Touchstone Pictures

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Touchstone Pictures
Type Film label of Walt Disney Studios
Industry Film
Founded February 16, 1983
Headquarters Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, California, USA
Products Motion pictures
Owner(s) The Walt Disney Company
Parent The Walt Disney Studios
Website waltdisneystudios.com

Touchstone Pictures is an American production company and one of several film distribution labels of The Walt Disney Studios, owned by The Walt Disney Company. Established on February 16, 1983 by then-Disney CEO Ron W. Miller as Touchstone Films, it typically releases films that feature more mature themes and darker tones than those released under the flagship Walt Disney Pictures label.

Touchstone Pictures is merely a brand, not a distinct business operation, and does not exist as a separate company.[1][2]

Their most commercially successful production partners in later years have been Caravan Pictures, Summit Entertainment, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Icon Productions, Imagine Entertainment, Mandeville Films, Focus Features, Spyglass Entertainment and DreamWorks Pictures.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures entered into a long-term, 30-picture distribution deal with DreamWorks Pictures by which DreamWorks' productions would be released through the Touchstone Pictures banner over seven years beginning in 2011.[3][4]

Background[edit]

In late 1979, Walt Disney Productions released The Black Hole, a science-fiction movie that was the studio's first production to receive a PG rating (the company, however, had already distributed its first PG-rated film, Take Down—without the Disney name visible—almost a year before the release of The Black Hole). Over the next few years, Disney experimented with more PG-rated fare, such as the 1981 film Condorman; 1982's Tron and Tex (which featured scenes of teenagers smoking marijuana) and 1983's Never Cry Wolf and Running Brave (both of which featured male nudity) and Trenchcoat. The latter film attracted major criticism for including adult themes that were considered inappropriate for a Disney film.[5] At the same time, the Disney name was strongly associated with children's films, and the use of the Disney name may have adversely affected the box-office performance of films aimed at an older audience, such as The Devil and Max Devlin and Tron.

Started by then-Disney CEO Ron W. Miller in 1984, Touchstone's first film was Splash, a huge hit for Walt Disney Productions, grossing $68 million at the domestic box office.[6] Splash included brief rear nudity on the part of star Daryl Hannah and occasional inappropriate language, earning a PG-rating. This label was known as Touchstone Films until the film Ruthless People. Because of its success, yet another Disney film label was started in 1990, Hollywood Pictures, with the release of Arachnophobia.

Following the success of the Disney-branded PG-13 rated Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003, and other films that in the 1980s and '90s would have been assigned to the Touchstone (or Hollywood Pictures and Miramax Films) label, Disney has decided to weigh distribution of films more toward Disney-branded films and away from Touchstone Pictures, though not entirely disbanding them as it is continues to regularly employ the Touchstone label for R and most PG-13 rated fare.[7]

In 2006, Disney limited Touchstone's output in favor of Walt Disney Pictures titles due to an increase in film industry costs.[8] Disney revived Touchstone in 2009 to serve as a distribution label for DreamWorks Studios' films.[4][9] Following Disney's decision not to renew their long-standing deal with Jerry Bruckheimer Films in 2013, producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed that he insisted on revitalizing the Touchstone label for production. Disney was uninterested, with studio chairman Alan Horn admitting that Touchstone's production output had been reduced to DreamWorks' films.[10]

Notable films[edit]

Logo as it appears before films

Some well-known Touchstone Pictures releases include The Color of Money, Ernest Goes to Camp, Good Morning, Vietnam, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Dead Poets Society, Pretty Woman, Dick Tracy, Sister Act, The Nightmare Before Christmas, When a Man Loves a Woman, Rushmore, The Insider, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Prestige, The Proposal, The Help, War Horse, and Lincoln. Its highest-grossing film release is Armageddon.

Through Touchstone, Disney's first R-rated film, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, came in January 1986 and was a large box-office success. Ruthless People followed in June 1986 and was also very successful. Both of these pictures starred Bette Midler, who had signed a six-picture deal with Disney and became a major film star again with these hits as well as Beaches and Outrageous Fortune.

One of the key producers behind Touchstone films has been producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who had a production deal with Disney from 1993 to 2014.[11][12] His Touchstone titles include The Ref, Con Air, Enemy of the State, Gone in 60 Seconds, Coyote Ugly, Pearl Harbor, Bad Company, Veronica Guerin, King Arthur and Déjà Vu. In addition, Bruckheimer has also produced several other films released under the Disney and Hollywood labels.

Distribution[edit]

Releases from Touchstone Pictures are distributed theatrically by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and through home media platforms via Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (branded as "Touchstone Home Entertainment").

Related units[edit]

Touchstone Television[edit]

Disney's former non-Disney branded television division Touchstone Television Productions, LLC (formerly known as Touchstone Films Television Division, Touchstone Films Television, Touchstone Pictures Television and Touchstone Pictures and Television [itself an alternate version of the Walt Disney Television names] and later Touchstone Television) is known for being the production company of the series The Golden Girls, Blossom, Boy Meets World (all three began before Disney's ABC acquisition), My Wife and Kids, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Scrubs.

On February 8, 2007 at the Disney Investor Conference, Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney, announced that they would rebrand Touchstone Television to ABC Television Studio in order to tie its successful productions more closely with the ABC brand. The announcement was made as part of a company-wide strategy to focus on three core brands, Disney, ABC and ESPN.[13] In May 2007, the television production company yet again changed its name, this time to ABC Studios.

Touchstone Games[edit]

By the end of 2007, Disney's video game subsidiary Buena Vista Games began to produce material under its own Touchstone imprint. As is the case with its motion picture and television counterparts, Touchstone merely acts as a label/imprint of Disney Interactive and not its own entity.[citation needed] The first such release was the Turok video game in 2008.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Letter signed by Thomas O. Staggs (Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, The Walt Disney Company) to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, March 1, 2007. Retrieved on 2013-05-06.
  2. ^ The Walt Disney Company SEC filing Form 10-K For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2006, page 15
  3. ^ "The Walt Disney Company: 2011 Annual Financial Report". The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved December 30, 2012.  Page 12
  4. ^ a b Variety: Disney signs deal with DreamWorks; Company will handle distribution for films, Variety, February 9, 2009
  5. ^ "Trivia for Trenchcoat (1983)". IMDb. Retrieved October 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ 1984 Yearly Chart for Domestic Grosses at boxofficemojo.com, Retrieved on May 25, 2007.
  7. ^ The Walt Disney Company SEC filing Form 10-K For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2006, page 15
  8. ^ Brooks, Barnes; Michael Cieply. "Disney and DreamWorks form partnership". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Barnes, Brooks; Michael Cieply (9 February 2009). "DreamWorks and Disney Agree to a Distribution Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Masters, Kim (19 September 2013). "Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer to Split in 2014". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Miller, Daniel (19 September 2013). "Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer to end longtime partnership". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Lev, Michael (January 18, 1991, Friday), 2 Top Movie Producers Sign Disney Accord, The New York Times Financial Desk. Late Edition – Final, Section D, Page 3, Column 1, 286 words
  13. ^ The Walt Disney Company News Release, "Disney-ABC Television Group Renames Television Studio". Retrieved on May 25, 2007

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]