Chris Columbus (filmmaker)

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Chris Columbus
Chris Columbus.jpg
Born Chris Joseph Columbus
(1958-09-10) September 10, 1958 (age 55)
Spangler, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Nationality American
Education John F. Kennedy High School
Alma mater New York University
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter
Years active 1984–present
Notable work(s) Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone, Only the Lonely, Mrs. Doubtfire, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Help
Spouse(s) Monica Devereux (m. 1983)
Children 4

Chris Joseph Columbus[1][2] (born September 10, 1958) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Columbus is known for directing such movies as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) and for writing movies such as Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985).

Home Alone received a British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Film. Columbus received an Academy Award nomination for producing The Help (2011). Chris Columbus was named after Christopher Columbus.

Early life[edit]

Columbus was born in Spangler, Pennsylvania and raised in Champion, Ohio, the son of Mary Irene (née Puskar), a factory worker, and Alex Michael Columbus, an aluminum plant worker and coal miner.[3][4][5] Columbus is of Italian and Czech descent.[6] He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio and from New York University's film school at the Tisch School of the Arts. There he was a schoolmate of writer/director Charlie Kaufman.[7]

Career[edit]

Columbus worked as a screenwriter with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, working on Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). He wrote the first episodes of the animated series Galaxy High (1986) and later made his directorial debut with the teen comedy Adventures in Babysitting (1987) and Heartbreak Hotel (1988).

His directorial work includes Home Alone (1990), Only the Lonely (1991), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Nine Months (1995), Stepmom (1998), Bicentennial Man (1999), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Rent (2005), I Love You Beth Cooper (2009) and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010).

He was the producer of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), the third film in the Harry Potter film series, and received an Academy Award nomination for producing The Help (2011). He is also adapting Erich Segal's novel Acts of Faith into a movie in 2014.

Columbus founded his production company named 1492 Pictures in 1995, intended as a play to Columbus's more famous namesake, Christopher Columbus, with 1492 being the year of the explorer's first voyage.

The character types preferred by Columbus are the everyday American men, women and children who struggle to uphold family traditions against a changing, sometimes intimidating society.[3] In 1993 he said: "I can understand the validity of showing people the ugliness of the world, but I also think there is a place for movies to leave people with a sense of hope. If your film isn't going to do that, I just don't think it's worth making."[3]

Columbus is currently writing the House of Secrets book series with Ned Vizzini.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 1983 Columbus married Monica Devereux, with whom he has four children: Eleanor, Violet, Brendan, and Isabella. Columbus lives in San Francisco's Pacific Heights. Columbus and his wife listed their Pacific Heights home for sale in September 2013 for $12.995M. His children attend or previously attended Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. He donated money to the school for a new building, and the school's "piazza" is named after him.

Many of Columbus' family members —including his children, his wife, his father-in-law and his cousin Robert Ayres— have appeared in cameo roles in his films.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Director Producer Writer Actor Role
1984 Reckless Yes
Gremlins Yes
1985 The Goonies Yes
Young Sherlock Holmes Yes
1987 Adventures in Babysitting Yes
1988 Heartbreak Hotel Yes Yes
1989 Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland Yes
1990 Home Alone Yes
1991 Only the Lonely Yes Yes
1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Yes Yes Man in Toy Store (uncredited)
1993 Mrs. Doubtfire Yes
1995 Nine Months Yes Yes Yes
1996 Jingle All the Way Yes
1998 Stepmom Yes Yes
1999 Bicentennial Man Yes Yes
2001 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Yes
Monkeybone Yes
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Yes
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Yes
Christmas with the Kranks Yes Yes
2005 Fantastic Four Yes
Rent Yes Yes Yes Angry Man in Car (uncredited)
2006 Night at the Museum Yes
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Yes
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Yes
I Love You, Beth Cooper Yes Yes Yes
2010 Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Yes Yes
2011 The Help Yes
2012 Applebaum Yes Yes
2013 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Yes
2014 Little Accidents Yes
2015 Mediterranea Yes
Pixels Yes Yes
Mrs. Doubtfire 2 Yes Yes

Critical reception[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic IMDb
Overall
Adventures in Babysitting (1987) 76%[9] N/A 6.6[10]
Heartbreak Hotel (1988) 38%[11] N/A 5.3[12]
Home Alone (1990) 54%[13] 63%[14] 7.3[15]
Only the Lonely (1991) 62%[16] N/A 6.1[17]
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) 24%[18] N/A 6.2[19]
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) 71%[20] 53%[21] 6.7[22]
Nine Months (1995) 28%[23] N/A 5.3[24]
Stepmom (1998) 44%[25] 58%[26] 6.3[27]
Bicentennial Man (1999) 37%[28] 42%[29] 6.5[30]
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) 80%[31] 64%[32] 7.3[33]
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) 83%[34] 63%[35] 7.2[36]
Rent (2005) 46%[37] 53%[38] 6.8[39]
I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009) 14%[40] 32%[41] 5.2[42]
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) 49%[43] 47%[44] 5.8[45]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Film Result[46]
1985 Saturn Award Best Writing Gremlins Nominated
1986 Young Sherlock Holmes Nominated
2002 Amanda Award Best Foreign Feature Film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Nominated
Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Best Film Shared with David Heyman Nominated
BAFTA Children's Award Best Feature Film Shared with David Heyman and Steve Kloves Nominated
Hugo Award Best Dramatic Presentation Shared with Michael Barnathan, Duncan Henderson, David Heyman, Steve Kloves and Mark Radcliffe Nominated
Saturn Award Best Director Nominated
2003 Amanda Award Best Foreign Feature Film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Nominated
BAFTA Children's Award Best Feature Film Shared with David Heyman and Steve Kloves Nominated
Hugo Award Best Dramatic Presentation Shared with Steve Kloves and J.K. Rowling Nominated
Mainichi Film Award Best Foreign Language Film Won
Saturn Award Best Director Nominated
2004 BAFTA Children's Award Best Feature Film Shared with Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman and Mark Radcliffe Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Won
2005 Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Best Film Shared with Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman and Mark Radcliffe Nominated
Satellite Award Outstanding Director Rent Nominated
2012 Academy Award Best Picture Shared with Michael Barnathan and Brunson Green The Help Nominated
AFI Award Movie of the Year Shared with Michael Barnathan and Brunson Green Won
Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Best Film Shared with Michael Barnathan and Brunson Green Nominated
Black Reel Award Best Film Shared with Michael Barnathan and Brunson Green Won
Christopher Award Best Feature Films Shared with Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, Michael Barnathan, Jennifer Blum, Brunson Green, Sonya Lunsford, John Norris, Mark Radcliffe, Jeff Skoll and Tate Taylor Won
Producers Guild of America Award Best Theatrical Motion Pictures Shared with Michael Barnathan and Brunson Green Nominated

Cultural references[edit]

In The Big Bang Theory episode titled "The Pirate Solution', the guys celebrate "Columbus Day" by watching Goonies, Gremlins and Young Sherlock Holmes because "They were all written by Chris Columbus." [47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ In the Matter of CERTAIN PRODUCTS WITH GREMLINS CHARACTER DEPICTIONS, p. 54
  2. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/26/chris-columbus-childrens-novel-house-secrets
  3. ^ a b c Wazir, Burhan (October 28, 2001). "Hogwarts and all". The Guardian (London). Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ Filmreference Biography
  5. ^ Europa Publications (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Routledge. p. 346. ISBN 1857432177. 
  6. ^ Janusonis, Michael (November 28, 1993). "Chris Columbus discovers a new joy in directing 'Mrs. Doubtfire'". Providence Journal. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  7. ^ Box Office Prophets
  8. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (April 18, 2013). "Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini open up about 'House of Secrets'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Adventures in Babysitting''". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Adventures in Babysitting (1987) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Heartbreak Hotel''". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Heartbreak Hotel (1988) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Home Alone''". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Metacritic Rating of Home Alone". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Home Alone (1990) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Only the Loneley''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Only the Lonely (1991) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Home Alone 2: Lost in New York''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Mrs. Doubtfire''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Metacritic Rating of Mrs. Doubtfire". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Nine Months''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Nine Mouths (1995) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Stepmom''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Metacritic Rating of Stepmom". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Stepmom (1998) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Bicentennial Man''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Metacritic Rating of Bicentennial Man". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Bicentennial Man (1999) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Metacritic Rating of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Metacritic Rating of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Rent''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Metacritic Rating of Rent". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Rent (2005) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''I Love You, Beth Cooper''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Metacritic Rating of I Love You, Beth Cooper". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  42. ^ "I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of ''Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief''". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Metacritic Rating of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  45. ^ "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Chris Columbus - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  47. ^ The Pirate Solution. Chuck Lorre Productions. October 12, 2009. Event occurs at 00:49. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None
Harry Potter film director
20012002
Succeeded by
Alfonso Cuarón