New feature here at the B+ Movie Blog. Born out of my feeling that I don’t know studios very well. That is, I can name movies (titles, years, people in them, trivia, awards stuff), but when it comes to naming what studio put them out, it’s hit or miss at best. Especially now.
Older movies are easier. Films made during the studio system — you can guess which studio made what, since studios had a certain style, or genres they specialized in (the MGM musical, the Warners gangster film). They also had actors under contract. If you see a Clark Gable film, chances are it’s an MGM. Nowadays, it’s more difficult. Often, you’ll see a film produced and/or distributed by two major studios. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was produced by both Paramount and Warner Bros. (I know this because the specialized button logos appear for both studios at the start of the film.) And not every film has those logos to help you remember. So how do you know who put out what?
The main goal of this article is to get a sense of what studios put out stuff I like. I remember, back in 2009, saying Warner Bros. was the best studio, because they fostered a creative environment for filmmakers and didn’t meddle, and that 20th Century Fox just put out mainstream garbage like Alvin and the Chipmunks and Meet Dave and were only looking at the bottom line and not at quality. I always feel bad about making statements like that, since I was basing it on three films at best. I didn’t know everything they put out. If I’m making a statement like that, I want to have at least done my homework to where I know for sure that it’s what I believe (and can back it up with reason).
So what I’m doing is — I’m gonna go through 2011 by studio: list what films they released, and how much they made (as well as what won the weekends, to put sort of a box office spin on things), to get an idea of which studios are making the most money, with what films (it is nice to see if a studio is making huge profits on modestly budgeted films, whether they’re “good” or not), and, most importantly for my purposes, if I’m a fan of those studios based on what they put out. Should be interesting. (more…)