rely mainly on money from the National Lottery fund and also other
government organizations i.e. EM media, East Midlands development
agency, or an other regional agency ,which wants to develop local
talent . If they are lucky a private investor or through pre-sales i.e.
selling shares before a film is made, or through sales of television
Independent and smaller companies like Film 4 have to focus on social
realism as these films are cheaper to make as they don't have the big
Hollywood finance for production or distribution to market their films.
They may also link up with one of the main distribution companies by
selling the distributor pre-sales in order to get money for the
• Major studios can make big budget films because they are part of a bigger
conglomerate and have more money to make the big blockbusters. This
means that their films will focus on blockbusters, special effects and big
marketing campaigns. Avatar for instance cost as much in marketing as it
did in production Further, advertisers, and tie in deals with companies like
McDonalds, and Coca Cola will be more likely to want to be involved in big
budget films because they have a wider audience and are shown at more
• This is because independent films are often low budget and focus
particularly in Britain on social realism as they do not have the funds for
CGI and 3D and are shot in digital because it is cheaper than 35mm film.
• They also do not have the money to act as distributor which means they
have to rely on either co-funding or using film festivals to promote their
films. Major studios can get a lot of private investment because they have
a proven track record, a lot of independent film companies have to rely on
• Money from UK film council and other regional development agencies.
Avatar is a science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, starring Sam
Worthington , Zoë Saldaña, Stephen Lang,Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver.
It was made byLightstorm Entertainment and released by 20th Century Fox on
December 18, 2009. The film is set in the year 2154 on Pandora, a fictional Earth-like
moon in a distant planetary system. Humans are engaged in mining Pandora's reserves
of a precious mineral known as unobtanium, while the Na'vi — the sapient and
sentient race of humanoids indigenous to the moon — resist the colonists'
expansion, which threatens the continued existence of the Na'vi and the Pandoran
ecosystem. The film's title refers to the remotely controlled, genetically engineered
human-Na'vi bodies used by the film's human characters to interact with the
Avatar had been in development since 1994 by James Cameron, who wrote a 114page scriptment for the film. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion
of Titanic, and the film would have been released in 1999, but according to James
Cameron, "technology needed to catch up" with his vision of the film. In early
2006, James Cameron developed the script, the language, and the culture of Pandora.
He stated that since Avatar was successful, there will be at least two sequels.
Michael Biehn was considered for the role of Colonel Quaritch. He met
with James Cameron three times and saw some of the 3D footage, but
in the end it simply came down to the fact that Cameron didn't want
people thinking it was Aliens (1986) all over again, as Sigourney
Weaver had already been cast.
Sigourney Weaver plays a "James Cameron" persona for her character
in Avatar. Sigourney stated in an interview, "I teased him because to
me I'm playing Jim Cameron in the movie as this kind of
brilliant, approach-driven, idealistic perfectionist. But that same
somebody has a great heart underneath. So I have to say I was always
kind of channeling him."
The second James Cameron film that doesn't feature either Michael
Biehn, Bill Paxton, Jennette Goldstein, or Arnold Schwarzennegger, the
first being Piranha 2: The Spawning.
Announced on June 14, 2005 in the Hollywood Reporter, James Cameron's
untitled "Project 880" is a parallel project being developed alongside Battle
Angel (2011). It will use the same digital-3D camera system (developed by
Vince Pace) and virtual production studio (developed by Robert Legato) that
Cameron will use on Battle Angel.
James Cameron originally attempted to get the film made in 1999 as his
immediate follow-up to Titanic (1997). However, at the time, the special
effects he wanted for the movie ran the proposed budget up to $400 million.
No studio would fund the film, and it was subsequently shelved for almost ten
James Cameron's first feature film since Titanic (1997).
The movie is 40% live action and 60% photo-realistic CGI. A large amount of
motion capture technology was used for the CGI scenes.
Seeing the character of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(2002) convinced James Cameron that CGI effects had progressed enough to
make Avatar (2009).
Avatar premiered in London on December 10, 2009, and was released theatrically worldwide
from December 16 to 18.The film was originally set for release on May 22, 2009, during
filming, but was pushed back to allow more post-production time (the last shots were delivered
in November and to give more time for theatres worldwide to install 3D projectors.
During a 3D preview showing in Germany on December 16, the movie's DRM 'protection' system
failed, and some copies delivered could not be watched at all in the theaters. The problems were
fixed in time for the public premiere, however. Avatar was released in a total of 3,457 theatres in
the US, of which 2,032 theatres ran it in 3D. In total 90% of all advance ticket sales for Avatar
were for 3D screenings.
Internationally, Avatar opened on a total of 14,604 screens in 106 territories, of which
3,671 were showing the film in 3D (producing 56% of the first weekend gross).] The film
was simultaneously presented in IMAX 3D format, opening in 178 theaters in the United
States on December 18. The international IMAX release included 58 theaters beginning on
December 16, and 25 more theaters were to be added in the coming weeks. The IMAX
release was the company's widest to date, a total of 261 theaters worldwide
Extended theatrical re-release
• In July 2010, Cameron confirmed that there would be an extended
theatrical re-release of the film on August 27, 2010, exclusively in
3D theaters and IMAX 3D. Avatar: Special Edition includes an
additional nine minutes of footage, all of which is CG, including an
extension of the sex scene and various other scenes that were cut
from the original theatrical film. This extended re-release resulted
in the film's run time approaching the current IMAX platter
maximum of 170 minutes, thereby leaving less time for the end
credits. Cameron stated that the nine minutes of added scenes cost
more than $1 million a minute to produce and finish. During its 12week re-release, Avatar: Special Edition grossed an additional
$10.74 million in North America and $22.46 million overseas for a
worldwide total of $33.2 million.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released
the film on DVD and Blu-ray in the US on April
22, 2010 and in the UK on April 26.
The US release was not on a Tuesday as is the
norm, but was done to coincide with Earth
Day. The first DVD and Blu-ray release does
not contain any supplemental features other
than the theatrical film and the disc menu in
favor of and to make space for optimal picture
The film is estimated to have cost over $300
million to produce, and another estimated $200
million for the distribution and other costs, thus
totaling to about half a billion dollars. Avatar is
being touted as a breakthrough in terms of
filmmaking technology, for its development of
3D viewing and stereoscopic filmmaking with
cameras that were specially designed for the
The film was first titled Project 880, and was released in traditional 2D and 3D formats, along with an
IMAX 3D release in selected theaters. The film is estimated to have cost over $300 million to
produce, and another estimated $200 million for the distribution and other costs, thus totaling to
about half a billion dollars. Avatar is being touted as a breakthrough in terms of filmmaking
technology, for its development of 3D viewing and stereoscopic filmmaking with cameras that were
specially designed for the film's production. Opening to critical acclaim, it earned an estimated $27
million on its opening day and an estimated $77,025,481 domestically its opening weekend.
Worldwide, the film grossed an estimated $232,180,000 its opening weekend, the ninth largest
opening-weekend gross of all time, and the largest for a non-franchise, non-sequel and original film. It
is also considered to be a front-runner for awards and nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards. So
far, it has been nominated to 4 Golden Globes, 2 of which it won: Best Director and Best Motion
Picture (Drama). The film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense epic battle sequences and
warfare, sensuality, language and moderate tobacco usage.
The movie has grossed over $2 billion worldwide, the first movie to ever do so. On January
25, 2010, Avatar surpassed Titanic as the highest grossing film of all time, worldwide
Released 16th December 2009
3,457 US theaters, 2032 3D
90% tickets were 3D
Film Value =Cinema-DVD-Blue
Ray, Download, Subscription, Terrestrial TV
trailer released 21 august 2009
Action figures for sale
Tie in Merchandising deals with Mcdonands
Avatar book deals and Art work
• Titanic is a Titanic poster
• The theatrical poster for Titanic.1997 epic romance, drama
and disaster film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate
Winslet, and Billy Zane. It was directed by James Cameron.
It was a fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS
Titanic and followed the forbidden romance of a beautiful
first-class woman (Kate Winslet) and a penniless third-class
artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the ill-fated maiden
voyage of the RMS Titanic. The film also stars Gloria
Stuart, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard
Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, Victor
Garber, and Bill Paxton. Cameron saw the love story as a
way to engage the audience with the real life tragedy.
• In 1995, production began on the film when Cameron shot footage of the
actual Titanic wreck. The modern scenes were shot on board the
Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, which Cameron used as a base while filming
the actual wreck. A reconstruction of the Titanic was built in
Baja, California, at Playas de Rosarito. Scale models and CGI effects were
also used to create a more realistic version of the ship. The film was
partially funded by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, its
distributors. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever made, with
an estimated budget of US$200 million. In 2009, James Cameron's Avatar
(the first film Cameron had made since Titanic) topped Titanic, however.
The film was originally scheduled to open on July 2, 1997; however, postproduction delays pushed back its release to December 19 instead. Titanic
was an enormous critical and commercial success. It was nominated for
fourteen Academy Awards, eventually winning eleven, including Best
Picture and Best Director. In 2012, the film was re-released to theaters in
• Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson: Cameron said he needed the cast to feel
as though they were really on the Titanic, relive its liveliness, and "to take that
energy and give it to Jack, he's an artist who is able to have his heart soar".
Within the film, Jack is portrayed as a penniless Wisonsin man who has toured
various parts of the world, including Paris. He wins two tickets onto the RMS
Titanic in a poker game and travels as a third-class passenger with his friend
Fabrizio. He is attracted to Rose at first sight and meets her when she attempts to
throw herself off the stern of the ship. This enables him to mix with the first-class
passengers for a night. When casting the role, various established
actors, including Matthew McConaughey, Chris O'Donnell, Billy Crudup and
Stephen Dorf, were considered. Tom Cruise expressed an interest in portraying
the character, though his superstar asking price was never taken seriously."
DiCaprio, 22 years old at the time, was brought to Cameron's attention by casting
director Mali Finn. Initially, he did not want to portray the character, and refused
to read his first romantic scene on the set. Cameron said, "He read it once, then
started goofing around, and I could never get him to focus on it again. But for one
split second, a shaft of light came down from the heavens and lit up the forest."
Cameron strongly believed in DiCaprio's acting ability, and told him, "Look, I'm
not going to make this guy brooding and neurotic. I'm not going to give him a tic
and a limp and all the things you want." Cameron rather envisioned the character
as a James Stewart type.
as Rose DeWitt Bukater: Cameron said Winslet "had the thing that you look for"
and that there was "a quality in her face, in her eyes," that he "just knew people
would be ready to go the distance with her". Rose is a 17-year-old girl, originally
from Philadelphia, who is forced into an engagement to 30-year-old Caledon
Hockley so she and her mother, Ruth, can maintain their high-class status after her
father's death had left the family debt-ridden. Rose boards the RMS Titanic with
Cal and Ruth, as a first-class passenger, and meets Jack. Winslet said of her
character, "She has got a lot to give, and she's got a very open heart. And she
wants to explore and adventure the world, but she [feels] that's not going to
happen." Gwyneth Paltrow, Claire Danes, and Gabrielle Anwar had been
considered for the role. When they turned it down, 22-year-old Winslet
campaigned heavily for the role. She sent Cameron daily notes from
England, which led Cameron to invite her to Hollywood for auditions. As with
DiCaprio, casting director Mali Finn originally brought her to Cameron's attention.
When looking for a Rose, Cameron described the character as "an Audrey
Hepburn type" and was initially uncertain about casting Winslet even after her
screen test impressed him. After she screen tested with DiCaprio, Winslet was so
thoroughly impressed with him, that she whispered to Cameron, "He's great. Even
if you don't pick me, pick him." Winslet sent Cameron a single rose with a card
signed "From Your Rose" and lobbied him by phone. "You don't understand!" she
pleaded one day when she reached him by mobile phone in his Humvee. "I am
Rose! I don't know why you're even seeing anyone else!" Her persistence, as well
as her talent, eventually convinced him to cast her in the role.
Billy Zane as Caledon Hockley:
The part was originally offered to Matthew McConaughey.
Frances Fisher as Ruth DeWitt Bukater
Gloria Stuart as Rose Dawson Calvert:
Cameron stated, "In order to see the present and the past, I decided to
create a fictional survivor who is close to 101 years, and she connects us in
a way through history."
David Warner as Spicer Lovejoy
Danny Nucci as Fabrizio De Rossi
Bill Paxton as Brock Lovett
Lewis Abernathy as Lewis Bodine
Suzy Amis as Lizzy Calvert
Jason Barry as Thomas Ryan:
Jenette Goldstein as Irish Mother:
Camilla Overbye Roos as Helga Dahl
Linda Kerns as Third Class Woman
Amy Gaipa as Trudy Bolt
20th Century Fox co-financed Titanic, and expected Cameron to complete the film for
a release on July 2, 1997. The film was to be released on this date "in order to exploit
the lucrative summer season ticket sales when blockbuster films usually do better". In
April, Cameron said the film's special effects were too complicated and that releasing
the film for summer would not be possible. With production delays, Paramount
pushed back the release date to December 19, 1997. "This fueled speculation that the
film itself was a disaster." However, a preview screening in Minneapolis on July 14
"generated positive reviews" and "[c]hatter on the internet was responsible for more
favorable word of mouth about the [film]". This eventually led to more positive media
The film premiered on November 1, 1997, at the Tokyo International Film
Festival, where reaction was described as "tepid" by The New York Times.
However, positive reviews started to appear back in the United States; the official
Hollywood premiere occurred on December 14, 1997, where "the big movie stars who
attended the opening were enthusiastically gushing about the film to the world
Budget of Titanic was $200 million.
Including revenue from the 2012 reissue, Titanic earned
$658,672,302 in North America and $1,526,700,000 in
other countries, for a worldwide total of $2,185,372,302. It
became the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide in 1998,
and remained so for twelve years, until Avatar, also written and
directed by Cameron, surpassed it in 2010. On March 1, 1998, it
became the first film to earn more than $1 billion worldwide,
and on the weekend April 13–15, 2012—a century after the
original vessel's foundering—Titanic became the second film to
cross the $2 billion threshold during its 3D re-release. Box Office
Mojo estimates that Titanic is the fifth highest-grossing film of all
time in North America when adjusting for ticket price inflation.
Cameron convinced 20th Century Fox to promote the film
based on the publicity afforded by shooting the Titanic
wreck itself, and organized several dives to the site over a
period of two years. "My pitch on that had to be a little
more detailed," said Cameron. "So I said, ‘Look, we’ve got
to do this whole opening where they’re exploring the
Titanic and they find the diamond, so we’re going to have
all these shots of the ship." Cameron stated, "Now, we
can either do them with elaborate models and motion
control shots and CG and all that, which will cost X
amount of money – or we can spend X plus 30 per cent
and actually go shoot it at the real wreck.“
Judging by all the facts and figures, the only
reason why Avatar beat all the records of Titanic
was because technology at the time of Titanic
(1997) was not developed. Internet wasn’t very
commonly used and even computers were rare.
Any other kind of technology was extremely rare
to have access to. So when Avatar was released
in 2009, modern 2D/3D technology was beyond
developed. Everyone had access to internet, had
smartphones etc. Obviously revenue was going
to be doubled.
Hence Avatar was a big time success,