38 Facts About Columbia Pictures


Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc is an American film production studio that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which is one of the Big Five studios and a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Sony.

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Columbia Pictures gradually moved into the production of higher-budget fare, eventually joining the second tier of Hollywood studios along with United Artists and Universal.

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Until then, Columbia Pictures's existence had depended on theater owners willing to take its films, since it didn't have a theater network of its own.

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In 1933, Columbia Pictures hired Robert Kalloch to be their chief fashion and women's costume designer.

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Columbia Pictures was the first contract costume designer hired by the studio, and he established the studio's wardrobe department.

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Columbia Pictures incorporated animation into its studio in 1929, distributing Krazy Kat cartoons taking over from Paramount.

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The following year, Columbia Pictures took over distribution of the Mickey Mouse series from Celebrity Productions until 1932.

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In 1933, The Mintz studio was re-established under the Screen Gems brand; Columbia Pictures's leading cartoon series were Krazy Kat, Scrappy, The Fox and the Crow, and Li'l Abner.

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In 1948, Columbia Pictures agreed to release animated shorts from United Productions of America; these new shorts were more sophisticated than Columbia Pictures's older cartoons, and many won critical praise and industry awards.

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In 1957, two years before the UPA deal was terminated, Columbia Pictures distributed the Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including Loopy De Loop from 1959 to 1965, which was Columbia Pictures's final theatrical cartoon series.

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The most famous Columbia Pictures serials are based on comic-strip or radio characters: Mandrake the Magician, The Shadow, Terry and the Pirates, Captain Midnight, The Phantom, Batman, and the especially successful Superman, among many others.

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Columbia Pictures produced musical shorts, sports reels, and travelogues.

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Columbia Pictures maintained a long list of contractees well into the 1950s; Glenn Ford, Penny Singleton, William Holden, Judy Holliday, The Three Stooges, Ann Miller, Evelyn Keyes, Ann Doran, Jack Lemmon, Cleo Moore, Barbara Hale, Adele Jergens, Larry Parks, Arthur Lake, Lucille Ball, Kerwin Mathews, and Kim Novak.

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Since Columbia Pictures did not own any theaters, it was now on equal terms with the largest studios, and soon replaced RKO on the list of the "Big Five" studios.

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On November 8,1948, Columbia Pictures adopted the Screen Gems name for its television production subsidiary when the studio acquired Pioneer Telefilms, a television commercial company founded by Jack Cohn's son, Ralph.

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On July 1,1956, studio veteran Irving Briskin stepped down as manager of Columbia Pictures and formed his own production company Briskin Productions, Inc to release series through Screen Gems and supervise all of its productions.

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In 1957, two years before its parent company Columbia Pictures dropped UPA, Screen Gems entered a distribution deal with Hanna-Barbera Productions, which produced classic TV cartoon shows such as The Flintstones, Ruff and Reddy, The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear, Jonny Quest, The Jetsons and others.

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Columbia Pictures kept making serials until 1956 and two-reel comedies until 1957, after other studios had abandoned them.

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In 1958, Columbia Pictures established its own record label, Colpix Records, initially run by Jonie Taps, who headed Columbia Pictures's music department, and later Paul Wexler and Lester Sill.

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Colpix was active until 1966 when Columbia Pictures entered into a joint agreement with RCA Victor and discontinued Colpix in favor of its new label, Colgems Records.

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Columbia Pictures was surviving solely on the profits made from Screen Gems, whose holdings included radio and television stations.

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In 1971, Columbia Pictures established sheet music publisher Columbia Pictures Publications, with vice president and general manager Frank J Hackinson, who later became the president.

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Columbia Pictures maintained control of the label until 1979, when it was sold to Ariola Records.

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On February 19,1979, Columbia Pictures Television acquired TOY Productions; the production company founded by Bud Yorkin and writers Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein in 1976.

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In 1979, Columbia Pictures entered into an agreement with Time-Life Video to release 20 titles on videocassette.

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On September 30,1980, Kerkorian sued Columbia Pictures for ignoring shareholders' interest and violating an agreement with him.

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Columbia Pictures received a share of the profits for its involvement in the development.

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On May 17,1982, Columbia Pictures acquired Spelling-Goldberg Productions for over $40 million.

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Also that year, Columbia Pictures had bought out the rights to Hardbodies, which was once premiered on The Playboy Channel.

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On February 2,1989, Columbia Pictures Television formed a joint-venture with Norman Lear's Act III Communications called Act III Television to produce television series instead of managing.

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Columbia Pictures empire was sold on September 28,1989, to the electronics giant Sony for the amount of $3.

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On July 21,1995, Sony Columbia Pictures teamed up with Jim Henson Productions and created the joint venture Jim Henson Columbia Pictures.

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In 1997, Columbia Pictures ranked as the highest-grossing movie studio in the United States with a gross of $1.

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On December 8,1998, Sony Columbia Pictures Entertainment relaunched the Screen Gems brand as a horror and independent film distribution company after shutting down Triumph Films.

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Also in 2002, Columbia Pictures broke the record for biggest domestic theatrical gross, with a tally of $1.

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On October 29,2010, Matt Tolmach, the co-president of Columbia Pictures, stepped down in order to produce The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel.

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On November 18,2012, Sony Pictures announced it has passed $4 billion worldwide with the success of Columbia's releases: Skyfall, The Amazing Spider-Man, 21 Jump Street, Men in Black 3, and Hotel Transylvania and Screen Gems' releases: Underworld: Awakening, The Vow, and Resident Evil: Retribution.

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Originally in 1924, Columbia Pictures used a logo featuring a female Roman soldier holding a shield in her left hand and a stick of wheat in her right hand, which appears to be based on the Standing Liberty quarter used from 1916 to 1930.

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