during the era of the "Studio System", 1930-1948
The "Majors", or Big Five
These were vertically-integrated companies, controlling all aspects of the
film business: production, distribution, and exhibition.
The "Minors", or Little Three
Independent Producers (8) included:
The "B" Studios ("Poverty Row" or "The
In the 1920s, which was a "silent" and black-and-white era,
the studios were ranked somewhat differently.
The Big Three
- Paramount (originally Zukor's Famous Players-Lasky Corporation)
- Loew's (In 1924 merged Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B.
Mayer Productions to become MGM)
- United Artists (formed by D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford,
and Douglas Fairbanks)
The Little Five
- Fox Film Corporation
- Producers Distributing Corporation (PDC)
- Film Booking Office (FBO)
- Universal Pictures (Carl Laemmle's)
- Warner Brothers
The Big Ten
studios of today (see link)