Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Our Fine, Entertainment Conglomerates

... and their movie grosses.

... Warner Bros. ruled the movie world in 2013, with $4.95 billion globally ($3.1 billion from overseas and $1.85 billion Stateside). Sony fell the furthest — from last year’s global and Stateside leader to fourth place domestically, with $1.1 billion, and fifth worldwide ($3 billion-plus) in 2013.

... Fox International is expected to end 2013 with a total box office of $2.33 billion, down 14% from a year earlier. Its overseas haul was driven by seven live-action films and three animated family films. The top grosser for the studio internationally was The Croods (DreamWorks) which hammered in $333M, followed by The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, which took in $284.4M and in third place was last year’s critically acclaimed Oscar nominated film Life of Pi ($262.M) ...

The award for the most consistent studio (except for a few glaring financial duds including “R.I.P.D.” and “47 Ronin”) goes to Universal, which released what’s likely the most profitable film of 2013 — “Despicable Me 2.”

The toon sequel from Illumination Entertainment has grossed a whopping $921 million worldwide so far, with a production budget of just $76 million. ...

And Diz Co. announced yesterday that it had earned $3 billion overseas in '13, with details announced tomorrow.

But we can guess what some of the Mouse's drivers were, yes? Monsters University collected $475,066,843 in foreign lands, 64% of its $743,559,607 global accumulation. Planes, under-performer though it might have been, still rolled up $129.5 million in foreign box office, 59% of its $219,788,712 world total.

And Frozen is zipping along nicely, with a worldwide cume of $506,591,000, half of that from overseas.

What's remarkable here is that animation plays such a large role in the profits of so many American entertainment conglomerates. As we have noted, as Jerry Beck has pointed out, cartoons and animated visual effects are no longer a sleepy side-show for the movie business, but the main event.

It might soon get to the point where live-action is the after-thought. And cartoons, once the province of only Disney, generate most of the profits.


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