Screen Gems

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Not to be confused with EUE/Screen Gems.
Screen Gems, Inc.
Type Division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
Industry Film
Founded 1940 (as animation studio)
1948 (as television subsidiary)
1999 (as film studio)
Headquarters Culver City, California, U.S.
Key people Clint Culpepper (President)
Products Motion pictures
Owner(s) Sony Corporation of America
Parent Columbia Pictures (1940–1974)
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(1999–present)
Website www.sonypictures.com

Screen Gems is an American film production company and division company of Sony Pictures Entertainment's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group that has served several different purposes for its parent companies over the decades since its incorporation.

Animation studio: 1939–1946[edit]

For an entire decade, Charles Mintz distributed his Krazy Kat, Scrappy, and Color Rhapsody animated film shorts through Columbia Pictures. When Mintz became indebted to Columbia in 1939, he ended up selling his studio to them. Under new management, the studio assumed a new name, Screen Gems. The name was derived from an early Columbia Pictures slogan, "Gems of the Screen", itself a takeoff on the song "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean". Jimmy Bronis, Mintz's production manager became the studio head, but was shortly replaced by Mintz's brother-in-law, George Winkler. After this, Columbia decided to "clean house" by ousting the bulk of the staff (including Winkler) and hiring creative cartoonist, Frank Tashlin. After Tashlin's short stay came Dave Fleischer, formerly of the Fleischer Studios, and after several of his successors came Ray Katz and Henry Binder from Warner Bros. Cartoons (previously Leon Schlesinger Productions). Animators, directors, and writers at the series included people such as Art Davis, Sid Marcus, Bob Wickersham, and, during its latter period, Bob Clampett.

Like most studios, the Screen Gems studio had several established characters on their roster. These included Flippity and Flop, Willoughby Wren, and Tito and His Burrito. However, the most successful characters the studio had were The Fox and the Crow, a comic duo of a refined Fox and a street-wise Crow.

Screen Gems is also notable for being, in an attempt to keep costs low, the last American animation studio to stop producing black and white cartoons. The final black-and-white Screen Gems shorts appeared in 1946, over three years after the second-longest holdouts (Famous Studios and Leon Schlesinger Productions). During that same year, the studio shut its doors for good, though their animation output continued to be distributed until 1949.

The Screen Gems cartoons were only moderately successful when compared to those of Disney, Warner Bros., and MGM. The studio's purpose was assumed by an outside producer, United Productions of America (UPA), whose cartoons, including Gerald McBoing Boing and the Mr. Magoo series, were major critical and commercial successes.

Theatrical short film series[edit]

One-shot theatrical short films[edit]

  • How War Came (1941)
  • The Great Cheese Mystery (1941)
  • The Dumbconscious Mind (1942)
  • The Vitamin G-Man (1943)
  • He Can't Make It Stick (1943)

Television subsidiary: 1948–1974[edit]

Screen Gems logo used 1965–1974. Infamously known as "The S From Hell".

In November 1948, Columbia borrowed the Screen Gems name for its television production subsidiary when the studio acquired Pioneer Telefilms, a television commercial company founded by Harry Cohn's nephew, Ralph Cohn.[1] Pioneer was later reorganized as Screen Gems.[1] The studio opened its doors for business in New York on April 15, 1949.[1]

By 1951, Screen Gems became a full-fledged television studio by producing and syndicating several popular shows (see below). On July 1, 1956, studio veteran Irving Briskin stepped down as stage manager of Columbia Pictures and form his production company Briskin Productions, Inc. to release series through Screen Gems and supervise all of its productions.[2] On December 10, 1956, Screen Gems expanded into television syndication by acquiring Hygo Television Films (a.k.a. Serials Inc.) and its affiliated company United Television Films, Inc. Hygo Television Films was founded in 1951 by Jerome Hyams, who also acquired United Television Films in 1955 founded by Archie Mayers.[3] During that year, the studio began syndicating Columbia Pictures' theatrical film library to television, including the wildly successful series of two-reel short subjects starring The Three Stooges in 1957. Earlier on August 2, 1957, they also acquired syndication rights to "Shock!", a package of Universal horror films (later shifted to MCA TV), which was enormously successful in reviving that genre.[4] The name "Screen Gems", at the time, was used to hide the fact that the film studio was entering television production and distribution. Many film studios saw television as a threat to their business, thus it was expected that they would shun the medium. However, Columbia was one of a few studios who branched out to television under a pseudonym to conceal the true ownership of the television arm. That is until 1955, when Columbia decided to use its mascot under the Screen Gems banner.

From 1958 through 1974, under President John H. Mitchell and Vice President of Production Harry Ackerman, Screen Gems delivered classic TV shows and sitcoms: Father Knows Best, Dennis the Menace, The Donna Reed Show, Hazel, Here Come the Brides, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gidget, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Flying Nun, The Monkees, and The Partridge Family. It was also the original distributor for Hanna-Barbera Productions, an animation studio founded by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera after leaving Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was also the distributor of the Soupy Sales show. The company also entered a co-production deal with Canada's CTV Television Network and produced several shows, many of which were filmed or taped in Toronto for distribution to Canadian stations (Showdown, The Pierre Berton Show).[citation needed]

In the late 1950s Screen Gems would also go into broadcasting. Stations that would be owned by Screen Gems over the years would include KCPX (Salt Lake City; now KTVX, owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group), WVUE (New Orleans; now owned by the Louisiana Media Company), WAPA (San Juan; now owned by the Hemisphere Media Group), WNJU (Linden, NJ; now owned by NBCUniversal), and several radio stations as well, including 50,000-watt clear channel WWVA (Wheeling WV; now owned by Clear Channel Communications). As a result in funding its acquisitions, 18% of Screen Gems' shares was spun-off from Columbia and it became a publicly traded company in NYSE until 1968.

From 1964 to 1969, former child star Jackie Cooper was Vice President of Program Development. He was responsible for packaging series (such as Bewitched) and other projects and selling them to the networks.

In 1965 Columbia Pictures acquired a fifty percent interest in the New York-based commercial production company EUE, which was incorporated into Screen Gems and renamed EUE/Screen Gems. The studios were sold in 1982 to long time Columbia Pictures Executive, George Cooney, shortly after Columbia Pictures was sold to The Coca-Cola Company.

On December 23, 1968, Screen Gems merged with its parent company Columbia Pictures Corporation and became part of the newly formed Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. for $24.5 million.[5]

On May 6, 1974, Screen Gems was renamed Columbia Pictures Television and was suggested by David Gerber.[6] The final notable production from this incarnation of Screen Gems before the name change was the 1974 mini-series QB VII. Columbia was the last major studio to enter television by name.

Changes in corporate ownership of Columbia came in 1982, when Coca-Cola bought the company, although continuing to trade under the CPT name. In the mid-1980s, Coca-Cola reorganized its television holdings to create Coca-Cola Television, merging CPT with the television unit of Embassy Communications as Columbia/Embassy Television,[7] although both companies continued to use separate identities until January 4, 1988, when it and Tri-Star Television were reunited under the CPT name. Columbia also ran Colex Enterprises a joint venture with LBS Communications to distribute the Screen Gems library, which ended in 1988.[8]

On December 21, 1987, Coca-Cola spun off its entertainment holdings and sold it to Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. for $3.1 billion. It was renamed to Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc., also creating Columbia/Tri-Star by merging Columbia and Tri-Star. Both studios continued to produce and distribute films under their separate names.[9] into a separate company called Columbia Pictures Entertainment. In 1989, Columbia Pictures was purchased by Sony Corporation of Japan. On August 7, 1991, Columbia Pictures Entertainment was renamed to Sony Pictures Entertainment as a film production-distribution subsidiary, and subsequently combined CPT with a revived TriStar Television in 1994 to form Columbia TriStar Television.

The television division today is presently known as Sony Pictures Television.

Selected TV shows[edit]

Television programs produced and/or syndicated by Screen Gems (most shows produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions are now owned and distributed by Warner Bros. Television, except for Jeannie and Partridge Family 2200 A.D. (see below):

Briskin Productions[edit]

Specialty feature film studio, 1999–present[edit]

The current Screen Gems logo (June 4, 1999 – present).

On September 16, 2002, Columbia TriStar Domestic Television became Sony Pictures Television,[10] while three years earlier, in 1999, Screen Gems was resurrected as a fourth specialty film producing arm of Sony's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, after Sony Pictures Classics, Triumph Films and Destination Films. Screen Gems produces and releases "films that fall between the wide-release films traditionally developed and distributed by Columbia Pictures and those released by Sony Pictures Classics."[11] Many of its releases are of the horror, thriller, action, comedy and urban genres, making the unit similar to Dimension Films (part of The Weinstein Company), Hollywood Pictures (part of the Walt Disney Company), and Rogue Pictures (currently owned by Relativity Media, but distributed by former owners Universal Studios).

The highest grossing Screen Gems film as of December 2013, is Resident Evil: Afterlife, which grossed a total of $296,221,566 worldwide.

Screen Gems films[edit]

1990s[edit]

Release Date Title Notes Budget Gross
June 4, 1999 Limbo $10 million $2,160,710
July 9, 1999 Arlington Road $21.5 million $41,067,311

2000s[edit]

Release Date Title Notes Budget Gross
April 5, 2000 Black and White $5,277,299
April 28, 2000 Timecode $4 million
September 29, 2000 Girlfight $1,666,028
September 29, 2000 The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy $1 million $2,019,121
January 19, 2001 Snatch $10 million $83,557,872
March 23, 2001 The Brothers $6 million $27,958,191
April 27, 2001 The Forsaken $15 million $7,288,451
August 24, 2001 Ghosts of Mars $28 million $14,010,832
September 7, 2001 Two Can Play That Game $13 million $22,391,450
January 25, 2002 The Mothman Prophecies $42 million $54,639,865
February 1, 2002 Slackers $14 million $6,413,915
March 15, 2002 Resident Evil $33 million $102,441,078
October 11, 2002 Swept Away $10 million $598,645
October 18, 2002 The 51st State $27 million $14,439,698
November 15, 2002 Half Past Dead $25 million $19,233,280
August 22, 2003 The Medallion theatrically released by TriStar Pictures in USA $41 million $34,268,701
September 19, 2003 Underworld also with Lakeshore Entertainment $22 million $95,708,457
October 31, 2003 In the Cut $12 million $23,726,793
January 30, 2004 You Got Served $8 million $48,631,561
May 14, 2004 Breakin' All the Rules $10 million $12,544,254
August 27, 2004 Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid $25 million $70,992,898
September 10, 2004 Resident Evil: Apocalypse $45 million $129,394,835
February 4, 2005 Boogeyman also with Ghost House Pictures $20 million $67,192,859
August 26, 2005 The Cave $30 million $33,296,457
September 9, 2005 The Exorcism of Emily Rose $19 million $140,238,064
October 7, 2005 The Gospel co-production with Rainforest Films $3,456,899 $15,778,152
January 20, 2006 Underworld: Evolution also with Lakeshore Entertainment $50 million $111,340,801
February 3, 2006 When a Stranger Calls $15 million $66,966,987
March 3, 2006 Ultraviolet $30 million $31,070,211
September 8, 2006 The Covenant $20 million $37,597,471
January 12, 2007 Stomp the Yard co-production with Rainforest Films $13 million $75,511,123
February 2, 2007 The Messengers also with Columbia Pictures and Ghost House Pictures $16 million $54,957,265
April 20, 2007 Vacancy $19 million $35,300,645
June 8, 2007 Hostel Part 2 also with Lionsgate Films $10.2 million $35,619,521
September 21, 2007 Resident Evil: Extinction $45 million $147,717,833
November 21, 2007 This Christmas co-production with Rainforest Films $13 million $50,778,121
January 11, 2008 First Sunday $38,608,838
January 25, 2008 Untraceable also with Universal Pictures and Lakeshore Entertainment $35 million $52,431,162
March 11, 2008 Outpost co-production with Newmarket Films
April 11, 2008 Prom Night co-production with Alliance Films $20 million $57,197,876
June 3, 2008 Wieners
September 19, 2008 Lakeview Terrace $20 million $44,653,637
October 10, 2008 Quarantine $12 million $41,319,906
January 9, 2009 Not Easily Broken $5 million $10,708,890
January 23, 2009 Underworld: Rise of the Lycans $35 million $91,327,197
February 20, 2009 Fired Up $20 million $18,598,852
April 24, 2009 Obsessed co-production with Rainforest Films $20 million $73,830,340
October 16, 2009 The Stepfather co-production with Granada Productions $20 million $31,178,915
December 4, 2009 Armored $20 million $20,900,733

2010s[edit]

Release Date Title Notes Budget Gross
January 22, 2010 Legion $26 million $67,918,658
February 5, 2010 Dear John $25 million $112,157,433
April 16, 2010 Death at a Funeral $21 million $49,050,886
August 27, 2010 Takers co-production with Rainforest Films $32 million $70,587,268
September 10, 2010 Resident Evil: Afterlife $60 million $296,221,663
September 17, 2010 Easy A $8 million $74,952,305
November 24, 2010 Burlesque $55 million $90,000,000
January 7, 2011 Country Strong $15 million $20,529,194
February 4, 2011 The Roommate $16 million $40,424,438
May 13, 2011 Priest $60 million $78,309,131
July 22, 2011 Friends with Benefits co-production with Castle Rock Entertainment, Zucker and Olive Bridge Entertainment $35 million $149,542,245
July 29, 2011 Attack the Block co-release with Stage 6 Films, produced by StudioCanal, UK Film Council, Big Talk Pictures and Film4 $13 million $5,824,175
September 16, 2011 Straw Dogs $25 million $10,324,441
January 20, 2012 Underworld: Awakening $70 million $130,856,741
February 10, 2012 The Vow co-production with Spyglass Entertainment $30 million $153,214,597
April 20, 2012 Think Like a Man co-production with Rainforest Films $12 million $92,759,463
September 14, 2012 Resident Evil: Retribution $65 million $240,159,255
August 21, 2013 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones $60 million $75,965,567
September 20, 2013 Battle of the Year $20 million $14,185,460
October 18, 2013 Carrie co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Misher Films $30 million $82,394,288
February 14, 2014 About Last Night co-production with Rainforest Films and Olive Bridge Entertainment $13 million $48.8 million
June 20, 2014 Think Like a Man Too co-production with Will Packer Productions
July 2, 2014 Deliver Us from Evil co-production with Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Upcoming releases[edit]

Release Date Title Notes Budget Gross
September 12, 2014 No Good Deed[12] co-production with Will Packer Productions
January 16, 2015 The Wedding Ringer[13][14] co-production with Miramax Films, LStar Capital, and Will Packer Productions
June 19, 2015 The Perfect Guy[15]
2016 The Last of Us co-production with Ghost House Pictures, Naughty Dog

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "SCREEN GEMS HAS NEW IRON IN FIRE". Broadcasting: p. 70. April 13, 1959. 
  2. ^ "Briskin to Form Company". Broadcasting: p. 52. June 11, 1956. 
  3. ^ "SCREEN GEMS BUYS HYGO, UNITED, SETS UP TV OWNERSHIP DIVISION". Broadcasting: p. 60. December 10, 1956. 
  4. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20040610212735/milwaukee-horror-hosts.com/frameset.html
  5. ^ "Columbia, SG complete $24.5 million merger". Broadcasting: p. 53. December 23, 1968. 
  6. ^ "Remodeling at Screen Gems". Broadcasting: p. 39. 1974-05-06. 
  7. ^ KATHRYN HARRIS "Los Angeles Times" November 25, 1986 Nation articles.latimes.com, Retrieved on May 31, 2013
  8. ^ "Sale in the works for 'Eden' mini-series". Broadcasting: p. 45. 1984-01-30. 
  9. ^ KATHRYN HARRIS (September 2, 1987) Coke, Tri-Star Confirm Plans for $3.1-Billion Deal Los Angeles Times, Retrieved on August 8, 2013
  10. ^ Sony Pictures Entertainment Renames Television Operations; Domestic and International Divisions Take Sony Name, prnewswire.com
  11. ^ "Corporate Fact Sheet". Sony Pictures Entertainment. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  12. ^ http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/for-the-3rd-time-screen-gems-pushes-back-release-date-for-no-good-deed-by-5-months |- External links[edit]
  13. ^ http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fi-ct-onlocation-20130911,0,2998607.story
  14. ^ http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=kevinhart15.htm
  15. ^ http://www.cnbc.com/id/101900940#.

External links[edit]