21st Century Film Corporation

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21st Century Film Corporation Inc.
Industry Motion Picture Production & Releasing
Fate Bankruptcy
Founded 1971
Defunct 1996
Headquarters Los Angeles
Key people
Menahem Golan (CEO), Ami Artzi & Giancarlo Parretti
Products Motion pictures
Parent Independent
Pathe Communications
Public (pink sheets)[1]

21st Century Film Corporation was a theatrical distribution company formed sometime in 1971 as a production company and distributor.


It was formed sometime in 1971 as a production company and distributor as 21st Century Distribution Corporation.

In the late 1980s, while filing for bankruptcy, it was purchased by Giancarlo Parretti. Pathé had also recently purchased The Cannon Group, which was renamed Pathé Communications, and he eventually handed 21st Century Film Corporation and Spider-Man and Captain America film rights (held by Cannon) over to Israeli filmmaker Menahem Golan as part of Golan's severance package from Cannon.[2][3]

Golan's goal was to release high-quality motion pictures to the American and worldwide film audiences, but 21st Century only enjoyed small-scale success releasing low-budget, art-house films like Eraserhead, as well as remakes of The Phantom of the Opera and Night of the Living Dead.

In April 1989, Twenty-first Century Film and Pathé Communications ended their film production contract. As part of the termination, 21st Century Film received rights to two feature-length movies: the completed Mack the Knife, in production Phantom of the Opera plus other projects and scripts rights. While Pathe would no longer have any financial obligations to 21st Century.[4]

Captain America was filmed and was given only a limited theatrical release worldwide.

Looking for funding for the Spider-Man film was difficult; 21st Century sold the film's TV rights to Viacom, the home-video rights to Columbia and theatrical rights to Carolco. In 1993, Golan triggered a series of lawsuits for 21st Century over Spider-Man as he feared being pushed out. Bankruptcy followed within the year for the company. In 1995, the judge ruled that the Spider-Man film rights expired and reverted to Marvel.[2] Meanwhile, all of 21st Century's film library and assets were acquired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (which had merged with Pathe/Cannon earlier and was a theatrical distributor of Carolco's films at the time), mostly due to a quitclaim deed by Carolco.[5]

In 1993, it released a few more movies including Deadly Heroes and most notably Death Wish V: The Face of Death, the last in the series and Charles Bronson's final theatrical film.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Galarza, Pablo (July 6, 1992). "Thank you, Joe Stalin". Forbes. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Grover, Ronald (April 15, 2002). "Unraveling Spider-Man's Tangled Web". Business Week. Retrieved January 22, 2007. 
  3. ^ Schmuckler, Eric (June 25, 1990). "Golan's latest gig". Forbes. Retrieved December 24, 2014 – via Highbeam. 
  4. ^ "P. M. BRIEFING : 21st Century Film, Pathe to End Pact". Los Angeles Times. Times wire services. April 14, 1989. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ Macek III, J.C. (9 June 2014). "The Rise Fall and Rise of Marvel Comics on Film Part 2: The Road Out of Development Hell". PopMatters. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 

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