|Predecessor(s)||Carolco International Pictures|
|Headquarters||Santa Monica, California, USA|
|Key people||Andrew G. Vajna|
Cinergi Pictures Entertainment Inc. was a small independent production company that was founded by Andrew G. Vajna, after he had sold his interest in his first production company, Carolco International Pictures, in 1989. The company had a number of major hit films, most notably Die Hard with a Vengeance in 1995. However, the majority of their films lost money. A string of box office bombs - including Judge Dredd, The Scarlet Letter, Nixon, Shadow Conspiracy, Deep Rising and An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn - ultimately undid the company, and it closed in 1998.
Andrew G. Vajna, a Hungarian native, launched his career in the entertainment industry with his purchase of motion picture theaters in the Far East. Later, he founded Panasia Films Limited in Hong Kong before forming Carolco with Mario Kassar in 1976. In less than four years, Carolco became one of the top three foreign sales organizations in motion pictures.
In 1982 Vajna and Kassar made their film production debut with the highly successful First Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone. Rambo: First Blood Part II was released in 1985, generating more than $300 million worldwide, making it one of the most profitable films in the history of filmmaking.
Vajna and Kassar were executive producers on such films as Alan Parker's Angel Heart, Rambo III, and Johnny Handsome. Other projects included Music Box, Total Recall, Air America, Mountains of the Moon, Narrow Margin, and Jacob's Ladder.
Vajna's strategy was to develop long-term relationships with certain talent and to produce a steady supply of two to four event motion pictures per year. Upon forming Cinergi, Vajna established an alliance with The Walt Disney Company for distribution of Cinergi motion pictures in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Japan (after TV Tokyo's Disney Time ended in September 28, 2012).
Cinergi's first production, Medicine Man starring Oscar-winner Sean Connery, was followed by Tombstone and Renaissance Man, starring Danny DeVito. In 1994 Cinergi released Color of Night starring Bruce Willis, Jane March, and Lesley Ann Warren. With the exception of Tombstone, all of those films flopped at the box office.
The box office and budgets for their films began to fall in late 1996, and Cinergi Pictures eventually closed in 1998. The multi-year distribution agreement with Disney was canceled in April 1997 and Disney acquired most of the film rights.
Many of its films were distributed by The Walt Disney Company through Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures. Outside of the U.S. (until TV Tokyo's Disney Time ended in September 28, 2012 in Japan), Cinergi handled distribution, which they farmed out to film distributors worldwide. This excludes the U.S. and Japan rights to Die Hard with a Vengeance, a co-production with 20th Century Fox (and which Disney distributed in most international territories).
- Medicine Man (1992)
- Super Mario Bros. (1993)
- Tombstone (1993)
- Renaissance Man (1994)
- Color of Night (1994)
- Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
- Judge Dredd (1995)
- The Scarlet Letter (1995)
- Nixon (1995)
- Up Close & Personal (1996)
- Evita (1996)
- Shadow Conspiracy (1997)
- Deep Rising (1998)
- An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1998)
- Disney A to Z: The updated official Encyclopedia, Dave Smith p 104-105