The American Film Industry Lesson Objectives: To be aware of the historical development of the American film industry, and the contemporary structure of the industry.
Hollywood Studios How many logos for Hollywood studios can you recognise?
The Origins of the American Film Industry The origins and development of the American film industry are the period from 1895 to 1930. During this time the emerging industry developed into an important popular medium, organised into clearly defined exhibition, production, and distribution elements.
The Studio Era The period from 1930 to 1949 in American film is known as the Studio Era. By 1930 the American film industry was dominated by five companies known as the ‘Majors’ or the ‘Big Five.
The Big Five
Vertical Integration All of the Big Five studios were vertically integrated. Vertical integration – where a company is organised so that it oversees a product from the planning/development stage, through production, to marketing, and distribution, through to the consumer.
Vertical Integration During the studio era the Big Five owned the production studios, the distribution companies, and most of the cinemas in the US. Production Studio Distribution Cinemas
The End of the Studio Era In 1949 the major studios were forced to sell off the cinema chains that they owned by the US government, after a court ruling that their practices were monopolistic. The American film industry declined further in the 1950s due to the rise of television. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that Hollywood studios fully recovered.
The Contemporary American Film Industry The American film industry is now dominated by six major film companies. The contemporary Big Six account for nearly 90% of the North American film market. All of these companies are subsidiaries of major media conglomerates.
The Big Six Who do you think are the Big Six film studios in the contemporary American film industry? Major Studio Subsidiaries Warner Bros Pictures 20th Century Fox Paramount Pictures Columbia Pictures Walt Disney/Touchstone Pictures Universal Studios
Ownership Do you know which conglomerate owns which film studio?
Related Division and Brands Match the following subsidiary companies to their parent company. New Line Cinema, HBO, Castle Rock Entertainment, Turner Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment Universal Animation Studios Pixar Animation Studios, Hollywood Pictures. Marvel Studios 20th Century Fox Animation Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films TriStar Pictures, Destination Films
Market Which of the Majors do you think is the most successful. Rank the studio’s market share: 20% 16% 14% 14% 12% 10%
Timeline Create a timeline identifying key stages in the American film industry.