STUDIOS ALL TOP $1 BILLION IN TOTAL BOX OFFICE FOR 2007
For the first time since 1998, Paramount ended the year No. 1 in market share, a victory made possible because it owns DreamWorks and distributes its movies. In another milestone, six majors crossed the $1 billion mark at the domestic box office in the same year, besting the previous mark of four studios.
The sixth studio crossed the threshold at the last minute: With the coin earned over the weekend from "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and "Aliens vs. Predator -- Requiem," 20th Century Fox passed $1 billion and joined Par, Warner Bros., Disney, Sony and Universal.
After Par, estimates show 2007 rankings as follows: Warner Bros. ($1.41 billion), Disney ($1.36 billion), Sony ($1.24 billion), Universal ($1.08 billion) and Fox ($1.01 billion).
While market share is often touted to Wall Street as a sign of muscle, it only tells part of a studio's story. Studios that churn out the most titles have an advantage in terms of gaining share, but that doesn't take into consideration the key issue of profitability.
Official figures won't be released until today or Thursday, but the 2007 domestic box office is up about 5% to 6% from 2006, with total receipts totaling about $9.57 billion.
NO SIGN WRITERS STRIKE WILL EVER END!
With the writers strike headed into its third month, there's no signal of a cease-fire any time soon between the WGA and the majors.
Even the recent holiday break saw hostilities break out as the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers announced that its calculation of how much the eight-week strike has cost writers -- $151.2 million -- has topped the WGA's calculation of the increase it had asked for at the negotiating table.
Meanwhile, the WGA continued to pledge it will picket the Jan. 13 Golden Globes even though NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. haven't wavered from their plans to go ahead with the event.
"If the Globes is telecast and it is produced by Dick Clark Prods., which is a struck company, we will picket the show," guild strike coordinator Jeff Hermanson said.
The WGA also firmed plans for the February launch of Strike TV, an online channel featuring original video shows and operated by the guild.
The holiday break also continued the vacuum at the negotiating table, although the DGA will now be able to set a start date for its talks with the AMPTP -- possibly as early as next week if the AMPTP has met the DGA's condition that it can establish "an appropriate basis for negotiations."