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Film Studies Research Guide: Movie Business & Studios

A guide to conducting research in Film Studies at Yale University, including key resources and crucial search strategies.

Movie Business and Studios

What's Here

Here you can get to information on the film industry and studios. To find materials in the Yale Library, try the following types of searches in Orbis.


Publications about a particular studio (person, company): Subject = warner bros pictures

Publications -- including movies -- by a particular studio (person, company): Author = miramax

Examples of Subject Headings for Searching Orbis

Selected Information Sources

NOTE: This page only lists resources on the film industry in the US. For information on the film industry internationally, see the International Cinema page. Many of those resources also contain information on the US.

Laurel and Hardy in The Bohemian Girl. From the Crawford Collection, Yale University Library Manuscripts and Archives.


Box Office Mojo


Film daily: the daily newspaper of motion pictures

SML Microform Room, Film S3516 [1918 to 1969]

This newspaper began under the title Wid's Daily (1918-1921), and also published the Film daily year book of motion pictures (1918-1969).  We have most of the runs, but there are some gaps.

Online entertainment source for the Hollywood movie industry. Includes news, movies, showtimes, celebrities, video/DVD, TV, Broadway, and indie films.

The Hollywood Reporter
SML Stacks, PN1993 H65+ (LC) [1988 to present]
SML Microform Room, Film S3204 [1934 to 1990]

Online sources:

NB: Academic OneFile has PDFs of the paper edition.  EBSCO's gives the text only -- no photos, charts or other images.  Hollywood Reporter's own site at requires an individual subscription for archive access.

LexisNexis Academic

LexisNexis Academic provides the full text of over 200 publications with news and information on the entertainment industry, which you can search through these steps:

  1. Click on the Sources tab.
  2. Select the Industry radio button.
  3. Choose Entertainment & Arts as the industry.
  4. Look through the resulting list and check off the box for Entertainment News, All.
  5. Click on the red "OK - Continue" button and conduct your search.

Motion Picture Association of America: Reports

Online reports about movie attendance and the movie industry in the US.

The Movie Times

Obtain annual box office data starting from 1999; actor and actress box office; and box office comparisons between movies or between stars. (Who's brought in more money, Dakota Fanning or Christopher Walken? The answer may not surprise you....)

Nielsen EDI

Provides box office data and analytical tools: box office measurement, information, and research solutions for the motion picture industry.

The Numbers: Box Office Data

Tracks box office numbers of current movie releases. Also has a chart and movie archive.

The new historical dictionary of the American film industry. Anthony Slide. Lanham, MD; London: Scarecrow Press, 1998.

SML, Starr Reference PN1993.5 U6 +S539 1998

Teaching Film - Film Stars and Their Salaries Over the Years

The money a few actors have earned, from Mary Pickford to Daniel Radcliffe.


Numerous links on the film and television industry.  The page is a little hard to interpret at first since it seems to have the title The Time-Lapse Stock Footage Library, but the links include categories such as "Motion Picture Studios" and "Production News."

Variety and Daily Variety 

SML Microform Room, Film S2206 [1905 to most recent microfilm reel; current issues in the Periodical Reading Room, Section X-9]  

Online sources:

  • Academic OneFile: Variety (Jan. 1997 to present) and Daily Variety (Nov. 2000 to present)
  • International Index to the Performing Arts Full Text: Variety (Aug. 2000 to present)
  • LexisNexis Academic Universe: Variety (Jul. 1993 to present) and Daily Variety (Apr. 1992 to present); or search both.
  • Factiva: Mar. 2004 to present (must search manually)

NB: Academic OneFile and IIPA have PDFs of the paper edition.  LexisNexis Academic and Factiva provide text only and do not include photos or charts.  Variety's own site at requires a paid subscription for its full resources.

For early issues, see also Media History Digital Library, which has scans of the years 1918-1920.

Video Distributor Database Search

Location information for the distributors of many types of movies.

World Wide Box Office

Data in US dollars on gross box office receipts. Can limit by date of release, so you can search for the total movie theater receipts to date for a movie released in (say) 1952.


Director, Film Study Center