Paramount Pictures: The Production Perspective

Nicole Giordano

TRF 235: Principles and Practices


Assignment 1, Final Draft

paramount pictures arches

               Paramount Pictures Studio Arches Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA


Production: Paramount Pictures

History: Paramount Pictures was originally founded as “Famous Players Film Company” by Adolph Zukor in 1912. With far from humble beginnings, the company earned the first Academy Award for Best Picture fifteen years later. Its long list of famous directors includes Alfred Hitchcock, Cecil B. DeMille, and Steven Spielberg. Paramount Pictures also produced the “highest grossing blockbuster of all time, ‘Titanic’” (The Studios at Paramount); that is, until Twentieth Century Fox’s blockbuster film “Avatar” grossed more in 2009.

In the 1960s, it jumped at the idea of becoming television visionaries with the purchase of Desilu television studios from Lucille Ball. Once acquired, Paramount went on to produce some of the most iconic shows in the history of the small screen such as “Star Trek,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Cheers,” and “Frasier” ( Today, over a century after its beginnings, it is the longest operating studio in Hollywood and continues to produce blockbuster films and celebrated television shows. The current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer is Brad Grey. He has produced movies like “The Departed” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and unforgettable shows like “The Sopranos.”



Brad Grey, current CEO of Paramount Pictures


The Vice Chairman is Rob Moore and the Chief Operating Officer is Frederick Huntsberry, followed by Presidents Marc Evans and Amy Powell ( Depending on what and how many productions are being worked on, the number of employees ranges from 1001-5000, with an average of 2,200 (Linked In). The studios are located on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, California, where many tourists and film enthusiasts pose in front of the famous Paramount Pictures arches that mark their entrance.


Assets: Paramount Pictures owns a large lot including 30 stages—12 of which are over 15,000 square feet, wardrobe cages, prop storage facilities, a paint and sign shop, an assembly stage, a lumber yard, its own Paramount Theatre, a studio supply center, restaurants and cafes, over fifty office buildings, screening rooms, and a Technicolor warehouse dedicated to the post production of its products (


                          Map of Paramount Pictures Studio Lots

According to, Paramount owns the rights to series such as Paranormal Activity, Zoolander, Mission: Impossible, Terminator, Transformers, Star Trek, G.I. Joe, and Madagascar (p. 1-5).

In 2005, it announced the purchase of DreamWorks for a whopping $1.6 billion, even though the deal did not include the most profitable part of the company—DreamWorks Animation (


Business and Revenue Model: Paramount Pictures is in the business of film and television production. It, along with its parent company Viacom, is vertically integrated into the supply chain owning the original ideas of employees up until their exhibition. Paramount transfers its creations to the big and small screens with ease using Viacom’s resources. Viacom owns a variety of channels including all of the MTVs, Nickelodeons, BETs, VH1s, Spike, and Comedy Central just to name a few (Amiram, 2014). Not only can Paramount use these stations to exhibit its many works across a variety of different niche networks, but it can also market and promote other projects at the same time.

Paramount Pictures makes its money through the success of its productions in the box office and through commercials during its television shows. When not in use by one of its productions, studios on the property are rented out to other companies that need the space. Its website,, provides phone numbers to call representatives to reserve a studio, full HD production facility, full SD production facility, audience PA/video systems, and even walkie talkies! Basically, it can provide you with “all the audio and video recording and monitoring technology you need,” and “Using the latest in digital and analog technology, [its] expert team of engineers will quickly set up your system regardless of size or complexity,” ( Being able to offer all of these high quality resources to other companies gives Paramount a competitive edge while also helping pay its bills.

HD Facility

                              HD Production Facility inside Paramount Pictures Studio


Speaking of competition, it is appropriate to mention what Paramount is up against. Paramount Pictures’ top competitors are Warner Brothers Entertainment, Fox Filmed Entertainment, and The Walt Disney Studios (

According to, Paramount Pictures average annual revenue is $294.661 million. The New York Times reported that Viacom’s average revenue is about $5 billion annually (2013).


Interesting Developments: In recent years, Paramount Pictures has started to work less on blockbuster movies and more on television. In doing so, its profit margins have been “5.5 percent…up from less than 0.5 percent in 2008, when Paramount released blockbusters like ‘Iron Man’” (Cieply, 2013).   Described by entertainment industry analyst Michael Nathanson, it is wise to invest in ‘“higher-return businesses like the cable networks”’ instead of expensive movies (Cieply, 2013). One reason for this is to get rid of any business deals that would shift too much income to partners necessary to create these films. Another would be to create less of its own competition at the box offices so that each film has a chance to be successful. This method however has put strain on those whose jobs depend heavily on the production of blockbuster films, as well as directors and producers that expect more of their ideas to be considered. Paramount Pictures has had to carefully retain its relationships with people like Michael Bay, Will Ferrell, and Brad Pitt. Only time will tell whether Paramount is making the right decision as its blockbuster count went from eight in 2015 to only five announced for 2016.

As the world is bringing film to its television and computer screens with more demand than ever, Paramount Pictures is planning to revolutionize its distribution model. In July 2015, it announced that it will transfer two movies, “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” and “Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” to the on-demand platform just seventeen days after their release in theaters (Mallas, 2015).


This will be a dramatic change from the usual three-month period that is followed before converting the film to another platform. Paramount was able to get AMC Theatres and Cineplex Entertainment to agree to this plan, but has not been able to make the deal with Regal Cinemas—the biggest of the three. In the coming months, there will be much anticipation as to whether this idea helps or hurts the industry.


Works Cited

Amiram, T. (2014, June 23). What are assets owned by Viacom? Retrieved February 09, 2016, from


Brad Grey. (n.d.). Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


Cieply, M., & Barnes, B. (2013). Strong Profit Margin at Paramount Pictures Underlines a Hollywood Shift. Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


Facebook logo. (n.d.). Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


Kim, J., & Given, N. (2015, July 08). Paramount Pictures changes distribution model for some upcoming films. Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


Mallas, S. (2015, July 12). Viacom’s Paramount Pictures Attempts A Different Model Of Distribution. Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


Names of Competitors. (n.d.). Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


Paramount Pictures. (n.d.). Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


Paramount Pictures. (n.d.). Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


Paramount Pictures Movies (174 movies). (n.d.). Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


The Studios at Paramount. (n.d.). Retrieved February 05, 2016, from


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