Case Studies

The Best Film Production Companies in the USA

Photograph of the blog post author, Jon Skinner

Jon Skinner

16.4.2020

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The Best Film Production Companies in the USA

The film industry is a major source of entertainment in the world. Movies not only make people laugh, cry, they generally entertain and good films cost money, lots of money. Surely, the world would become so much less entertaining without the wonderful films studios we sometimes take for granted. 

The film industry in the United States is more than 120 years old. Besides being the oldest and largest in the world, it is the most profitable worldwide with yearly revenue of about $10 billion

In particular, Hollywood accounts for the biggest percentage of this revenue.

How are US blockbusters funded?

The US film companies fund their film production projects mainly through private and public sources. Government grants and tax incentives are the public sources available to filmmakers. Private sources include debt financing, slate financing, and seeking individual investors.

Also, the firms provide the necessary manpower and resources to produce films successfully. In fact, finding a film director and the main actors is the responsibility of a film production company. Moreover, the firm is accountable for any eventually, including injuries to actors or property damage that may happen during the film production process.

Film companies are also charged with commissioning their works, including paying a down payment for the planned production. They find competent, reliable and trustworthy persons that can carry out their projects, which are mainly freelance workers. Prior to film commissioning, the firm provides its expectations to the other parties and ensures that all associated details are understood correctly. 

While films paint myriad worlds, bringing them into being, behind all that are production companies. 

Here is a list of the greatest film production companies in the USA. 

Top US Film Production Companies

Columbia Pictures 

Columbia Pictures

Located in Culver City, Columbia Pictures is an esteemed US film production company that was founded in 1918 by Joe Brandt, Jack Cohn, and Harry Cohn. Initially, the firm remained an insignificant player in Hollywood but began to rise to a higher status in the 1920s. This is attributable to its successful relationship with an Italian-American director – Frank Carpra, who spurred its growth.

In the late 1920s, the firm was recognized as the distributor of Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony films.

Today, Columbia Pictures runs under Sony Pictures and is among the best film producers internationally and part of the top five best American film companies of all time.  

Highest-grossing films:

  • Spider-Man 3
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Men in Black: International   
  • Zombieland: Double Tap       
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood        
  • A Dog’s Way Home  
  • The Angry Birds Movie 2
spider-man-far-from-home

Famous directors in Columbia Pictures are: 

  • Frank Capra
  • Bob Persichetti
  • Peter Ramsey 
  • Rodney Rothman

Type of films:

  • Affirm Films
  • TriStar Pictures
  • Ghost Corps
  • Stage 6 Films
  • Screen Gems

Contacts:

Steve Elzer – Senior Vice President, Media Relations – Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group. +1 310.244.7142 https://www.sonypictures.com

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures formally Universal Film Manufacturing Company was co-founded in 1912 and was the first film company in the United States of America. It was founded by Pat Powers, Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, David Horsley, William Swanson, Adam Kessel, Charles Baumann, Jules Brulatour and Robert H. Cochrane.

Today, Comcast owns the company through the NBC Universal Film.

It has its headquarters in Universal City, California, United States. The company is well known for the production of Jurassic, Jaws and E.T the Extra-Terrestrial. The company has a division known as universal animation studio which is known for creating animated feature films. Some of the featured animated films include The Land Before Time, An American Tail and Balto

The famous film directors for this company include Steven Spielberg and Pierre Coffin

Jurassic Park

Some of the company’s top-grossing films include:

  • Jurassic Park
  • Minions
  • Furious 7
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Despicable Me 3 
  • The Fate of the Furious
  • Jurassic World

Contacts: 

Main: +1 (818) 777 1000 / Customer Service: +1 800 864 8377. http://universalpictures.com

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

As a subsidiary of Viacom CBS, this firm has produced a wide list of greatly successful movies. Among these is Titanic that realized a global gross of more than $2 billion

Paramount Pictures is the second oldest film company in the USA, having been founded in 1912 by Adolph Zukor. 

In 1916, the founder merged it with three other companies to form Famous Players-Lasky Company. The new company grew rapidly, and Zukor remained a major driving force. In 1927, the firm changed its name to Paramount Famous Lasky, and three years later the owners named it Paramount Publix Corporation. 

The firm got into receivership in 1933 following financial challenges. It remained in that status until 1940 when Zukor led out of bankruptcy after assuming the role of its board’s chair. It is at this period that the firm was given its current name.

To date, the company has overcome many odds to rise to become one of the top US film firms.

Top-grossing films for Paramount Pictures include:

  • Titanic 
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction
Transformers Age of Extinction

Famous directors include Rouben Mamoulian, Josef von Sternberg Ernst Lubitsch.

Contacts:

5555 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197 USA. Tel: +1 (323) 956 5000. http://www.paramount.com

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

20th Century fox is among the six biggest studios in the United States of America. It was co-founded by Darryl F. Zanuck, William Fox and Joseph M. Schenck in 1935. The company’s headquarters is in Century City. 

20th Century Fox is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios. Due to associating itself with Shirley Temple, it became successful and well known. However, 20th Century Fox was acquired by Disney through merging with 21st Century Fox.

Some of the famous film directors for this company are James Cameron, Matthew Vaughn, Bryan Jay, James Mangold and Tim Miller. The company has other subsidiaries and divisions, namely:

  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • Zero-Day Fox
  • Fox Star Studios
  • The following are some of the company’s top-grossing films:
  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
  • Avatar 
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 
  • Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
  • Independence Day
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Contacts: 

Main Telephone: +1 310-369 1000 / Film Corporation:  +1 310 277 2211 / Fox Broadcasting: +1 310 369 3553. http://www.foxmovies.com

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Bros Logo

This company was co-founded in 1923 by four brothers Jack, Albert, Harry and Sam Warner. 

It is best known for the production of the film: Harry Potter, The Matrix and Batman. Its headquarters are in California, United States.

The famous film directors are David Yates, Christopher Nolan and Peter Jackson.

Some of the company’s classic films include:

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 
  • The Dark Knight Rises 
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 
  • The Dark Knight 
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 
The Dark Knight Rises

Contacts:

Main Telephone: +1 (818) 954 6000. 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91522. The USA. http://www.warnerbros.com 

Lionsgate Films

Lionsgate Films

This production company was founded by John Dunning in 1962, and its main office is located in Santa Monica. The company is not only the largest mini-major studio but also the most successful under the mini-major firms in the US. 

It has a reputation for producing innovative films that attract an international audience. For the record, the company has released close to 17,000 films since its inception, which is quite a feat.

Lionsgate Films specializes in independent and foreign films. Over the years, it has released a wide range of films that have become commercially successful. Its success is particularly driven by blockbusters such as The Hunger Games and award-winning films like Monsters Ball and La La Land.

Their film business grossed more than $10 billion over a half-year period last year. The highest-grossing films include:

John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire    
  • The Hunger Games    
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1      
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2      
  • The Day After Tomorrow      
  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum   
  • La La Land    
  • Divergent       
  • Wonder
  • Celebrated directors include Francis Lawrence, Gary Ross, and William Condon.

Contact:

Santa Monica, CA. Tel: +1 (310) 449 9200. http://www.lionsgate.com

Amblin Partners

Amblin-Partners

This American-based company is a production and award-winning creative leader in films located in Universal City, CA. Led by its CEO, Steven Spielberg, the Amblin Partners’ team leverages the broad awareness and power of its members to produce films that appeal to an international audience.

Its CEO founded the production company in 2015. The company primarily concentrated on the production and distribution of films using three brands: Participant Media, Amblin Entertainment, and DreamWorks Pictures.

In October 2016, Alibaba Pictures struck a deal with the company that saw it acquire some equity stake in the firm. The new partner took over the distribution and marketing of films in China, including some films’ production. In 2017, Universal strengthened its relationship with Amblin Partners by acquiring a minority stake. 

Through these partnerships, the film company has popularized its brand and built a reputation by producing and developing award-winning films.

The BFG

Films with top-grossing include:

  • The BFG
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • 7 Days in Entebbe
  • The Girl on the Train
  • Green Book
  • Office Christmas Party
  • Dark Waters
  • A Dog’s Purpose
  • Captive State

Well-known directors are Rupert Wyatt, Lasse Hallström, and Peter Farrelly.

https://amblin.com

Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studio is a division of Walt Disney Company. It was founded in 1923, and it’s situated in Burbank, CA, United States. 

Some of the famous directors at Walt Disney Studios include Andrew Stanton, Ron Clements, and Jared Bush.

The Lion King

Below are some of the company top-grossing films:

  • Avengers: Endgame 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
  • Avengers: Infinity War 
  • The Lion King
  • The Avengers
  • Black Panther 
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi 
  • Frozen 
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Incredible 

Contacts:

Main Telephone: +1 (818) 560 1000. Address: 500 South Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521, USA. http://waltdisneystudios.com

STX Entertainment

STX Entertainment

This firm is one of the many film producers in the USA that continues to revolutionize the entertainment industry through their amazing films. Founded in 2014 and located in Burbank, CA, STX Entertainment develops and produces films, including all marketing and distribution.

At the helm of the company team is Robert Simonds, a film producer, accomplished entrepreneur and businessman. The company has several investor companies, including Hony Capital, Tencent Holdings, and Liberty Global, who have helped to rise to fame.

Besides film production, the company has diversified into television, music, and digital video content. In 2016, it attracted international attention by being recognized as the fastest company ever to realize $100 million at the domestic box office through its comedy film – Bad Moms.

Top-grossing films:

  • Bad Moms
  • Secret in Their Eyes
  • Bye Bye Man
  • A Bad Moms Christmas
  • The Best of Enemies

Famous directors at STX Entertainment include Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. https://www.stxentertainment.com

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

MGM is a reputable media company that mainly focuses on producing and distributing both films and TV programs. Located in Beverly Hills, CA, it is among the oldest film firms in the world. 

Marcus Loew started MGM in 1924 at a time when he gained control over three other production companies including Goldwyn Pictures and Metro Pictures. As such, MGM became the most revered and largest film company at the time. 

In 1971, there was a plan to merge MGM with 20th Century Fox, but it didn’t materialize. The film company was sold and bought at different times over the subsequent 39 years. In November 2010, MGM ran into bankruptcy but recovered towards the end of the following month the same year.

Over the years, the company has released classic including GoldenEye, The Dirty Dozen, and Ben-Hur. Although MGM faced struggles in its early years, it became successful later on in becoming an esteemed film company not only in the US but also in other parts of the world.

Skyfall

Highest-grossing films:

  • Skyfall
  • Hot Tub Time Machine
  • Spectre
  • Operation Finale
  • Creed II

Some of the celebrated directors at MGM are Samuel Mendes and Steve Pink. https://www.mgm.com/

We hope you enjoyed our little piece highlighting these amazing film companies. If you are interested in the best film production companies in the UK, then check this article out.

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