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Hollywood ended 2016 with big gains in TV and a record-shattering $11.4 billion box-office haul thanks to superheroes, The Force and a string of animated hits.
But not everyone in town is crowing; last year was lopsided when it comes to profitability. The six major studios collectively pocketed $5.2 billion, down 20 percent from 2015. Analysts blame the challenging traditional home entertainment market and a focus on expensive tentpoles, which can mean a huge payday or major headaches in case of a dud. Plus, of course, the size and strength of each studio’s slate and the timing of releases and marketing spend always affect results.
While some studios had record years and succeeded with established box-office franchises, others failed to ignite excitement with known properties.
Case in point: Two studios posted losses last year for the first time since THR began tracking profitability in 2009. Sony and Viacom's Paramount were the money losers, eclipsed by a record take by industry juggernaut Disney.
And 2017 might be another year of the haves and have-nots: "I see competition in the film landscape increasing," says Drexel Hamilton analyst Tony Wible. "This has made it more difficult for some studios to keep momentum in current franchises and to cultivate others."
The Hollywood Reporter's annual look at studio profits for the latest calendar year follows the release of financials for the fourth quarter of 2016. Figures aren't always directly comparable. After all, several companies have fiscal years that differ from the calendar year, and Time Warner, Fox and Sony include big TV production businesses, which provide a big percentage of their profits, while other companies don't.
The annual figures nonetheless provide insight into how 2016 looked for major studios beyond the traditional Hollywood focus on box office. Here is a closer look at each company.
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