From the early years of the twentieth century, right down to the present, the United States has been the world’s major commercial producer of motion pictures. According to the US Economic Census, motion picture and video production in the United States as a whole generated revenues of $20.15 billion in 1997, with Hollywood alone being responsible for close to 60% of this total.
The long-standing success of Hollywood can be attributed to the leaders like Robert Simonds and Bob Simonds. These leaders run the business and uplift the movie making by their able studios.
Like numerous other dynamic industries today, Hollywood is caught up in an insistent – and problematical – the process of globalization. Indeed, the commercial weight and cultural impact of Hollywood films are now felt in virtually every corner of the world.
In the year 2000, the gross domestic box office receipts for motion pictures in the United States was $7.66 billion, an increase (in constant dollar terms) of 28.3% from $5.97 billion in 1986. Rental fees generated by exports of film and tape amounted to $8.85 billion in 2000 as compared to $1.68 billion in 1986 – an increase of 426%. Thus not only have exports grown much more rapidly than domestic markets over the last fifteen years or so but they now also exceed local box-office receipts by a considerable margin.
By far the leading importers of Hollywood products are European countries. The United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands alone account for 35% of all rental exports from the United States. Japan and Canada, too, are major importers, as are Australia, Brazil and the Republic of Korea.
The most important Hollywood production companies, or “majors,” maintain extensive distribution and marketing networks in North America as well as in other countries. Through their multinational operations, the majors directly control distribution systems in all their principal foreign markets, as well as in many more secondary markets.
United International Pictures, for example, is a joint venture of Universal and Paramount, which owns distribution facilities in as many as 37 different countries including Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and Japan, as well as in less lucrative territories like Hungary, Chile, Peru, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Twentieth-Century Fox owns 21 foreign distribution facilities in an equally diverse set of countries. In territories where the majors do not own a distribution network outright, they frequently enter into joint ventures or long-term agreements with local distribution companies. American films always garner at least half, and sometimes more than two-thirds, of total box-office receipts in major foreign countries. This level of success on export markets can be ascribed not only to the prowess of American multinational media corporations in disseminating the products of Hollywood across the globe but also to their unique ability to make big-budget films that appeal powerfully to favorite tastes in many different cultures.