The trade group is on a quest to legitimize itself by providing better, more accurate figures on the size and value of licensing. At last week's licensing show in New York, LIMA unveiled a comprehensive study to stand as definitive sales figures for the industry.
According to LIMA, entertainment totaled 45% of the entire $5.5 billion generated in royalties.
But some movie studios have doubts.
"I support it as a concept, but the thing that makes me nervous is that they are relying on what people tell them," said Cynthia Cleveland, president of Universal Studios Consumer Products. "If they are going to the next level of making this really reliable, you need an audit."
Additionally, she said, "the last thing we want to do is give our numbers to someone who is a competitor."
Several entertainment marketers declined to provide LIMA with financial data for its estimates. Saban Entertainment, Universal, Warner Bros. and Viacom Consumer Products, which represents Paramount Pictures, did not contribute to the survey because they were concerned the information could be used against them by competitors.
"It's beneficial and it helps to get a handle on where the business is," said George Jones, president of worldwide licensing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "But we can't participate based on our company policy of not disclosing this sales information."
Warner Bros. is the No. 2 Hollywood studio, after Walt Disney Co., in terms of driving retail sales. Themed products tied to Warner properties account for $6 billion in annual sales, according to other industry executives' estimates.
According to Mr. Jones, Warner Bros. has been growing at a double-digit pace every year for the last five years. Even though the company is not contributing data, Mr. Jones said competing executives can roughly figure out how the studio is doing, in terms of royalties. According to other licensing industry executives, royalties generally range from 10% to 20%, depending on the property involved.
There could be another reason for the studios' reluctance. More than other licensing category, entertainment marketers are seasoned when it comes to "branding" properties, and especially experienced in coming up with research to support the deals, according to licensing marketers.
Some studios did comply with LIMA's request. Sony Signatures, which handles licenses for Sony Pictures Entertainment and other entities, provided information for the survey.
"Any information that helps the licensing industry become more sophisticated is fine," said Peter Dang, exec VP-worldwide consumer products at Sony Signatures.
He added that the data specifically related to Sony are being held in