Sound Stages and Production Companies: Global 2

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Sound Stages and Production Companies: Global 2

Key Takeaways

  • The standard stage size in LA ranges from 1,800 to 41,985 square feet.
  • Mid-sized sound stages are approximately 20,000 sqft.
  • The United States, Canada, and the UK expect an extra 1.36 million square feet of sound stage space to be available by 2023.
  • In 2019, the US, UK, and Canada made up 40%, 12%, and 11% of global screen production. In total, these countries accounted for 63% of the industry.


This research provides the ranges of sound stages globally and insights into the number of sound stages and film and video production companies globally. Specific details on the video/TV/film/commercial production industry are largely unavailable. This is probably because the industry statistics usually lump it into the larger category of film and video production, distribution, post-production services, and theaters. However, some reports claimed to contain more data behind the paywall. The research strategy section contains more details on our assumptions and logic.

The Number of Sound Stages

  • The pandemic has increased the demand in the sound stage market.
  • The United States, Canada, and the UK expect an extra 1.36 million square feet of sound stage space to be available by 2023.
  • Los Angeles is the world leader in sound stage capacity, boasting more than 5.2 million square feet of certified sound stage space.
  • The LA region is home to 52 production facilities containing 384 certified sound stages. The image below shows the ownership distribution of these certified stages.
  • The largest film stage in the world is Stage 15 at Babelsberg Film Studios in Potsdam, Germany (78,954 sq.ft.).
  • The second-largest stage in the world is the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios in the UK. It is currently 59,000 square feet.

Insights Into Movie/Video/TV/Commercial Production Companies

  • The Numbers lists 15,700 movie production companies worldwide.
  • In 2019, the US, UK, and Canada made up 40%, 12%, and 11% of global screen production. In total, these countries accounted for 63% of the industry.
  • Film production by category in LA is shown below.
  • Asian countries account for most of the movies produced annually in the global film industry.
  • Four Asian countries are among the top five producers; India, China, Japan, and South Korea.
  • Throughout 2020, China had a turnover of roughly 3 billion US dollars in the global box office.

Sound Stage Sizes and Ownership Data

  • The GlobeSt estimates that 11 million square feet of sound stage space are available worldwide.
  • Almost half of the market is located in Los Angeles.
  • The standard stage size in LA range from 1,800 to 41,985 square feet.
  • Mid-sized sound stages are approximately 20,000 sqft.
  • The market has a maintained occupancy rate of 90%.

Leaders in Movie/Video/TV Production

  • The global leaders in movie production are Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, and ViacomCBS.
  • The ranker list 1492 Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 21st Century Film Corporation, 2929 Entertainment, and 40 Acres Filmworks as the largest and most profitable film companies in the world.
  • The table below lists the top 25 movie production companies according to the Numbers.

  • The total global film and TV production spending in 2020 was $220 billion. The world's biggest spender was the Walt Disney Company grossing a total of $28.6 billion.
  • Warner Media and Discovery were the second-biggest spenders grossing $20.8 billion. Netflix spent $15.1 billion in the same year, coming in third. The fourth-largest spender was MGM, spending $11.8 billion on content. These four top spenders in North America account for almost half of the global film and TV production spend in 2020.
  • Warner Bros. has a total of 37 sound stages ranging from 6,000 to 32,000 square feet. Its sound stage chart is available here.
  • In 2021, ViacomCBS sold its 40-acre studio that contained 18 sound stages.
  • Netflix has long-term lease agreements with over 50 sound stages worldwide. It leased 161K sq. ft. of production space in Brooklyn, amounting to 6 sound stages.
  • In 2020, Sony was the film studio leader in North America with a domestic box office of $500 million (up to 22% of the total box office in the US and Canada). Sony Pictures has a total of 18 sound stages ranging from 7,600 to 42,000 sqft.
  • The graphic below illustrates the market share of leading film studios in the United States and Canada.

Research Strategy

To locate the total number of the sound stages and production companies as described in the research criteria, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information available in the public domain, including movie and media industry-specific reports by companies such as Deloitte; reports from media outlets such as Market Watch and GlobeNewswire; and business directories. We carefully examined data available on global knowledge encyclopedias and databases, including Britannica and Knoema. No such data was found as these resources focused on the trade statistics of countries. The number of the motion picture, video, television program companies, and sound studios is provided on Knoema, but this is behind the paywall. Also, some datasets on Knoema are no longer updated. Next, we shifted our focus to combing market analysis reports on trusted market research resources such as Market Research, Research and Markets, and Grand View Research. Most reports focused solely on the movie production industry or the film and video industry. None of these revealed the number of sound stages, sound studios, production facilities, or movie/film/video production companies worldwide. Region-specific estimates were also unavailable, and we could not estimate the global figures from adding the estimates from the top regions in the industry. Then, we leveraged studies and reports from resources like Deloitte, McKinsey, and BCG to draw insights into these industries. The relevant reports provided by these resources provided estimates for the regions that are leaders in sound stage space and movie and media production. We did not find any data to estimate the global figures. Industry experts attributed the difficulty in determining the number of sound stages to the variation in regional certification standards. The industry is also broadly classified under media production. Then, we tried to triangulate the number of sound stages using the standard size of one sound stage and the total sound stage space globally. Nevertheless, we did not find any conclusive estimates for the standard size of a sound stage. GlobeSt estimates about 11 million square feet of sound stage space available globally. This generally contradicts the North American estimate of 11 million. Hence, we provided the size ranges for a standard sound stage. Studies show that the North American film and video production market accounts for almost 50% of the global market. Thus, the global sound stage size should ideally be above 22 million square feet. Production companies on directories such as the Manifest are classified based on their popularity. After exhaustive research, we gathered sound stage data from 3 of the world's largest movie and media production companies. Assuming the biggest video/film/TV production companies spend more than other companies in the space, we provided the latest estimates on the companies with the largest spend on film and TV production. We also provided helpful insights into the movie/film/TV production market.

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