Be it recession, a shift in the entertainment habits of audiences or competition from TV, games and the internet - or a combination of all three - the film business is facing one of the most challenging periods of change in its 115-year history.


Film-makers, distributors and exhibitors all around the world are testing new ways of keeping the medium robust, while experimentation with windows, old and new, is an inevitable next step.

Screen’s August special feature explores how the world-leading Hollywood business is responding to this sea change. US editor Jeremy Kay, who has been reporting tirelessly on the US business in all its facets for seven years now, sat down with some of the biggest names in the studio and independent world to discuss the new realities.

We targeted companies which have created new business models in response to a changing global business - DreamWorks Studios, Relativity Media, Media Rights Capital, Legendary Pictures - as well as arguably the town’s leading studio, Warner Bros. We examine the success of bright new independent Summit Entertainment and gathered some of the leading independent players in two lively round-table debates at Los Angeles’ latest hotspot, Soho House West Hollywood.

The result is a picture of an industry striving to rebalance after years of excess. Companies engaged in production are conservative and cautious both in content and budget, while studios are looking to partners for finance and product. It’s a time of great opportunity, where doors and minds are open to new ways of doing business or making and exploiting movies. Indeed, for independents, entrepreneurs and foreign investors, Hollywood has never been so full of opportunity. Looking at the likes of Ryan Kavanaugh and Graham King, who are building empires of their own in league with the existing super-structure, I can’t help but be reminded of Los Angeles’ great movie pioneers such as Jack Warner or Samuel Goldwyn.

Lowdown on 2009 - 2010 in the domestic market, by film and distributor

Distributor Market Share by US Box Office, Jan 1 2010 - July 1 2010

DistributorNo. of titlesUS  grossShare
20th Century Fox16$1,094,294,23220.21%
Warner Bros19$851,726,52915.73%
Summit Entertainment8$209,517,2223.87%
Overture Films4$67,331,9401.24%

Distributor Market Share by US Box Office, Jan 2 2009 - Dec 31 2009

DistributorNo. of titlesUS  grossShare
Warner Bros37$2,092,631,92419.85%
20th Century Fox33$1,637,144,71715.53%
Summit Entertainment11$481,082,2834.56%
The Weinstein Company9$204,669,1121.94%
Focus Features10$160,850,0271.53%

Top 20 Releases In The US, Jan 1 2010 - July 1 2010

TitleRatingDistributorRelease DateUS Gross
AvatarPG1320th FoxDec 18, 2009$465,943,948
Alice In WonderlandPGDisneyMar 5, 2010$334,178,566
Iron Man 2PG13ParamountMay 7, 2010$307,654,463
Toy Story 3GDisneyJune 18, 2010$258,826,169
Shrek Forever AfterPGParamountMay 21, 2010$231,388,475
How To Train Your DragonPGParamountMar 26, 2010$215,815,234
Clash Of The TitansPG13Warner BrosApril 2, 2010$160,146,068
The Karate KidPGSonyJune 11, 2010$143,523,258
Shutter IslandRParamountFeb 19, 2010$128,012,934
Valentine’s DayPG13Warner BrosFeb 12, 2010$110,485,654
Sherlock HolmesPG13Warner BrosDec 25, 2009$106,925,723
Robin HoodPG13UniversalMay 14, 2010$103,585,075
Alvin…The SqueakquelPG20th FoxDec 23, 2009$98,887,330
Date NightPG1320th FoxApril 9, 2010$97,447,288
The Book Of EliRWarner BrosJan 15, 2010$94,835,059
Sex And The City 2RWarner BrosMay 27, 2010$93,694,769
The Twilight Saga: EclipsePG13Summit EntJune 30, 2010$92,744,978
Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightening ThiefPG20th FoxFeb 12, 2010$88,763,303
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of TimePG13DisneyMay 28, 2010$87,454,170
Dear JohnPG13SonyFeb 5, 2010$80,014,842

Top 20 Releases In The US, Jan 2 2009 - Dec 21 2009

TitleRatingDistributorRelease DateUS Gross
Transformers: Revenge Of The FallenPG13ParamountJune 24, 2009$402,111,870
Harry Potter And The Half Blood PrincePGWarner BrosJuly 15, 2009$301,959,197
UpPGDisneyMay 29, 2009$293,004,164
The Twilight Saga: New MoonPG13Summit EntNov 20, 2009$284,512,392
AvatarPG1320th FoxDec 18, 2009$283,624,210
The HangoverRWarner BrosJune 2, 2009$277,322,503
Star TrekPG13ParamountMay 8, 2009$257,730,019
Monsters Vs AliensPGParamountMar 27, 2009$198,351,526
Ice Age: Dawn Of The DinosaursPG20th FoxJuly 1, 2009$196,573,705
The Blind SidePG13Warner BrosNov 20, 2009$196,563,318
X Men Origins: WolverinePG1320th FoxMay 1, 2009$179,883,157
Night At The Museum 2PG20th FoxMay 22,2009$177,243,721
The ProposalPG13DisneyJune 19, 2009$163,958,031
2012PG13SonyNov 13, 2009$162,349,000
Fast & FuriousPG13UniversalApr 3, 2009$155,064,265
GI Joe: The Rise Of CobraPG13ParamountAug 7, 2009$150,201,498
Paul Blart: Mall CopPGSonyJan 16, 2009$146,336,178
TakenPG1320th FoxJan 30, 2009$145,000,989
Gran TorinoRWarner BrosDec 12, 2008$141,211,171
Disney’s A Christmas CarolPGDisneyNov 6, 2009$136,889,051