Movie Studios are sometimes referred to as film studios. A film studio is an area that is specifically for making movies or films. Studios produce motion pictures. Los Angeles, California has more movie studios than any other city in the United States. The first movie studio in America was built by Thomas Edison in 1893, in New Jersey. Edison invited circus and vaudeville acts to perform in the studio while he filmed them. Studios soon opened in New York and Chicago. Today, there are more than 70 movie studios in America.
Worldwide movie studios release approximately 2400 films each year. Between 600 and 700 of these films are made and released in America. The annual gross revenue from movies released in America, is between 40 and 50 billion dollars. Gross revenue means all the money the studios made from the movies, before they paid all the costs of making the movies.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the government body that regulates movie studios. The FCC ensures studios follow the laws that pertain to them. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is the professional organization that movie studios belong to.
Most movie studios in America are owned by entertainment corporations that own several studios. This can create a situation a situation where different studios, owned by the same parent company, make competing films. This does sometimes happen. To avoid this situation, many entertainment corporations, that own multiple studios, will own one studio that makes movies mainly for adults, while owning another studio that makes family movies and still another that makes only animated films.
Most movie studios make films that are first released in movie theatres, then on DVDs and last on cable television. These three outlets give the movie studios three streams of revenue or ways to make money on these movies. In order to produce more revenue movie studios also license the sale of merchandise, such as action figures and books that relate to the movies they produce. Studios have also opened the lots where they film the movies to tours and even built theme parks as additional ways to produce income.