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Movies and the financial markets

Hollywood has long had a large role to play in financial markets, with major film studios and distributors listed as part of blue chip companies or as standalone businesses.

The Walt Disney Company has set another record with its huge 'Finding Dory' opening. What impact is it having on shares trading?

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The Walt Disney Company NYSE:DIS

Market Cap: $191.6 billion | Exchange: NYSE | Index: Dow Jones, S&P 500

The Walt Disney Company’s entertainment empire is worldwide and world famous, and movies form a major part of that success. As well as its own productions, Walt Disney has purchased three movie studios in recent years: Marvel Entertainment, Pixar and Lucasfilm.

Before the release of The Force Awakens, our senior market analyst Chris Beauchamp took a look at the performance of the company behind the film.

“Long-term Disney shareholders have enjoyed one of the biggest rallies of the past few years, with the price increasing 226% since late 2010 versus a 75% gain for the S&P 500. Thus, the 1% bounce in the share price following the release of the latest trailer for Star Wars Episode VII will have been of little importance for those with a longer view. However, it underlines how important the new trilogy is expected to be for the firm.

It is not just Star Wars either. A series of successes with big titles such as Frozen and Captain America: The Winter Soldier helped to send revenues up 8% in FY 2014, while profits rose 21% to $13 billion.

The Walt Disney Company is a component of the Dow Jones and the S&P 500. Learn more about indices trading.

Comcast – NASDAQ:CMS

Market Cap: $155.85 billion | Exchange: NASDAQ | Index: NASDAQ 100, S&P 500

Comcast is the US’s biggest internet service provider. It bought NBCUniversal in 2012 to take control of Universal Pictures. According to Forbes estimates, NBCUniversal contributes around a third of Comcast’s stock value. 

Live Comcast prices

Time Warner – NYSE:TWX

Market Cap: $59.82 billion | Exchange: NYSE | Index: S&P 500

Time Warner was formed out of a merger between Time Inc. and Warner Communications in 1990. As well as Warner Bros, it owns both HBO and New Line Cinema. The studio has been successful in recent years thanks to its fantasy franchises, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Live Time Warner prices

Twenty-First Century Fox – NASDAQ:FOX

Market Cap: $60.21 billion | Exchange: NASDAQ | Index: NASDAQ 100, S&P 500

Twenty-First Century Fox was formed out of a News Corporation stock split in 2013. It owns 20th Century Fox, as well as Fox’s television network. 20th Century Fox distributed the current highest-grossing film of all-time, Avatar.

Live Twenty-First Century Fox prices

Sony Corporation – TYO:6758

Market Cap: ¥4,321 billion | Exchange: Tokyo Stock Exchange | Index: Nikkei 225

Sony Pictures is the film-making arm of Sony Group, and currently has one billion-dollar film to its name: the most successful British film of all time, Skyfall. Sony Pictures is made up of several studios and distributors, including Screen Gems and Columbia Tristar.

Live Sony prices


Market Cap: $38.21 billion | Exchange: NASDAQ | Index: NASDAQ 100, S&P 500

Viacom is the media company that owns Paramount Pictures, as well as a large TV network. Paramount Pictures is the global distributor of the Transformers franchise as well as Titanic, the second-highest grossing film of all time.

Live Viacom prices

Lions Gate Entertainment – NYSE:LGF

Market Cap: $5.83 billion | Exchange: NYSE | Index: NYSE

Lions Gate is the newest, smallest studio covered here – and its owner Lions Gate is the smallest listed company. But despite sitting outside of the ‘big six’ movie studios, this mini-major has found great success with ‘young adult’ franchises including The Hunger Games.

Live Lions Gate prices

Blockbusters and the bottom line

We've picked some of the biggest battles between blockbusters over recent years – and what they have meant for the companies behind them. 

Lions Gate vs Time Warner

The Walt Disney Company vs Time Warner

The Walt Disney Company vs Comcast

Viacom vs 21st Century Fox

Comcast vs The Walt Disney Company

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Australia Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

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