Relativity Media

–Relativity Media Logo–

Relativity Media, LLC

9242 Beverly Blvd.
Suite 300
Beverly Hills, CA 90210


Founded in 2004, Relativity Media began as a mediator between studios and investors to arrange film deals. Since then, it has become a full-scale film studio that has produced critically acclaimed films such as “The Fighter”, and “The Social Network.”  In addition to being involved in the production, financing and or distribution of over 200 films, Relativity has divisions in television, sports, music fashion and digital media–truly establishing the company as a next-generation studio. [1]


Ryan Kavanaugh--CEO, Relativity Media

Ryan Kavanaugh–CEO, Relativity Media

Ryan Kavanaugh founded Relativity in 2004, and has had an active role in its transition into a film studio and beyond. Kavanaugh began his career in Hollywood aiding in the finance for companies such as Universal, Sony and Warner Bros. His experience in film finance has allowed Relativity to produce well-performing films on lower budgets [2]. Under his leadership,Relativity Media has produced over 200 films for a return of over $17 billion in revenue and 60 Oscar nominations [3].

Tucker Tooley, President-Relativity Media

Tucker Tooley, President-Relativity Media

Happy Walters, Co-Chief Operating Officer-Relativity Media

Happy Walters, Co-Chief Operating Officer-Relativity Media

Robbie Brenner, President of Production-Relativity Media

Robbie Brenner, President of Production-Relativity Media


Relativity Media is a privately owned company, however its current projects and investments indicate its financial success. As stated before, the company has earned over $17 billion dollars through film productions. With this revenue, Relativity has been able to establish itself in other sectors that have contributed to its financial standings. In September of 2013, Relativity announced it would be creating a fashion division called M3/Relativity [4], in which Relativity would act as a representative for various members of the fashion industry from designers to make up artists. The company also has a sports division [5], in which it represents athletes such as Dwight Howard and David Ortiz.

On March 26th, 2014 Relativity acquired a share of Downtown Records [6] in which Relativity would invest in Downtown to sign new artists and expand their label, as well as to help the record label to share in Relativity’s global success. Most recently on April 14th, 2014, Relativity put in a bid of $500 million to acquire Maker Studios, and nearly $1.1 billion in stock. Founded in 2009, Maker Studios is a short form, online video platform and production company that targets younger audiences and the demand for online content [7]. Though Maker Studios had already approved a merger with Disney, executives at Relativity continue to show their eagerness to create new, exciting forms of content that further enforces Relativity’s brand not only creatively but monetarily as well.


Relativity Media has also begun to break the mold by establishing a television branch in 2008 called RelativityREAL, which was recreated as Relativity Television in 2013.The television division led by CEO Tom Forman had originally produced exclusively unscripted content, but is now in the development stages of producing comedies and dramas [8]. Amongst its programming is one of the most wildly popular reality series on television, “Catfish.” “Catfish” follows Nev Shulman, producer of Catfish: The Movie, on his quest to help those who are in online relationships find the truth behind the computer screen. The third season of Catfish is set to premiere May 7th, 2014 on MTV, and is expected to do as well in ratings as “Catfish: Season 2”, which reached the number one spot in the 12-34 demographic in June 2013 [9].

Nev Shulman: Host and Executive Producer of MTV's "Catfish"

Nev Shulman: Host and Executive Producer of MTV’s “Catfish”


Relativity Media’s film division is the largest sector of the company, and is responsible for films such as the Nicholas Sparks penned-hit “Safe Haven” and war-time drama thriller “Act of Valor” both of which earned about $70 million each in the domestic box office [10].

"Oculus" In Theatres Now

“Oculus” In Theatres Now

For 2014, Relativity has done well in the box office. “Oculus”, the horror thriller, has earned over $21 million with a $5 million budget since its April 11th release [11]. Considering its low budget and competition with blockbusters such as “Rio 2” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “Oculus” is receiving immense success this spring season.

In addition to “Oculus”, Relativity was moderately successful with “3 Days to Kill” which earned about $36 million world wide on a $28 million budget and stars Academy Award winner Kevin Costner [12].

The future of Relativity’s Film division is rather promising. On April 25th 2014, Relativity will release “Brick Mansions”, a dystopian action thriller starring late Paul Walker in one of his last performances, and has been much anticipated by viewers.


Relativity Creative Executive Josh Reinhold believes the upcoming projects will establish them as a main competitor in the entertainment industry. He believes that Relativity is on the forefront of producing films with diverse casts whom tell a story that more than just the majority can enjoy and relate to.

Discussing plans for Relativity to establish its own “arthouse” film division 278 Films (name in development), Reinhold believes this will open the doors for stories that “hasn’t been told before.” One of these stories takes the form of an upcoming film titled “Desert Dance”, which tells the story of a young Iranian man whom is threatened by his government for doing the thing he loves, which is to dance. Reinhold believes the value in films such as “Desert Dance” (undated), is that there are many other audiences to reach that will fall in love with the characters and make a meaningful connection with them.

Another film Reinhold feels will break the mold is “Blackbird”, which is set for a November 14th 2014 release. The film depicts the struggle of a young African-American woman as she begins her career in the music industry, and was written by Gina Prince Blythewood (author of “Love & Basketball”). Of “Blackbird” and “Desert Dance”, Reinhold said: “Seeing how Hollywood will have to shift in the way they cast actors and diversify stories is inspiring” [13].


[1]                                                              DATE ACCESSED: April 12th, 2014.

[2]   DATE ACCESSED: April 18th, 2014

[3] (Ryan Kavanaugh CEO Bio)                    DATE ACCESSED: March 31st, 2014

[4]                                                                                                         DATE ACCESSED: February 19th, 2014

[5]                                                                               DATE ACCESSED: April 20th, 2014

[6]                                                                            DATE ACCESSED: April 12th, 2014

[7]    DATE ACCESSED: April 15th, 2014

[8]                                                      DATE ACCESSED: April 15th, 2014

[9]  DATE ACCESSED: April 15th, 2014


DATE ACCESSED: April 20th, 2014

[11]                                                  DATE ACCESSED: April 20th, 2014

[12]                                         DATE ACCESSED: April 20th, 2014

[13] Personal Phone Interview with Creative Executive at Relativity Media Josh Reinhold  DATE OF INTERVIEW: March 25th, 2014

Universal Pictures

By Luke Lamble
Universal Pictures logo

Universal Pictures logo


Founded in 1912, Universal Pictures, Inc. is the oldest American movie studio and continues to be a leader in the world of motion picture production and distribution. [1] In 2004, General Electric bought Universal Pictures. [2] GE sold all of its control of Universal in 2011 to the cable provider, Comcast, creating NBCUniversal.  Universal Pictures still operates as the movie production subsidiary. [3] In 2012 alone, Universal has produced a diverse selection of award-winning movies such as the film production of Les Misérables and the comedy hit, Ted. [4]

Key Executives [5]

Ron Meyer (

Ron Meyer (

Ron Meyer – Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal

Meyer served as President and COO of Universal Pictures since 1995 before being made Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal in September 2013.  He currently oversees all facets of the company, while still managing its portfolio of film assets amongst others

Donna Langley (

Donna Langley (

Donna Langley – Chairman, Universal Pictures

Langley began working at Universal in 2001 as the senior vice president of production.  After being named Chairman of Universal Pictures in September 2013, she assumed the role of overseeing the production and distribution of the company’s feature films.

Suzanne Cole (

Suzanne Cole (

Suzanne Cole – Executive VP, Media, Universal Pictures

Since the beginning of her tenure at Universal Pictures, the studio has experienced some of its most lucrative successes.  Because of this success, Cole was named Executive Vice President of Media in 2008.  She now oversees all strategic activities for the marketing and distribution of the studio’s feature films.

Financials (all numbers in millions)

Recent years have been good for Universal Pictures and its parent NBCUniversal.  From 2011 to 2012, revenue for NBCUniversal grew by almost $5,000, from $19,028 to $23,812.  Filmed entertainment was responsible for approximately 21% of the total revenue in 2012, generating $5,159.  That was up from $4,239 generated by Universal Pictures in 2011. [6]

NBCUniversal logo

NBCUniversal logo

In regards to how Universal Pictures measured up against the five other major movie studios, so far in 2013, Universal holds a 14.6% market share amongst all the studios, placing it second behind Warner Brothers.  This year Universal Pictures has grossed $1,329.3 from the release of 13 movies. [7]


The main concern for NBCUniversal and Universal Pictures right now is the new technologies that are affecting traditional media production and distribution methods.  This is referring mainly to companies like Netflix and Hulu that syndicate video programming online.  A growing concern is that these companies and others like them are beginning to create and obtain their own original content. [8]

Recent Film Releases

Universal Pictures has developed a reputation for having great success with movie franchises with such iconic franchises such as Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and the Bourne series. [9] In 2013, Universal stuck with this trend and reaped the benefits of new installments in the Despicable Me and Fast & Furious series, amongst an eclectic mix of other successful films. [10]

The Best Man Holiday

A sequel to 1999’s The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday picks right up with the old college friends from the The Best Man, as they all reconvene for some Christmas celebrations.  Amidst all the fun times, sparks of old romances begin to rekindle and old rivalries that had faded away over time arise again.  Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Morris Chestnut, Monica Calhoun, and Regina Hall star in this quintessential holiday comedy-drama written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. [11]

The Best Man Holiday (

The Best Man Holiday (

Released on November 15, 2013, in just three days The Best Man Holiday has nearly doubled its budget so far, bringing in $32,536,350.  That’s also $6.5 million over the $24 million it was projected to earn. [12] Tagged as “just another black comedy,” The Best Man Holiday has not only offered more evidence that generally black films can succeed, but that this is no typical movie by any sense, except for the fact that it is generally crowd-pleasing.  (No particular race or age group dominantly represents itself in the film’s audience demographics).  In fact, CinemaScore even gave the movie an A+, an extremely rare feat for any film. [13]

Despicable Me 2

Gru (Steve Carell), a former master villain, has settled into family life after adopting and coming to love his three daughters, but peace and quiet is not lasting for the villain-turned-hero, as he is called upon to save the world from a new super-villain.  And just as the world needs Gru’s help, so does his eldest daughter who has fallen for a classic bad-boy and an inevitable source of heartbreak.  Kristen Wiig and Benjamin Bratt star alongside Carell in this story of one former villain’s attempt to be a hero for the world and for his own family. [14]

Despicable Me 2 (

Despicable Me 2 (


The original Despicable Me (2010) was a tremendous release for Universal, ranking seventh all-time amongst its highest grossing movies by bringing in $251,513,985 domestically.  On July 3, 2013, Despicable Me 2 was released and has shattered that record, becoming the all-time highest grossing movie for Universal Pictures with $365,943,520 of domestic revenue.  This income has far surpassed the film’s production budget of $76 million, and that’s not even factoring in its performance in the worldwide box office.  To the delight of the studio, 60.1% of the movie’s total revenue came from foreign releases, grossing $550,100,000 worldwide.  All in all, Despicable Me 2 has brought in $916,043,520 for Universal Studios, and subsequently, is still playing in 305 theaters across the U.S. [15]

Fast & Furious 6

The very CIA agent who has been trying to track them down in order to defeat a new crew of criminal drivers who are causing chaos in twelve countries across the world calls upon refugees of the law.  In an effort to be pardoned from the charges against themselves, Dom and Brian (Vin Diesel and Paul Walker) get their old gang of expert drivers back together to take to the streets of London and defeat these mercenary drivers.  Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson star in this pedal-to-the-metal thriller. [16]

Fast & Furious 6 (

Fast & Furious 6 (

The sixth film in the Fast & Furious series was the most successful installment to date for the studio, becoming its ninth highest grossing film of all time, and reaping in the most revenue of all the Fast & Furious films. Fast & Furious 6 generated $238,679,850 for Universal, making it the second highest grossing film of 2013 behind Despicable Me 2.  In the worldwide box office, Fast & Furious 6 brought in another $550 million, bringing its total gross to a lofty $788,659,850.  Given the $160 million budget, Universal Pictures had another major box office winner with this film. [17]

What’s to Come from Universal Studios

Fast & Furious 7

Fast & Furious 7 (

Fast & Furious 7 (

Just a little over a year after Fast & Furious 6 came out, the seventh is already on its way, slated for a July, 2014 release date.  This time, the brother of the defeated world-criminal from Fast & Furious 6 has come onto the scene seeking revenge for his brother’s death. [18]

Ted 2

Ted 2 (

Ted 2 (

Universal Pictures also has plans to release the sequel to its wildly successful, raucous comedy Ted.  However, Universal did not produce the original, but acquired the rights to it and distributed it as a Universal Pictures film.  Despite not having the rights yet, the studio is confident it will be able to secure them and go forward with production of the sequel. [19]







[1] Universal Pictures History

[2] NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment Unite to Create NBC Universal

[3] Comcast Completes Acquisition of GE’s 49% Stake In NBCUniversal

[4] About Universal Pictures

[5] NBCUniversal Film Executives

[6] NBCUniversal 2012 Annual Report

[7] 2013 Studio Market Shares

[8] NBCUniversal 2012 Annual Report

[9] Movie Franchises by Studio

[10] Universal Pictures’ 2013 Movie Releases

[11] The Best Man Holiday Plot Summary

[12] The Best Man Holiday Box Office Performance

[13] The Best Man Holiday Performance Analysis

[14] Despicable Me 2 Plot Summary

[15] Despicable Me 2 Box Office Performance

[16] Fast & Furious 6 Plot Summary

[17] Fast & Furious 6 Box Office Performance

[18] Dwayne Johnson Tweets Fast & Furious 7 Photo

[19] Ted 2 Scheduled Release