Artisan Entertainment

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Artisan Entertainment
Industry Home video company
Motion pictures
Fate Acquired by and renamed as Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc.
Successor Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Lionsgate Films
Founded 1980 (as Family Home Entertainment)
1983 (as U.S.A. Home Video)
1986 (as International Video Entertainment)
1990 (as Live Entertainment)
1998 (as Artisan Entertainment)
Defunct 2004
Headquarters 2700 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA
Key people
Noel Bloom, Sr.
Parent Family Home Entertainment (1983-1986)
International Video Entertainment (1986-1988)
LIVE Entertainment (1988-1998)
Artisan Entertainment (1998-2004)
Divisions Artisan Pictures
Artisan Television
Artisan Home Entertainment

Artisan Entertainment Inc. was a privately held independent American movie studio until it was purchased by Canadian studio Lions Gate Entertainment in 2003. At the time of its acquisition, Artisan had a library of thousands of films developed through acquisition, original production, and production and distribution agreements. Mark Amin funded Artisan and sale was rumored to be backed by Keyur Patel, a media investor in formation of new studio. Its headquarters and private screening room were located in Santa Monica, California. It also had an office in TriBeCa, Lower Manhattan, New York City.[1]

The company owned the home video rights to the film libraries of Republic Pictures, ITC Entertainment and Carolco Pictures before it went defunct.

Artisan's releases included Requiem for a Dream, Pi, Grizzly Falls, Killing Zoe, National Lampoon's Van Wilder, The Blair Witch Project, Novocaine, and


Artisan, unlike most movie studios, had its roots in the home video industry.


Artisan Entertainment was founded in 1981 by Noel C. Bloom as Family Home Entertainment, Inc.. In 1983, FHE began operating its new subsidiary U.S.A. Home Video, when tapes were usually packaged in large boxes and included non-family films such as Supergirl, Silent Night, Deadly Night, and many B-movies, including those that begin and end with B-actress Sybil Danning talking about the film that is being shown under the Adventure Video label.

In 1986, Family Home Entertainment, Inc. became known as International Video Entertainment (IVE), with the IVE name used for non-family releases, and the FHE name used as a subsidiary of IVE for family releases.[2] In the late 1980s, the company branched into film distribution for television.

In 1987, IVE was acquired by Carolco Pictures.[2] The unrated release of Angel Heart was the first Carolco film released by IVE on video. The first two Carolco films (First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II) were released under the Thorn/EMI/HBO Video name, but were rereleased in 1990 and 1988, respectively, under IVE.

In 1988, IVE and FHE consolidated into Live Entertainment. Live formed new ventures outside the home video business, including an ownership of retail music and video chains across the East Coast.[2]


The LIVE Entertainment logo.

In 1990, IVE became LIVE Home Video. Carolco formed its own home video division under partnership with Live. The company also formed Avid Home Entertainment, which reissued older IVE products, as well as ITC Entertainment's back catalogue, on videocassette at discount prices. LIVE Entertainment decided to branch into film production. The company spent more than a million dollars to finance the 1992 film Reservoir Dogs, which marked the directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino.[3] Other films included Paul Schrader's Light Sleeper.[2]

In 1991, the company took over Vestron after its downfall; Vestron had been known best for Dirty Dancing, which had been the second highest-grossing independent film of all time. Vestron releases continued into 1992. Also, for several years starting in 1993, LIVE Entertainment distributed anime released by Pioneer Entertainment, including Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki and the first Tenchi Muyo! movie, Tenchi Muyo! in Love.

In 1993, Carolco restructured itself and was forced to sell its shares in Live Entertainment to a group of investors led by Pioneer Electric Corporation.[4]

In 1995, when Carolco ceased to exist as a company, StudioCanal got full rights to their film library and thus Live (under a new deal with the French-based production company) continued to distribute Carolco's films for video.

Other ex-video distributors that had been owned by and folded into Live Entertainment included Tenth Avenue Video (And Platinum Productions), and Magnum Entertainment.

In April 1998, the company became Artisan Entertainment, and began to expand to include the Hallmark Entertainment and Hallmark Hall of Fame movies on VHS and DVD and Discovery Communications releases.


On September 13, 2000, Artisan launched Artisan Digital Media and iArtisan.[5]

In May 2003, Artisan and Microsoft jointly announced the first release of a high definition DVD, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Extreme Edition). The release was a promotion for the Windows Media version 9 format; it could only be played on a personal computer with Windows XP. Artisan had released the movie in 2002 on D-VHS. In the summer 2003, Marvel Enterprises placed an offer for Artisan.[6] On December 15, 2003, Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation acquired Artisan for $220 million[7] and video releases through Artisan have now been re-released under the Lionsgate Home Entertainment banner. After the sale, Artisan Entertainment, Inc. was renamed to Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc.


As LIVE Entertainment

As Artisan Entertainment

Artisan's library today[edit]

Today, Artisan Entertainment's catalogue is owned by Lionsgate, who purchased the company in 2003. Among the exceptions:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Company Profile." Artisan Entertainment. April 8, 2003. Retrieved on September 3, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Artisan Entertainment Inc. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Artisan Entertainment Inc". Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  3. ^,2048657&dq=reservoir+dogs+live+entertainment&hl=en
  4. ^ History of Artisan Entertainment Inc.,
  5. ^ "Variety" Artisan spins web, Retrieved on July 3, 2012
  6. ^ Farrow, Boyd (April 16, 2004). "New York-Based Marvel Enterprises Launches London-Based International Division". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  7. ^ SHARON WAXMAN "New York Times" December 16, 2003 With Acquisition, Lions Gate Is Now Largest Indie, Retrieved on July 20, 2013

External links[edit]