Does the Nation’s Down Market Affect the Hollywood Market?

You can’t go 10 minutes without someone bringing up the hard times American’s are in right now with regards to the economy. Which makes me wonder - is the state of the economy affecting Hollywood?

In a Disney (which includes Miramax Films) press release, their April, May and June quarter’s profits decreased by 2% (profits equaled $1,433 million) from the previous quarter. They are also down 2% from the same quarter last year. They released “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” “Wall E” and “Smart People” to name a few.

Paramount/Viacom's (which includes DreamWorks and Paramount Vantage) profits are up 35% for the April, May and June quarter from the same quarter in 2007. By this quarter’s end Viacom’s filmed entertainment profits totaled $1,771 million. They are up 55% from the previous quarter. A huge contributing factor of course was the theatrical release of “Iron Man” which held the top grossing spot until “The Dark Knight” came along. Other films included “The Ruins,” “Shine a Light,” and “Kung Fu Panda.”

Time Warner’s press release stated a 14% increase for the April, May and June quarter over the same quarter in 2007 (“The Dark Knight” was not in theaters for this quarter). Profits for filmed entertainment totaled $2,564 million, a 9% decrease from the previous quarter. Films released: “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” “Speed Racer,” “Sex and the City” and “Get Smart.”

NBC Universal (GE) profits are up 7% from 2007’s April, May and June quarter and up 8% from the previous 2008 quarter. Total revenue for April, May and June equaled $3,882 million. Films released “Baby Mama,” "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "The Strangers," "Wanted" and "The Incredible Hulk.”

20th Century Fox – The April, May, and June quarter showed total profits at $220 million, a 16% decrease from the previous quarter. Surprisingly though, their profits only equaled $106 million from the same quarter in 2007, which are up significantly now. Films released – “Nim's Island,” “Street Kings,” “Deception,” “What Happens in Vegas...,” and “The Happening.”

With the exception of Disney, none of the studios were consistently down in the cash flow areas. As an incredible summer of blockbusters and A List ensemble casts comes to a close, it seems that although Wall Street is a buzz with red down arrows, Hollywood is a buzz with millions of green ones – just maybe not as many as they were hoping for.

Are you still going to just as many movies now-a-days even though ticket prices are rising? Do you think the economy is affecting Hollywood and film makers?

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.

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