Constantin Film

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Constantin Film AG
IndustryFilm production
FoundedFrankfurt, West Germany April 1, 1950; 70 years ago (April 1, 1950)
FounderWaldfried Barthel
Preben Philipsen
Key people
Martin Moszkowicz
Bernd Eichinger (†2011)
Oliver Berben
Revenue267 Mil. € (2017)
Number of employees
829 (December 2017)
ParentHighlight Communications (FWBHLG)
DivisionsMister Smith Entertainment (minority stake)

Constantin Film AG is a German film production and film distribution company based in Munich. The company, which belongs to Swiss media conglomerate Highlight Communications AG, is a large independent German maker and distributor of productions in the entire field of audio-visual fiction and non-fiction. Company activity is based on the five pillars of film production/procurement of rights, TV production, film distribution, home entertainment and licence trading/TV exploitation.[1] Constantin Film AG has released 36 of the 100 most successful German films of the last 20 years, including four of the Top 5: Manitou's Shoe (11.7 million viewers), Traumschiff Surprise – Periode 1 (9 million), Fack ju Göhte (7.3 million) and Fack ju Göhte 2 (7.7 million). The Fack ju Göhte trilogy was concluded in 2017 with Fack ju Göhte 3 (6 million viewers) and is now the most successful German film series of all time.[2] Internationally, Constantin Film is best known for the successful Resident Evil film franchise, which has earned US$1.2 billion worldwide to date and is also known as the highest-grossing film series based on a video game.[3] Most recent successes include TV series Shadowhunters, which won four People's Choice Awards in 2018.[4] Constantin has also been involved in 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four film franchise. Other productions include bestseller adaption The Silence and Monster Hunter.[5][failed verification]

Early Constantin[edit]

Constantin Filmverleih GmbH was founded in West Germany on 1 April 1950 by Preben Philipsen and Waldfried Barthel, who would later become the head of publicity for the company. It was originally the country's national distributor of films produced by Columbia Pictures and United Artists. Throughout the 1950s, Constantin distributed both popular and art-house films from several nations as well as medium-budgeted domestic films.

Constantin's popularity grew through the late 1950s to the 1960s by not only distributing popular films but creating its own in-house talent roster of contract players (Joachim Fuchsberger, Heinz Drache), directors and producers (Wolf C. Hartwig), as well as co-financing international co-production films shot in Italy, such as the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, the films of Harry Alan Towers and others using their own stable of stars. Constantin also had great success with their Jerry Cotton film series,[6]:82–87 though projected film series of Sherlock Holmes, Jules Maigret and Perry Rhodan only had one entry.

Constantin Filmverleih was renamed to Constantin Film GmbH on 21 September 1964, and on 1 July 1965, Bertelsmann Publishing became the majority shareholder of Constantin. They attempted to increase output without increasing investment that resulted in the demise of many of the studio's popular film series, investment in sex films, and a stronger emphasis on releasing films from other nations rather than shooting their own. Bertelsmann sold its shares in 1969.[6]:86–87 The "old" Constantin Film GmbH was eventually declared bankrupt in October 1977.[7]

New Constantin[edit]

Founded in 1979 by Bernd Eichinger, with Bernd Schaefers,[8] as Neue Constantin Film after acquiring the assets of the bankrupt "old" Constantin Film GmbH the previous year, Constantin Film developed into the first German film distributor with its own production company in just six years, with production activities extending to the international market. In 1986, the Kirch Group (at the time Europe's biggest film and TV license traders) acquired a minority stake in Neue Constantin Film. Eichinger retained one of the company's leading executives and a major shareholder to his death in 2011.[9]

In the following years, Constantin Film fixed its position on the international movie market by establishing various production subsidiaries across Europe in 1996. At the end of the 1990s, Constantin Film acquired majority stakes in the film production companies Olga Film GmbH, Engram Pictures and MOOVIE GmbH. In September 1999, the company then went public on the German stock market as Constantin Film AG. Deutsche Börse placed the Constantin Film share on the selection index Nemax 50 in March 2000.

Constantin Film AG founded Rat Pack Filmproduktion GmbH with producer Christian Becker and his team in 2001. The Swiss Highlight Communications AG (a strategy and finance holding with the operative segments of film and sports and event marketing) acquired 23 percent of the capital stock of Constantin Film AG from Kirch Beteiligungs GmbH und Co. KG and from diversified holdings for the first time in 2002. In 2003, the board of Constantin Film AG embarked on a new strategic path for the company: the traditional business areas of production and distribution were expanded to include the three areas of license trading, home entertainment exploitation and increased TV service production (especially TV entertainment). Constantin Film AG also acquired 61 percent of the shares in KirchMedia Entertainment GmbH (now renamed Constantin Entertainment GmbH), one of the market leaders in German show and entertainment production. The stake was increased to 100 percent in 2005.

At the end of 2009, the listing of Constantin Film AG expired; all the shares were transferred to Highlight Communications after a squeeze-out. As of 7 October 2009, Constantin Film is no longer listed at the Frankfurter Börse.

Since January 2017 Bernhard Burgener is chairman of the supervisory board, with Martin Moszkowicz as chairman of the executive board. In this capacity, Moszkowicz is responsible for the company's film business, including worldwide production and distribution, world sales, marketing and publicity as well as corporate communication and legal affairs.[10]

Oliver Berben has joined the Constantin Film AG Managing Board on 1 January 2017. The newly created division “TV, Entertainment and Digital Media” concentrates the development and manufacture of all national and international productions of the company that are not intended for cinema exploitation. Oliver Berben founded the MOOVIE GmbH in 1996, which became a subsidiary of Constantin Film AG in 1999. In January 2009, Oliver Berben also assumed the position of Managing Director "Production" of Constantin Film Production GmbH. Oliver Berben will continue his work as a producer.[11]


The most successful license titles and internal or co-productions in Germany include (in terms of numbers of viewers) The Never Ending Story (approx. 5 million), The Name of the Rose (5.9 million), The House of the Spirits (nearly 4 million), Dances With Wolves (nearly 6.8 million), Seven (more than 2.8 million), The Sixth Sense (more than 4 million), Maybe... Maybe Not (more than 6.6 million), Werner – Beinhart! (more than 4.9 million), Rossini (more than 3.2 million), Ballermann 6 (more than 2.4 million), Asterix & Obelix vs. Caesar (nearly 3.6 million), Werner – Volles Rooäää!!! (nearly 2.8 million), American Pie (more than 6 million viewers, the biggest film of 2000), Downfall (more than 4.6 million viewers. Oscar-nominated), Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (nearly 5.6 million), The Baader-Meinhof Complex (more than 2.4 million), Manitou's Shoe (the second-most successful German film ever with more than 11.7 million viewers), Dreamship Surprise – Period 1 (9 million), Lissi and the Wild Emperor (more than 2.2 million), Vicky the Viking (nearly 5 million), Nowhere in Africa (1.66 million viewers. Oscar winner for "Best Foreign Language Film" in 2003), The Wave (more than 2.5 Mio), Hui Buh (more than 2 million), The White Massai (more than 2.2. million), Männersache (1.8 million), Horst Schlämmer – Isch kandidiere! (1.35 million), Maria, He Doesn't Like It (1.3 million), Pope Joan (2.3 million), the Wild Chicks series (3.2 million), Girls on Top (nearly 1.8 million), Türkisch für Anfänger (2.4 million), Suck me Shakespeer (7.3 million) and the international self-production Resident Evil (3.6 million viewers), which developed into a successful international franchise.


List of films produced by Constantin Film[edit]

List of films produced by New Constantin Film[edit]


  1. ^ "Constantin Film ist erneut doppelter "Branchentiger"" [Constantin Film is once again a double "industry tiger"]. Presseportal (Press release) (in German). 6 April 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Box Office Deutschland". InsideKino. JAHRES & ALL-TIME CHARTS. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  3. ^ Busch, Anita (22 May 2017). "'Resident Evil' Franchise Reboot: James Wan On Board To Produce From Greg Russo Script". Deadline. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Axed TV show Shadowhunters sweeps awards". BBC News. BBC News. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  5. ^ "IMDb: With Constantin Film (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)". IMDb. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b Bergfelder, Tim (2005). International Adventures: German Popular cinema and European Co-Productions in the 1960s. Berghahn Books.
  7. ^ In den Wind geschrieben. Der Spiegel, 46/1977
  8. ^ "Ski resort sold to German man". Bennington Banner. 88 (240). Bennington, Vermont: Banner Publishing Corp. Associated Press. October 11, 1991. p. 2. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  9. ^ "Movie producer Eichinger dies". The Pantagraph. 165 (26). Bloomington, Illinois. Associated Press. January 26, 2011. p. D5. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  10. ^ "Constantin Film AG". (in German). Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  11. ^ "Oliver Berben wechselt in das Vorstandsteam der Constantin Film". (in German). Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  12. ^ "Filmmaker doesn't take easy projects". North Jersey Sunday. 115 (647). Passaic, New Jersey: North Jersey Newspapers. Associated press. October 12, 1986. p. D1. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  13. ^ Smith, Liz (July 20, 1988). "Peopletalk". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 319 (20). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Newspapers. p. 2D. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  14. ^ Coutinho, Isabel (June 24, 1993). "Sun, Set and Asset Strip". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  15. ^ a b "Hollywood puts hopes in 'Fantastic Four'". The News-Star. 76 (266). Monroe, Louisiana. Gannett News Service. July 8, 2005. p. 1D. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  16. ^ Fritz, Ben (September 10, 2010). "New 'Resident Evil' entry tries its post-holiday luck". Company Town. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. B3. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  17. ^ Coyle, Jake (April 25, 2010). "Hitler 'Downfall' parodies yanked from YouTube". The Times. 101 (265) (South Lake County ed.). Valparaiso, Indiana: Lee Publications. Associated Press. p. D6. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  18. ^ "'Pope Joan': Goodman back after lawsuit". Leader-Post. Regina, Saskatchewan. Reuters. August 1, 2008. p. B2. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  19. ^ Kaufman, Amy; Zeitchik, Steven (October 21, 2011). "'Paranormal Activity 3' to frighten rivals". Los Angeles Times. CXXX (322). Los Angeles, California: Tribune Publishing Company. p. B3. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  20. ^ Zeitchik, Steven; Kaufman, Amy (October 24, 2011). "Horror film's scar success". Los Angeles Times. CXXX (325). Los Angeles, California. p. D4 – via Note that the URL in the citation is for the 2nd page of two pages of the article; the first page appears at .
  21. ^ Sperling, Nicole (August 25, 2013). "Building a foundation on 'City of Bones'". The Daily News. 91 (146). Longview, Washington: Lee Enterprises. Los Angeles Times. p. B4. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  22. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (February 21, 2014). "'Lego Movie' on top again". Company Town. Los Angeles Times. CXXXIII (80). Los Angeles, California: Tribune Publishing Company. p. B3. Retrieved 2020-01-12 – via
  23. ^ Hermanns, Grant (October 15, 2018). "Wrong Turn Remake in the Works at Constantin Film". Coming Soon. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  24. ^ Moodie, Jim (October 17, 2020). "Sudbury photo: 'Resident Evil' shooting on Mountain Street". The Sudbury Star. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  25. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 10, 2020). "'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Director Jon Watts Helming New 'Fantastic Four' Movie". Deadline.

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