Even though the movie industry has experienced some slowdown in the past two years, the outlook is very optimistic for the near future.

The success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and other films, in recent months means that movie studios are making a lot of money.

Some studios are still banking on big blockbuster releases, while others are turning to the use of streaming and other avenues to generate revenue for their films.

Whether you admire the arts, such as Cirque du Soleil, or you love watching the latest Marvel or DC comic book movies, you may want to know what studios are responsible for specific creations.

Below is a rundown of the top five movie studios in the world as of 2022.

1. Universal Pictures

The oldest movie studio in the United States, Universal Pictures is still one of the largest and most profitable. The studio boasted an impressive $44 billion of box office performance in 2020. 

Universal is the home of some blockbuster franchises, including Jurassic Park, Fast and the Furious, King Kong, Despicable Me, and many more. Even though Universal has these tent poles, the studio is never afraid to push lower-budget films during Oscar season.

Universal also owns and operates Universal Parks & Resorts, a set of 5 theme parks in Los Angeles, Orlando, Osaka, Singapore and Beijing. Most of the attractions and lands are based on Universal licenses and other licensed properties.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a film studio and theme park in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, California. It was initially created to offer tours of the real Universal Studios sets.

Universal Studios Tour

2. Warner Bros.

Warner Brothers is a movie studio that has been around since 1923. The studio has many divisions, including DC, Castle Rock, Turner, New Line Cinema, and Warner Bros. Animation. 

Of the top 50 highest-grossing films of all time, 11 belong to Warner Brothers. Between the Harry Potter franchise, DC films such as The Joker, Batman, Superman, and Justice League, and The Matrix, Warner Bros. does not lack big-budget and profit-generating fare.

Warner Bros. managed an impressive $44 billion in box office revenue in 2020, matching Universal in that respect.

If you’re in Los Angeles you should definitely visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, where you’ll explore one of the busiest working studios in Hollywood. One of the expert tour guides will take you behind the scenes where you’ll be able to see Friends’ Central Perk set, The Big Bang Theory sets and more interesting stuff from the movie and TV world.

Gran Torino from Warner Bros studio tour (photo by Erik R.)
The piano from Casablanca from Warner Bros studio tour (photo by Erik R.)
The mailbox from The Bridges of Madison County from Warner Bros studio tour (photo by Erik R.)

3. Walt Disney Pictures

The takeover of the movie industry by Disney has been coming for a long time. There was a time when Disney was limited to high-grossing and lucrative animated movies and series such as Pirates of the Caribbean.

However, acquisitions over the past couple of decades have paid dividends for Disney. One such purchase was Marvel Studios, responsible for some of the most popular and high-grossing movies of the past ten years. Films such as Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor are all under the Disney umbrella.

Disney also owns Star Wars and other popular franchises, which means that it has a significant role to play in the future of the movie industry.

While The Walt Disney Studios is not open to the general public, there are a few ways to access tours of our Studio in Burbank, Calif. D23, The Official Disney Fan Club offers member tours (including a visit to Walt Disney’s office suite) several times a year. Tours may also be available through Disney Movie Rewards and select Adventures by Disney itineraries.

4. Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group

Sony Pictures was founded in 1924 and is home to some of the most popular franchises in the world. Aside from movie studios such as Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures being under its umbrella, Sony also owns the rights to Resident Evil, Spider-Man, Jumanji, and other blockbusters.

Sony has two movies among the top 50 highest-grossing of all time and is showing no signs of slowing down. Its recent partnership with Marvel Studios to produce Spider-Man movies appears to be significantly profitable. Sony is also venturing into other films within the Spider-Man universe that are proving lucrative, such as Venom, Venom II, and the upcoming Morbius.

Sony also offers a possibility to explore its studios. In Culver City, CA, visitors can see film memorabilia & tour the Sony studios.

Sony Pictures Studio Tour

5. Paramount

Paramount, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS, has existed since 1912. The studio is the home of Titanic, Mission Impossible, Shrek, and Transformers, among other franchises.

Paramount also is the home of Paramount Animation. The studio aims to produce films that can rival those from Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks.

Paramount may not have as much of a hold over the industry as studios like Disney and Warner Bros., but it is still likely to be a major player in the coming years. Franchises such as Mission Impossible and Transformers are not slowing down in the near future and should guarantee profits for Paramount.

If you are in L.A., you wanna tour Paramount Studios as well.

Paramount Studios

Do Mid-Range Studios Have a Chance?

There are massive movie studios in the United States that dominate the global box office most years. Studios such as Universal, Warner Bros, and Walt Disney Pictures are the very heart of the movie industry at present.

While there is still a space for indie projects, there is a question as to whether mid-budget movie studios can survive in the near to long term. Revenues from either theaters or streaming may not be enough to keep such studios profitable for very long.

Specific movies, such as Spider-Man, are likely to continue making significant profits for the foreseeable future, but the idea of a movie having a $50 million to $100 million budget and making a profit is no longer a very safe bet.

1 Comment
  1. What were the market shares for Universal and Warner Brothers on film distributions to China?
    How is the branded merchandise market shares for each of them?
    What is the outlook for the post pandemic market over all?

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