Disney: The biggest Studio winner.
Led by Avengers: Endgame, Disney reached an unprecedented $11.1 billion at the global box office. This is before including Fox, with Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm hits galore. Disney became the first studio ever to have seven $1 billion releases in a year.
Sony (Formerly Columbia)
“Once upon a time in Hollywood” was their big winner with a $374 Million Box office. Their total US domestic Box Office was a very healthy $1.35 Billion, which is the best since 2012. They have lowered expenses and therefore profits have grown. What is encouraging, is that “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is more arthouse than comic book, with the great Quentin Tarantino having written and directed the film.
Netflix has created insane debt. The conversation at many industry events has been, when will Netflix go broke or get taken over? Well their financial results make very positive reading for their investors.
The streaming giant gained 27.8 million subscribers in 2019 a tremendous result considering so many new players have hit the market. The streaming wars seem in some ways to be helping Netflix. They ended the year with 167 million global members, including 61 million in the U.S. The trend towards better releases in cinemas for some the top films will continue in 2020.
2019 was not a great year for Universal at the Box Office with a 29 percent fall in theatrical revenue to $1.5 billion. However, content licensing climbed 3.4 percent from $2.9 billion to $3 billion. Lower operating expenses also boosted the bottom line with less film production, helping their profits increase.
The swing to a profit in 2019 was driven by a 14 percent improvement in licensing revenue and a 3 percent dip in expenses. Licensing revenue came from titles in its film library as well as from new series from Paramount TV Studios, with the company highlighting that the year saw “increases in licensing of film catalog titles to SVOD providers and recent releases to pay television services.
So what are the trends for the Studios
Licensing to SVOD ( Netflix and other streamers and in case of Disney their own ) is coming a huge source of income and profit for the studios.
Generally if the big boys are healthy the trickle down to the indie Film Sector will be positive.