Genius Products

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Genius Products
Traded as OTC Pink: GNPR
Industry Entertainment
Fate Distribution assets acquired by Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment
Successor Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment
Genius Brands
Founded 1996
Defunct 2009
Headquarters Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Key people
Trevor Drinkwater (CEO)[1]
Products Motion pictures, television programs

Genius Products (also known as Genius Entertainment) was an entertainment company based in Santa Monica, California, United States.

The Baby Genius was one of a number of "smart toys" that came out in response to a study and book about the Mozart effect.[2]


Genius Products Inc. was founded in San Diego for the Baby Genius line,[2] created by Klaus Moeller and Larry Balaban.[3] In 2001, Baby Genius: The Four Seasons video won a Kids First! award over a Teletubbies video. By 2002, AOL Time Warner was distributing Baby Genius products.[2]

Genius Products acquired American Vantage Media (formerly Fox Lorber, Winstar TV & Video, Wellspring Media) in early 2005. On December 5, 2005, Genius Products, Inc. announced a distribution joint venture with The Weinstein Company (TWC) called Genius Products, LLC (GPL), with Weinstein holding a 70% stake. PGL would hold the Wellspring film library, including Fox Lorber, Winstar and American Vantage Media, and the bulk of GPI's assets.[1] Weinstein Co. added its products distribution rights and no cash and receive a 50% cut in the distribution fee on their films. The high-profile with Weinstein helped Genius Products to open the doors to major retailers like Wal-Mart and Target. With major retailers available to Genius, other producers including ESPN and Robert Halmi Inc. have signed with Genius.[4] Under Weinstein order, Wellspring Home Entertainment division was moved to Santa Monica, California at the end of April dropping most of the previous staff and closing its theatrical distribution unit and transferring theatrical distribution to TWC.[1] TWC also arranged for direct to video funding from Blockbuster in exchange for exclusive rental rights. Expecting the indistinguishable dozen films made, possibly by a standing Romanian-based crew, under the multi-year deal would generate regular income of $1 to $2 million.[4]

In January 2006, Pacific Entertainment, formed by Moeller and Balaban, purchased the Baby Genius and other lines from Genius Products, Inc. for $3 million. The other lines were Wee Worship preschool brands and Little Tikes music and DVD series production deal. Genius Products retained exclusive U.S. distribution rights for the lines.[3]

Genius Products, The Weinstein Co. and Sesame Workshop created a distribution and co-production agreement. Genius would distribute the Workshop's shows, while Weinstein Co. would work with Sesame on current properties and future development.[5]

In 2009, Genius Products Investments acquired 60% of Genius Products, LLC, with TWC retaining 15% and Genius Products, Inc., holding 25%.[6] Later that year, Genius's home video distribution rights were acquired by Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment.[7]

Distribution rights[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hernandez, Eugene (February 21, 2006). "Major Changes for Wellspring As Weinstein Controlled Genius Pulls Plug on Existing Theatrical Distribution". IndieWire. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c della Cava, Marco R. (June 25, 2002). "The race to raise a brainier baby". USA Today. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Baisley, Sarah (January 20, 2006). "Genius Products Sells Baby Genius Back to Creators". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Cieply, Michael (2007-04-12). "Films From the Weinsteins Falter, but the Brothers Stay Focused". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  5. ^ a b c d Ball, Ryan (February 21, 2007). "Sesame Workshop Has Job for Genius". Animation Magazine. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  6. ^ Garrett, Diane (2009-01-07). "GNPR acquires 60% of Genius". Variety. 
  7. ^ a b c d Gruenwedel, Erik (2009-09-14). "Vivendi Acquires Genius Titles, Select Staff". Home Media Magazine. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  8. ^ a b c Zeitchik, Steven (2006-10-25). "Genius discovers kidvid". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 

External links[edit]