Artisan Entertainment

Artisan Entertainment

Artisan Entertainment was a privately held independent American movie studio until it was purchased by Lionsgate & Universal Studios in 2003. At the time of its acquisition Artisan had a library of thousands of films developed through acquisition, original production, and production and distribution agreements.

The company owned the home video rights to the film libraries of Republic Pictures, Vestron, and Carolco Pictures. They also owned Family Home Entertainment (FHE), and its motion picture subdivision, FHE Pictures for a first-feature film "".

Artisan's releases included "Requiem for a Dream", "Pi", "Grizzly Falls", "Killing Zoe", "National Lampoon's Van Wilder", "The Blair Witch Project", "Novocaine", and "".


Artisan, unlike most movie studios, had its roots in the home video industry.


Artisan Entertainment began its life in 1982 as USA Home Video, which the tapes were usually packaged in large sized boxes and included films such as Supergirl, Silent Night, Deadly Night, and many B-movies including those that begin and end with B-actress Sybil Danning talking about the film that is being shown under the Adventure Video label. USA was the non-family division of Family Home Entertainment, which was founded in 1981 by Noel C. Bloom. Also founded by Family Home Entertainment were ThrillerVideo and The Video Late Show.

In 1986, the company became known as International Video Entertainment (IVE). In the late 1980s, the company branched into film distribution for television.

In 1987, IVE began to distribute films by Carolco Pictures on video starting with the unrated release of Angel Heart. The first two Carolco films (First Blood and ) were released under the Thorn/EMI/HBO Video name, but were released in 1990 and 1988, respectively, under IVE.


In 1990, IVE became Live Home Video with the divisions such as Carolco Home Video and Family Home Entertainment.

In 1990, Live Entertainment decided to branch into film production. Its first feature film was Short Time. Its second feature film was the English dub of The Palermo Connection. Its third feature film was Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.

In 1991, the company took over Vestron after its downfall; Vestron had been known best for "Dirty Dancing", which had been the second highest-grossing independent film of all time. Also, for several years starting in 1993, Live Entertainment distributed anime released by Pioneer Entertainment, including Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki.

In 1995, when Carolco ceased to exist as a company, StudioCanal got full rights to their film library and thus Live (under a new deal with the French-based production company) continued to distribute Carolco's films for video.

Other ex-video distributors that had been owned by and absorbed into Live Entertainment included Tenth Avenue Video (And Platinum Productions), and Magnum Entertainment.

In April 1998, the company was rechristened Artisan Entertainment.


In May 2003, Artisan and Microsoft jointly announced the first release of a high definition DVD, " (Extreme Edition)". The release was a promotion for the Windows Media version 9 format; it could only be played on a personal computer with Windows XP. Artisan had released the movie in 2002 on D-VHS.

After Lionsgate agreed to acquire Artisan in 2003, video releases that had been with Artisan are now under the Lionsgate Home Entertainment banner.

See also

*List of Artisan Entertainment video releases

External links

* [ Press release about High-Definition DVD release]

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