- Carolco Pictures
Carolco Pictures, Inc. Former type Motion picture Industry Entertainment Fate Bankruptcy, acquired by 20th Century Fox Successor 20th Century Fox
Founded 1976 Defunct 1996 Headquarters United States Key people Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna Products Motion pictures Revenue Unknown Net income Unknown
Carolco Pictures, Inc., Carolco International N.V., or Anabasis Investments was an American independent film production company that, within a decade, went from producing such blockbuster successes as Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the first three movies of the Rambo series (First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, and Rambo III) to being bankrupted by box office bombs such as Cutthroat Island and Showgirls.
- 1 History
- 2 Carolco's library today
- 3 Filmography
- 3.1 1978
- 3.2 1980s
- 3.3 1990s
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The company was founded by two film investors, Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna, as Anabasis Investments. Their goal was to make their new studio a major independent production company producing A-movies. Their earliest films were co-produced with Canadian theater magnate Garth Drabinsky.
One of the first Anabasis/Carolco films was First Blood (1982), followed by the sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) (released the year it was renamed Carolco) with Sylvester Stallone (who later signed a ten-picture deal with the studio). The release of Rambo: First Blood Part II was so instrumental to Carolco's financial success that from then on, the music of the company's logo utilizes the first stanza of its famous score, written by Jerry Goldsmith.
Also in 1985, Carolco started a distribution deal with then-fledging production company TriStar Pictures. TriStar released a majority of Carolco's films from that point on in the U.S. and some international countries until 1994.
Carolco entered home video distribution as well. Independent video distributor International Video Entertainment (IVE) was going through financial difficulties and was near bankruptcy. In 1986, Carolco purchased IVE in the hopes of "turning the company around". The deal was finalized a year later. IVE became LIVE Entertainment, later Artisan Entertainment, which was bought by Lions Gate Home Entertainment.
On August 28, 1987, Carolco acquired television syndicator Orbis Communications for $15.4 million and initiated television production and distribution. They also purchased the former De Laurentiis Entertainment Group production facility in Wilmington, North Carolina (where the television series Matlock and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze was partially filmed), and established Carolco Home Video, with LIVE Entertainment as output partner.
Jose Menendez was a member of the Board of Directors of Carolco until August 1989, when he and his wife were murdered by their sons Lyle and Erik Menendez.
After his partnership with Kassar, Vajna created a sister studio to Carolco, Cinergi Pictures, in November 1989. Cinergi started to release films with The Walt Disney Company through Hollywood Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.
In 1990, Carolco went on to acquire the rights to the Terminator franchise from Hemdale Film Corporation. The company re-hired Terminator director James Cameron (who had worked as a screenwriter on Rambo) and Arnold Schwarzenegger to star in a multi-million-dollar budgeted sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). It was the highest-grossing film of the year, and as it turned out, the most successful film in Carolco's history. Also in 1990, Carolco entered into a joint venture with New Line Cinema to start Seven Arts Pictures, a distribution company which primarily released much of Carolco's low-budget output.
Carolco struggled for some years to secure the rights to Spider-Man, a property that James Cameron was keen to produce as a film. Plans fell through, although it would eventually be made as a Sam Raimi film for Columbia Pictures. Toward the end of shooting True Lies, Variety carried the announcement that Carolco had received a completed screenplay from Cameron. This script bore the names of James Cameron, John Brancato, Ted Newsom, Barry [sic] Cohen and "Joseph Goldmari", a typographical scrambling of Golan's pen name ("Joseph Goldman") with Marvel executive Joseph Calimari. The script's text was identical to what Golan had submitted to Columbia the previous year, with the addition of a new 1993 date. Cameron stalwart Arnold Schwarzenegger was frequently linked to the project as the director's choice for Dr. Octopus. As late as 1995, Internet industry sources such as Baseline Hollywood still listed both Neil Ruttenberg (author of one of the 1990 "Doc Ock" variations submitted to Columbia), and James Cameron as co-writers.
Though budgets for their feature films grew, box office revenue fell. Following the disastrous releases of Cutthroat Island and Showgirls by new distribution partner MGM in 1995, Carolco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the company closed soon after. Most of Carolco's assets were purchased by 20th Century Fox for $50 million.
Out of the ashes rose a new partnership between Carolco's owner (Mario Kassar) and Cinergi's owner (Andrew G. Vajna) in 2002: C2 Pictures.
Carolco's library today
In 2000, after 20th Century Fox's acquisition, the assets of Carolco were later sold off to other companies, most already sold during Carolco's existence. Today, the ancillary rights to a majority of Carolco's library are held by French production company StudioCanal, since its parent company, Canal+ Group, owned a stake in Carolco (eventually buying out its partners). In the United States, television and internet rights to the theatrical library are held by Paramount Pictures, with Trifecta Entertainment & Media (inherited from CBS Television Distribution and predecessor company Worldvision Enterprises, once a Spelling Entertainment company) handling TV syndication on Paramount's behalf. However, there are certain exceptions, such as Cliffhanger, which Sony Pictures Television distributes. CBS also continues to distribute Orbis/Carolco's television library, with the exception of the Orbis-distributed Live Aid concert, whose rights are currently held by Warner Music Group.
Lionsgate continues to hold the U.S./Canadian home video rights (via a new output deal with StudioCanal), while the international home video rights are held by a different company for each country. For example, the UK rights are with Momentum Pictures, a subsidiary of Alliance Atlantis, although StudioCanal's acquisition of Optimum has seen some of Momentum's versions re-issued under Optimum, and the Australian rights rest with Universal Studios. Also, Lionsgate spun off its Canadian distribution arm as Maple Pictures in 2005, hence the Canadian video rights rest with Maple.
The only Carolco films not included in the deal are the following (the US distribution rights to these have been retained by their original theatrical distributors, noted in parentheses):
- Cliffhanger (TriStar Pictures)
- Aces: Iron Eagle III (New Line Cinema)
- Last of the Dogmen (Savoy Pictures/HBO) (The Savoy library has since passed on to NBCUniversal's Focus Features division)
- Showgirls (MGM/United Artists)
- Prince of Darkness, Shocker, and They Live, The Wizard (Universal Studios, although in the case of these films, Universal has always had the U.S. rights, while Carolco was solely responsible for international rights)
- Hamlet (Warner Bros., Carolco funded the film and held some European distribution rights, but WB remains the domestic home video rights holder, though TV and digital distribution rights are with Paramount and Trifecta due to the former owning certain Nelson Entertainment films for these media.)
In the cases of Cliffhanger, Hamlet, Last of the Dogmen, and the Universal films, the various international rights holders did change from the originals.
Additionally, the television and digital rights to Cutthroat Island and Stargate remain with MGM, who also owns the rights to the Stargate franchise, having produced four TV series (three live-action and one animated) and two direct-to-DVD films (Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum).
Also, Lionsgate owns some ancillary rights to the 1994 Stargate film, and full rights to Wagons East!.
- The Silent Partner (distributed by EMC)
- The Changeling (distributed by Associated Film Distribution)
- Superstition (with Panaria, distributed by Almi Pictures)
- First Blood (distributed by Orion Pictures)
- Rambo: First Blood Part II
- Angel Heart
- Extreme Prejudice
- Nightflyers (distributed by The Vista Organization)
- John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness (Universal Pictures handled American and Canadian distribution, Carolco distributed the film in all other territories)
- Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw (with The Maltese Companies)
- Rambo III
- Red Heat
- Iron Eagle II
- John Carpenter's They Live (Universal Pictures handled American and Canadian distribution, Carolco distributed the film in all other territories)
- Watchers (distributed by Universal Pictures)
- DeepStar Six
- Pathfinder (subtitled version of a film made in Norway)
- Lock Up (with White Eagle)
- Johnny Handsome
- Shocker (with Universal Pictures)
- Music Box
Releases distributed by New Line/Seven Arts
- Food of the Gods II
- Mountains of the Moon
- Total Recall
- Air America
- Jacob's Ladder
- Narrow Margin
- Hamlet (with Warner Bros. Pictures, Icon Productions, and Nelson Entertainment)
Releases distributed by New Line/Seven Arts
- L.A. Story
- The Doors (with Bill Graham Films and Imagine Entertainment)
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (with Lightstorm Entertainment and Le Studio Canal+)
Releases distributed by New Line/Seven Arts
- Queens Logic
- Sweet Talker
- Dice Rules
- The Dark Wind (with Silver Pictures and Le Studio Canal+)
- Rambling Rose
- Get Back
- Chernobyl: The Final Warning (with Turner Pictures)
Releases distributed by New Line/Seven Arts
- Aces: Iron Eagle III
- Light Sleeper
- Mona Must Die (US distribution unknown)
- Wagons East!
- Stargate (with Le Studio Canal+, distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
- Showgirls (with United Artists and Le Studio Canal+)
- Last of the Dogmen (with Savoy Pictures)
- Cutthroat Island (distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
- ^ 
- ^ Moerk, Christian (1993-09-01). "Cameron Delivers Spider-Man Script". Variety. p. 3. http://www.variety.com/article/VR110100.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&query=cameron+spider%2Dman. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
- ^ Barry Cohen; Ted Newson; James Cameron; Joseph Goldmari; James Cameron; John Brancato. "Spider-Man". Carolco. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. http://web.archive.org/web/20080214112142/http://www.hundland.com/scripts/Spider-Man.txt. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
- ^ "Spider-Man". Sci-Fi Trivia Reel. http://www.realmovietrivia.com/page_xmen.html. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
- ^ David Wong. "10 Most Awesome Movies Hollywood Ever Killed". Cracked.com. http://www.cracked.com/article_15072_p2.html. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
- ^ "Spider-Man the Movie" (Dead link). Baseline/The New York Times. http://www.blssi.com/overview.aspx. Retrieved 2010-08-10. [dead link]
- ^ Business, Bloomberg (1995-11-11). "COMPANY NEWS;CAROLCO PICTURES FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/11/11/business/company-news-carolco-pictures-files-for-bankruptcy-protection.html.
- ^ "Carolco Pictures Pins Hopes for Rescue on Its 'Universal Soldier'". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1992-07-10/business/fi-1889_1_universal-soldier. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- ^ "Carolco Aims to Sell 'Showgirls' in Bid for Cash". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-10-04/business/fi-46339_1_cutthroat-island. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
1990s Releases from New Line/Seven Arts Made-for-TV films Television blocksAnthology series Syndication distributorsAssociated Artists Productions • Claster Television, Inc. • Lorimar-Telepictures • Orbis Communications • Coca-Cola Telecommunications • Harmony Gold USA • Lexington Broadcast Services Company • The Program Exchange • Saban Entertainment • Sandy Frank Entertainment • Screen Gems • SFM Entertainment • Turner Program Services • Westinghouse Broadcasting • World Events Productions • Worldvision Enterprises Station owners Related topics
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