Exploring The Performance Of The Top Film Distributors From The Last 25 Years

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When data visualization is done well, it looks easy, but there's nothing easy about organizing many years' worth of information and numbers.

Data visualization designer Jamie Kettle has made the difficult look simple with his piece, "Who's Grossed The Most." Determining who actually generates the most in the film industry in the past 25 years was quite the undertaking, but Jamie managed to create a cohesive, easy-to-follow piece.

This visualisation explores the performance of the top 6 film distributors from 1995-2020.

Whether you’re a self-confessed film nut or completely oblivious to who Ron Weasley is, you’d be hard pressed to not recognise a film on this list. This visualisation explores the past twenty five years of film production, more specifically from six of the biggest production studios currently occupying the cinematic market. These are; Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and Universal.

All of these distributors have some incredible films to their name, from which massive amounts of money have been made, however can this be deemed a success? What about mitigating factors such as quality over quantity and audience perception? This visualisation aims to answer questions such as this by plotting the top grossing movie of the year against variables such as, it’s IMDB rating and the total amount of films released by the distributor within that year.

Another interesting measure for comparison is the market share percentage and how it fluctuates from year to year dependent on film successes. From 1995-2008, there is a consistent leapfrogging within the top six distributors, as they all hover around similar market share percentages. However, for the first time in 2009, Warner Bros profits take them to a 20% share, which amazingly eclipses that of 884 other distributors combined! This clearly started a trend as more of the top six began to pull away from the chasing pack, culminating in Walt Disney’s irrefutable dominance over the past 10 years.

Project Credits

Jamie Kettle