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Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
(also referred to as Universal Studios or simply Universal) is an American film studio owned by Comcast
Comcast
through the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal.[2] The company was founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles O. Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, Robert H. Cochrane, and Jules Brulatour, and is the oldest surviving film studio in the United States, the world's fourth oldest after Gaumont, Pathé
Pathé
and Nordisk Film, and the oldest in terms of the overall film market[citation needed]. Its studios are located in Universal City, California, and its corporate offices are located in New York City. Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and is one of Hollywood's "Big Six" studios.[3]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early years 1.2 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit 1.3 Keeping leadership of the studio in the family 1.4 The Laemmles lose control 1.5 Universal-International and Decca Records
Decca Records
takes control 1.6 MCA takes over 1.7 Matsushita, Seagram, Vivendi
Vivendi
and NBCUniversal 1.8 Comcast
Comcast
era (2011–present)

2 Units 3 Film
Film
library

3.1 Film
Film
series 3.2 Highest-grossing films

4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

History

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Early years

Carl Laemmle

Mark Dintenfass, co-founder of Universal

Universal Studios was founded by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles O. Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, Robert H. Cochrane[a] and Jules Brulatour. One story has Laemmle watching a box office for hours, counting patrons and calculating the day's takings. Within weeks of his Chicago trip, Laemmle gave up dry goods to buy the first several nickelodeons. For Laemmle and other such entrepreneurs, the creation in 1908 of the Edison-backed Motion Picture Trust meant that exhibitors were expected to pay fees for Trust-produced films they showed. Based on the Latham Loop used in cameras and projectors, along with other patents, the Trust collected fees on all aspects of movie production and exhibition, and attempted to enforce a monopoly on distribution. Soon, Laemmle and other disgruntled nickelodeon owners decided to avoid paying Edison by producing their own pictures. In June 1909, Laemmle started the Yankee Film
Film
Company with partners Abe Stern
Abe Stern
and Julius Stern. That company quickly evolved into the Independent Moving Pictures Company (IMP), with studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where many early films in America's first motion picture industry
America's first motion picture industry
were produced in the early 20th century.[5][6][7][8] Laemmle broke with Edison's custom of refusing to give billing and screen credits to performers. By naming the movie stars, he attracted many of the leading players of the time, contributing to the creation of the star system. In 1910, he promoted Florence Lawrence, formerly known as "The Biograph Girl", and actor King Baggot, in what may be the first instance of a studio using stars in its marketing.

Poster for Ivanhoe (1913)

The Universal Film
Film
Manufacturing Company was incorporated in New York on April 30, 1912.[9] Laemmle, who emerged as president in July 1912, was the primary figure in the partnership with Dintenfass, Baumann, Kessel, Powers, Swanson, Horsley, and Brulatour. Eventually all would be bought out by Laemmle. The new Universal studio was a vertically integrated company, with movie production, distribution and exhibition venues all linked in the same corporate entity, the central element of the Studio system era.

Play media

Melodrama
Melodrama
A Great Love (1916) by Clifford S. Elfelt for Universal Big U. Dutch intertitles, 12:33. Collection EYE Film
Film
Institute Netherlands.

Following the westward trend of the industry, by the end of 1912 the company was focusing its production efforts in the Hollywood
Hollywood
area. On March 15, 1915,[10]:8 Laemmle opened the world's largest motion picture production facility, Universal City Studios, on a 230-acre (0.9-km²) converted farm just over the Cahuenga Pass
Cahuenga Pass
from Hollywood. Studio management became the third facet of Universal's operations, with the studio incorporated as a distinct subsidiary organization. Unlike other movie moguls, Laemmle opened his studio to tourists. Universal became the largest studio in Hollywood, and remained so for a decade. However, it sought an audience mostly in small towns, producing mostly inexpensive melodramas, westerns and serials. In its early years Universal released three brands of feature films—Red Feather, low-budget programmers; Bluebird, more ambitious productions; and Jewel, their prestige motion pictures. Directors included Jack Conway, John Ford, Rex Ingram, Robert Z. Leonard, George Marshall and Lois Weber, one of the few women directing films in Hollywood.[10]:13 Despite Laemmle's role as an innovator, he was an extremely cautious studio chief. Unlike rivals Adolph Zukor, William Fox, and Marcus Loew, Laemmle chose not to develop a theater chain. He also financed all of his own films, refusing to take on debt. This policy nearly bankrupted the studio when actor-director Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim
insisted on excessively lavish production values for his films Blind Husbands (1919) and Foolish Wives
Foolish Wives
(1922), but Universal shrewdly gained a return on some of the expenditure by launching a sensational ad campaign that attracted moviegoers. Character actor
Character actor
Lon Chaney became a drawing card for Universal in the 1920s, appearing steadily in dramas. His two biggest hits for Universal were The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). During this period Laemmle entrusted most of the production policy decisions to Irving Thalberg. Thalberg had been Laemmle's personal secretary, and Laemmle was impressed by his cogent observations of how efficiently the studio could be operated. Promoted to studio chief, Thalberg was giving Universal's product a touch of class, but MGM's head of production Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
lured Thalberg away from Universal with a promise of better pay. Without his guidance Universal became a second-tier studio, and would remain so for several decades. In 1926, Universal opened a production unit in Germany, Deutsche Universal- Film
Film
AG, under the direction of Joe Pasternak. This unit produced three to four films per year until 1936, migrating to Hungary and then Austria in the face of Hitler's increasing domination of central Europe. With the advent of sound, these productions were made in the German language or, occasionally, Hungarian or Polish. In the U.S., Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
did not distribute any of this subsidiary's films, but at least some of them were exhibited through other, independent, foreign-language film distributors based in New York, without benefit of English subtitles. Nazi persecution and a change in ownership for the parent Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
organization resulted in the dissolution of this subsidiary. In the early years, Universal had a "clean picture" policy. However, by April 1927, Carl Laemmle
Carl Laemmle
considered this to be a mistake as "unclean pictures" from other studios were generating more profit while Universal was losing money.[11] Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Universal owned the rights to the "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" character, although Walt Disney
Walt Disney
and Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks
had created Oswald, and their films had enjoyed a successful theatrical run. After Charles Mintz had unsuccessfully demanded that Disney accept a lower fee for producing the property, Mintz produced the films with his own group of animators. Instead, Disney and Iwerks created Mickey Mouse, who in 1928 starred in the first "sync" sound animated short, Steamboat Willie. This moment effectively launched Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Studios' foothold, while Universal became a minor player in film animation. Universal subsequently severed its link to Mintz and formed its own in-house animation studio to produce Oswald cartoons headed by Walter Lantz. In 2006, after almost 80 years, NBC Universal
NBC Universal
sold all Walt Disney-produced Oswald cartoons, along with the rights to the character himself, back to Disney. In return, Disney released ABC sportscaster Al Michaels
Al Michaels
from his contract so he could work on NBC's Sunday night NFL football package. However, Universal retained ownership of Oswald cartoons produced for them by Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
from 1929 to 1943. Keeping leadership of the studio in the family

Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff
in Bride of Frankenstein
Bride of Frankenstein
(1935)

In 1928, Laemmle, Sr. made his son, Carl, Jr. head of Universal Pictures as a 21st birthday present. Universal already had a reputation for nepotism—at one time, 70 of Carl, Sr.'s relatives were supposedly on the payroll. Many of them were nephews, resulting in Carl, Sr. being known around the studios as "Uncle Carl." Ogden Nash famously quipped in rhyme, "Uncle Carl Laemmle/Has a very large faemmle." Among these relatives was future Academy Award-winning director/producer William Wyler. "Junior" Laemmle persuaded his father to bring Universal up to date. He bought and built theaters, converted the studio to sound production, and made several forays into high-quality production. His early efforts included the critically panned part-talkie version of Edna Ferber's novel Show Boat (1929), the lavish musical Broadway (1929) which included Technicolor
Technicolor
sequences; and the first all-color musical feature (for Universal), King of Jazz
King of Jazz
(1930). The more serious All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), won its year's Best Picture Oscar. Laemmle, Jr. created a niche for the studio, beginning a series of horror films which extended into the 1940s, affectionately dubbed Universal Horror. Among them are Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933). Other Laemmle productions of this period include Imitation of Life (1934) and My Man Godfrey (1936). The Laemmles lose control Universal's forays into high-quality production spelled the end of the Laemmle era at the studio. Taking on the task of modernizing and upgrading a film conglomerate in the depths of the depression was risky, and for a time Universal slipped into receivership. The theater chain was scrapped, but Carl, Jr. held fast to distribution, studio and production operations. The end for the Laemmles came with a lavish version of Show Boat (1936), a remake of its earlier 1929 part-talkie production, and produced as a high-quality, big-budget film rather than as a B-picture. The new film featured several stars from the Broadway stage version, which began production in late 1935, and unlike the 1929 film was based on the Broadway musical rather than the novel. Carl, Jr.'s spending habits alarmed company stockholders. They would not allow production to start on Show Boat unless the Laemmles obtained a loan. Universal was forced to seek a $750,000 production loan from the Standard Capital Corporation, pledging the Laemmle family's controlling interest in Universal as collateral. It was the first time Universal had borrowed money for a production in its 26-year history. The production went $300,000 over budget; Standard called in the loan, cash-strapped Universal could not pay, Standard foreclosed and seized control of the studio on April 2, 1936. Although Universal's 1936 Show Boat (released a little over a month later) became a critical and financial success, it was not enough to save the Laemmles' involvement with the studio. They were unceremoniously removed from the company they had founded. Because the Laemmles personally oversaw production, Show Boat was released (despite the takeover) with Carl Laemmle
Carl Laemmle
and Carl Laemmle
Carl Laemmle
Jr.'s names on the credits and in the advertising campaign of the film. Standard Capital's J. Cheever Cowdin had taken over as president and chairman of the board of directors, and instituted severe cuts in production budgets. Gone were the big ambitions, and though Universal had a few big names under contract, those it had been cultivating, like William Wyler and Margaret Sullavan, left. Meanwhile, producer Joe Pasternak, who had been successfully producing light musicals with young sopranos for Universal's German subsidiary, repeated his formula in America. Teenage singer Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin
starred in Pasternak's first American film, Three Smart Girls
Three Smart Girls
(1936). The film was a box-office hit and reputedly resolved the studio's financial problems. The success of the film led Universal to offer her a contract, which for the first five years of her career produced her most successful pictures.

James Stewart
James Stewart
and Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
in Destry Rides Again
Destry Rides Again
(1939)

When Pasternak stopped producing Durbin's pictures, and she outgrew her screen persona and pursued more dramatic roles, the studio signed 13-year-old Gloria Jean for her own series of Pasternak musicals from 1939; she went on to star with Bing Crosby, W. C. Fields, and Donald O'Connor. A popular Universal film of the late 1930s was Destry Rides Again (1939), starring James Stewart
James Stewart
as Destry and Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
in her comeback role after leaving Paramount. By the early 1940s, the company was concentrating on lower-budget productions that were the company's main staple: westerns, melodramas, serials and sequels to the studio's horror pictures, the latter now solely B pictures. The studio fostered many series: The Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys action features and serials (1938–43); the comic adventures of infant Baby Sandy (1938–41); comedies with Hugh Herbert (1938–42) and The Ritz Brothers
The Ritz Brothers
(1940–43); musicals with Robert Paige, Jane Frazee, The Andrews Sisters, and The Merry Macs (1938–45); and westerns with Tom Mix
Tom Mix
(1932–33), Buck Jones (1933–36), Bob Baker (1938–39), Johnny Mack Brown
Johnny Mack Brown
(1938–43); Rod Cameron (1944–45), and Kirby Grant
Kirby Grant
(1946–47). Universal could seldom afford its own stable of stars, and often borrowed talent from other studios, or hired freelance actors. In addition to Stewart and Dietrich, Margaret Sullavan, and Bing Crosby were two of the major names that made a couple of pictures for Universal during this period. Some stars came from radio, including Edgar Bergen, W. C. Fields, and the comedy team of Abbott and Costello ( Bud Abbott
Bud Abbott
and Lou Costello). Abbott and Costello's military comedy Buck Privates
Buck Privates
(1941) gave the former burlesque comedians a national and international profile. During the war years Universal did have a co-production arrangement with producer Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
and his partner, director Fritz Lang, lending the studio some amount of prestige productions. Universal's core audience base was still found in the neighborhood movie theaters, and the studio continued to please the public with low- to medium-budget films. Basil Rathbone
Basil Rathbone
and Nigel Bruce
Nigel Bruce
in new Sherlock Holmes mysteries (1942–46), teenage musicals with Gloria Jean, Donald O'Connor, and Peggy Ryan (1942–43), and screen adaptations of radio's Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Inner Sanctum Mysteries
with Lon Chaney, Jr.
Lon Chaney, Jr.
(1943–45). Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
was also borrowed for two films from Selznick International Pictures: Saboteur (1942) and Shadow of a Doubt
Shadow of a Doubt
(1943). As Universal's main product had always been low-budget film, it was one of the last major studios to have a contract with Technicolor. The studio did not make use of the three-strip Technicolor
Technicolor
process until Arabian Nights
Arabian Nights
(1942), starring Jon Hall and Maria Montez. The following year, Technicolor
Technicolor
was also used in Universal's remake of their 1925 horror melodrama, Phantom of the Opera with Claude Rains and Nelson Eddy. With the success of their first two pictures, a regular schedule of high-budget, Technicolor
Technicolor
films followed. Universal-International and Decca Records
Decca Records
takes control In 1945, the British entrepreneur J. Arthur Rank, hoping to expand his American presence, bought into a four-way merger with Universal, the independent company International Pictures, and producer Kenneth Young. The new combine, United World Pictures, was a failure and was dissolved within one year. Rank and International remained interested in Universal, however, culminating in the studio's reorganization as Universal-International; the merger was announced on July 30, 1946.[12] William Goetz, a founder of International, was made head of production at the renamed Universal-International Pictures Inc., which also served as an import-export subsidiary, and copyright holder for the production arm's films. Goetz, a son-in-law of Louis B. Mayer decided to bring "prestige" to the new company. He stopped the studio's low-budget production of B movies, serials and curtailed Universal's horror and "Arabian Nights" cycles. He also reduced the studio's output from its wartime average of fifty films per year (which was nearly twice the major studio's output) to thirty-five films a year.[13] Distribution and copyright control remained under the name of Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
Company Inc.

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Universal-International Studio, 1955

Goetz set out an ambitious schedule. Universal-International became responsible for the American distribution of Rank's British productions, including such classics as David Lean's Great Expectations (1946) and Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948). Broadening its scope further, Universal-International branched out into the lucrative non-theatrical field, buying a majority stake in home-movie dealer Castle Films
Castle Films
in 1947, and taking the company over entirely in 1951. For three decades, Castle would offer "highlights" reels from the Universal film library to home-movie enthusiasts and collectors. Goetz licensed Universal's pre–Universal-International film library to Jack Broeder's Realart Pictures for cinema re-release but Realart was not allowed to show the films on television. The production arm of the studio still struggled. While there were to be a few hits like The Killers (1946) and The Naked City
The Naked City
(1948), Universal-International's new theatrical films often met with disappointing response at the box office. By the late 1940s, Goetz was out, and the studio returned to low-budget and series films. The inexpensive Francis (1950), the first film of a series about a talking mule and Ma and Pa Kettle (1949), part of a series, became mainstays of the company. Once again, the films of Abbott and Costello, including Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet Frankenstein (1948), were among the studio's top-grossing productions. But at this point Rank lost interest and sold his shares to the investor Milton Rackmil, whose Decca Records
Decca Records
would take full control of Universal in 1952. Besides Abbott and Costello, the studio retained the Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
cartoon studio, whose product was released with Universal-International's films. In the 1950s, Universal-International resumed their series of Arabian Nights films, many starring Tony Curtis. The studio also had a success with monster and science fiction films produced by William Alland, with many directed by Jack Arnold. Other successes were the melodramas directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Ross Hunter, although for film critics they were not so well thought of on first release as they have since become. Among Universal-International's stable of stars were Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Jeff Chandler, Audie Murphy, and John Gavin. Though Decca would continue to keep picture budgets lean, it was favored by changing circumstances in the film business, as other studios let their contract actors go in the wake of the 1948 U.S. vs. Paramount Pictures, et al. decision. Leading actors were increasingly free to work where and when they chose, and in 1950 MCA agent Lew Wasserman made a deal with Universal for his client James Stewart
James Stewart
that would change the rules of the business. Wasserman's deal gave Stewart a share in the profits of three pictures in lieu of a large salary. When one of those films, Winchester '73
Winchester '73
(1950), proved to be a hit, the arrangement would become the rule for many future productions at Universal, and eventually at other studios as well. MCA takes over

Ceremonial gate to Universal Studios Hollywood
Hollywood
(the theme park attached to the studio lot)

In the early 1950s, Universal set up its own distribution company in France, and in the late 1960s, the company also started a production company in Paris, Universal Productions France
France
S.A., although sometimes credited by the name of the distribution company, Universal Pictures France. Except for the two first films it produced, Claude Chabrol's Le scandale (English title The Champagne Murders, 1967) and Romain Gary's Les oiseaux vont mourir au Pérou (English title Birds in Peru), it was only involved in French or other European co-productions, including Louis Malle's Lacombe, Lucien, Bertrand Blier's Les Valseuses (English title Going Places, 1974), and Fred Zinnemann's The Day of the Jackal (1973). It was only involved in approximately 20 French film productions. In the early 1970s, the unit was incorporated into the French Cinema International Corporation arm. By the late 1950s, the motion picture business was again changing. The combination of the studio/theater-chain break-up and the rise of television saw the reduced audience size for cinema productions. The Music Corporation of America
Music Corporation of America
(MCA), the world's largest talent agency, had also become a powerful television producer, renting space at Republic Studios
Republic Studios
for its Revue Productions
Revue Productions
subsidiary. After a period of complete shutdown, a moribund Universal agreed to sell its 360-acre (1.5 km²) studio lot to MCA in 1958, for $11 million, renamed Revue Studios. MCA owned the studio lot, but not Universal Pictures, yet was increasingly influential on Universal's product. The studio lot was upgraded and modernized, while MCA clients like Doris Day, Lana Turner, Cary Grant, and director Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
were signed to Universal contracts. The long-awaited takeover of Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
by MCA, Inc. happened in mid-1962 as part of the MCA- Decca Records
Decca Records
merger. The company reverted in name to Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
from Universal-International. As a final gesture before leaving the talent agency business, virtually every MCA client was signed to a Universal contract. In 1964, MCA formed Universal City Studios, Inc., merging the motion pictures and television arms of Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
Company and Revue Productions (officially renamed as Universal Television
Universal Television
in 1966). And so, with MCA in charge, Universal became a full-blown, A-film movie studio, with leading actors and directors under contract; offering slick, commercial films; and a studio tour subsidiary launched in 1964. Television production made up much of the studio's output, with Universal heavily committed, in particular, to deals with NBC
NBC
(which much later merged with Universal to form NBC
NBC
Universal; see below) providing up to half of all prime time shows for several seasons. An innovation during this period championed by Universal was the made-for-television movie. In 1982, Universal became the studio base for many shows that were produced by Norman Lear's Tandem Productions/Embassy Television, including Diff'rent Strokes, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, The Facts of Life, and Silver Spoons
Silver Spoons
which premiered on NBC
NBC
that same fall. At this time, Hal B. Wallis, who had latterly worked as a major producer at Paramount, moved over to Universal, where he produced several films, among them a lavish version of Maxwell Anderson's Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), and the equally lavish Mary, Queen of Scots (1971). Though neither could claim to be a big financial hit, both films received Academy Award
Academy Award
nominations, and Anne was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Richard Burton), Best Actress (Geneviève Bujold), and Best Supporting Actor (Anthony Quayle). Wallis retired from Universal after making the film Rooster Cogburn (1975), a sequel to True Grit (1969), which Wallis had produced at Paramount. Rooster Cogburn co-starred John Wayne, reprising his Oscar-winning role from the earlier film, and Katharine Hepburn, their only film together. The film was only a moderate success. In the early 1970s, Universal teamed up with Paramount to form Cinema International Corporation, which distributed films by Paramount and Universal outside of the US and Canada. Though Universal did produce occasional hits, among them Airport (1970), The Sting
The Sting
(1973), American Graffiti (also 1973), Earthquake (1974), and a big box-office success which restored the company's fortunes: Jaws (1975), Universal during the decade was primarily a television studio. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer purchased United Artists
United Artists
in 1981, MGM
MGM
could not drop out of the CIC venture to merge with United Artists
United Artists
overseas operations. However, with future film productions from both names being released through the MGM/UA Entertainment plate, CIC decided to merge UA's international units with MGM
MGM
and reformed as United International Pictures. There would be other film hits like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Back to the Future
Back to the Future
(1985), Field of Dreams (1989), and Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park
(1993), but the film business was financially unpredictable. UIP began distributing films by start-up studio DreamWorks
DreamWorks
in 1997, due to connections the founders have with Paramount, Universal, and Amblin Entertainment. In 2001, MGM
MGM
dropped out of the UIP venture, and went with 20th Century Fox's international arm to handle distribution of their titles, an arrangement which remains ongoing. Matsushita, Seagram, Vivendi
Vivendi
and NBCUniversal

Gate 2, Universal Studios (as it appears when closed on weekends)

Anxious to expand the company's broadcast and cable presence, longtime MCA head Lew Wasserman
Lew Wasserman
sought a rich partner. He located Japanese electronics manufacturer Matsushita Electric (now known as Panasonic), which agreed to acquire MCA for $6.6 billion in 1990. Matsushita provided a cash infusion, but the clash of cultures was too great to overcome, and five years later Matsushita sold an 80% stake in MCA/Universal to Canadian drinks distributor Seagram
Seagram
for $5.7 billion.[14] Seagram
Seagram
sold off its stake in DuPont
DuPont
to fund this expansion into the entertainment industry. Hoping to build an entertainment empire around Universal, Seagram
Seagram
bought PolyGram
PolyGram
in 1999 and other entertainment properties, but the fluctuating profits characteristic of Hollywood
Hollywood
were no substitute for the reliable income stream gained from the previously held shares in DuPont. To raise money, Seagram
Seagram
head Edgar Bronfman Jr.
Edgar Bronfman Jr.
sold Universal's television holdings, including cable network USA, to Barry Diller (these same properties would be bought back later at greatly inflated prices). In June 2000, Seagram
Seagram
was sold to French water utility and media company Vivendi, which owned StudioCanal; the conglomerate then became known as Vivendi
Vivendi
Universal. Afterward, Universal Pictures acquired the United States
United States
distribution rights of several of StudioCanal's films, such as David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) and Brotherhood of the Wolf
Brotherhood of the Wolf
(2001) which became the second-highest-grossing French language
French language
film in the United States since 1980. Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
and StudioCanal
StudioCanal
also co-produced several films, such as Love Actually
Love Actually
(2003) an $40 million-budgeted film that eventually grossed $246 million worldwide.[15] In late 2000, the New York Film Academy was permitted to use the Universal Studios backlot for student film projects in an unofficial partnership.[16] Burdened with debt, in 2004 Vivendi
Vivendi
Universal sold 80% of Vivendi Universal Entertainment (including the studio and theme parks) to General Electric, parent of NBC. The resulting media super-conglomerate was renamed NBCUniversal, while Universal Studios Inc. remained the name of the production subsidiary. After that deal, GE owned 80% of NBC
NBC
Universal; Vivendi
Vivendi
held the remaining 20%, with an option to sell its share in 2006. In late 2005, Viacom's Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
acquired DreamWorks
DreamWorks
SKG after acquisition talks between GE and DreamWorks
DreamWorks
stalled. Universal's long time chairperson, Stacey Snider, left the company in early 2006 to head up DreamWorks. Snider was replaced by then-Vice Chairman
Chairman
Marc Shmuger and Focus Features
Focus Features
head David Linde. On October 5, 2009, Marc Shmuger and David Linde were ousted and their co-chairperson jobs consolidated under former president of worldwide marketing and distribution Adam Fogelson becoming the single chairperson. Donna Langley was also upped to co-chairperson.[17] In 2009, Stephanie Sperber founded Universal Partnerships & Licensing within Universal to license consumer products for Universal.[18] GE purchased Vivendi's share in NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal
in 2011.[19] Comcast
Comcast
era (2011–present)

Gate 3 with signs for K NBC
NBC
and Telemundo

GE sold 51% of the company to cable provider Comcast
Comcast
in 2011. Comcast merged the former GE subsidiary with its own cable-television programming assets, creating the current NBCUniversal. Following Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) approval, the Comcast-GE deal was closed on Jan 29, 2011.[20] In March 2013, Comcast
Comcast
bought the remaining 49% of NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal
for $16.7 billion.[2] In September 2013, Adam Fogelson was ousted as co-chairman of Universal Pictures, promoting Donna Langley to sole-chairman. In addition, NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal
International Chairman, Jeff Shell, would be appointed as Chairman
Chairman
of the newly created Filmed Entertainment Group. Longtime studio head Ron Meyer would give up oversight of the film studio and appointed Vice Chairman
Chairman
of NBCUniversal, providing consultation to CEO Steve Burke on all of the company's operations. Meyers still retains oversight of Universal Parks and Resorts. Universal's multi-year film financing deal with Elliott Management expired in 2013.[21] In summer 2013, Universal made an agreement with Thomas Tull's Legendary Pictures
Legendary Pictures
to distribute their films for five years starting in 2014 (the year that Legendary's similar agreement with Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Pictures ends).[22] In June 2014, Universal Partnerships took over licensing consumer products for NBC
NBC
and Sprout with expectation that all licensing would eventually be centralized within NBCUniversal.[18] In May 2015, Gramercy Pictures
Gramercy Pictures
was revived by Focus Features
Focus Features
as a genre label that concentrated on action, sci-fi, and horror films.[23] On December 16, 2015, Amblin Partners
Amblin Partners
announced that it entered into a five-year distribution deal with Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
by which the films will be distributed and marketed by either Universal or Focus Features.[24][25] It's unknown whether Focus Features' subsidiaries Gramercy Pictures
Gramercy Pictures
and Focus World will distribute any films in the deal. In early 2016, Perfect World Pictures announced a long term co-financing deal with Universal, which represents the first time a Chinese company directly invest in a multi-year slate deal with a major U.S studio.[26] On April 28, 2016, Universal's parent company announced a $3.8 billion deal to buy DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation.[27] On August 22, 2016, the deal was completed.[28] Universal will take over the distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
starting in 2019 with the release of How to Train Your Dragon 3, after DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation's distribution deal with 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
ends. On February 15, 2017, Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
acquired a minority stake in Amblin Partners, strengthening the relationship between Universal and Amblin,[29] and reuniting a minority percentage of the DreamWorks Pictures label with DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation. Units

Universal Television

Universal Cable Productions Chiller Films

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
Home
Home
Entertainment

Universal 1440 Entertainment Universal Sony Pictures Home
Home
Entertainment Australia (JV)

Focus Features

Gramercy Pictures
Gramercy Pictures
label Focus World High Top Releasing

NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal
Entertainment Japan Working Title Films Illumination Entertainment

Mac Guff Illumination Mac Guff

Universal Animation Studios DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation

DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
Television DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
Home
Home
Entertainment (merged with Universal Pictures Home
Home
Entertainment) DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Classics

Big Idea Entertainment Bullwinkle Studios (JV)

DreamWorks
DreamWorks
New Media

AwesomenessTV
AwesomenessTV
(JV)

Big Frame Awesomeness Films

Oriental DreamWorks
DreamWorks
(JV)

United International Pictures
United International Pictures
(JV) Amblin Partners
Amblin Partners
(minor stake)[24][25] (JV)[29]

Amblin Entertainment Amblin Television DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Pictures DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Television (merged with Amblin Television) Storyteller Distribution[30]

Film
Film
library Main article: List of Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
films Film
Film
series

Title Release date Notes

Universal Monsters/Dark Universe 1931–1954; 1979; 2004; 2010; 2014; 2017; TBA co-production with Alphaville, Relativity Media, Legendary Entertainment and K/O Paper Products

Sherlock Holmes 1936—1947

Woody Woodpecker 1941–1972; 2017 co-production with Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
Studios and Universal Animation Studios

Psycho 1960–1998 co-production with Paramount Pictures

The Birds 1963–1994

King Kong 1963–present right holders only on behalf of the Cooper Estate; co-production with Toho, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, Wingnut Film, Legendary Entertainment, and Warner Bros.

Jaws 1975–1987

The Blues Brothers 1980–1998 co-production with SNL Studios

Halloween 1981–1982, 2018; TBA co-production with Compass International, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, 20th Century Fox, Dimension Films, Miramax, The Weinstein Company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Blumhouse Productions

Conan the Barbarian 1982–1984; TBA co-production with Lionsgate

The Thing 1982–2011 co-production with Morgan Creek Productions
Morgan Creek Productions
and Strike Entertainment

Back to the Future 1985–1990 co-production with Amblin Entertainment

An American Tail 1986–1999 co-production with Amblin Entertainment, Amblimation and Sullivan Bluth Studios

The Land Before Time 1988–present co-production with Amblin Entertainment, Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm
and Sullivan Bluth Studios

Child's Play / Chucky 1990–1998; 2013-present co-production with Rogue Pictures, Relativity Media, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and United Artists

Tremors 1990–present

Darkman 1990–1996 co-production with Renaissance Pictures

Beethoven 1992–2014

Jurassic Park 1993–present co-production with Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Pictures, and The Kennedy/Marshall Company

The Flintstones 1994–2000 co-production with Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera
and Amblin Entertainment

Timecop 1994–2003 co-production with Renaissance Pictures

Babe 1995–1998

Balto 1995–2004 co-production with Amblin Entertainment
Amblin Entertainment
and Amblimation

Casper 1995–2000; 2016–present co-production with Amblin Entertainment, Harvey Films, Saban Ltd., and 20th Century Fox; right holders through DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Classics

Dragonheart 1996–present

Mr. Bean 1997–2007 co-production with PolyGram
PolyGram
Films, Gramercy Pictures, Working Title Films, StudioCanal, and Tiger Aspect Productions

The Mummy 1999–2008; 2017; TBA co-production with Relativity Media, Sommers Company and Alphaville

American Pie 1999–2012

Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss
films 2000–present co-production with Imagine Entertainment, DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios, and Illumination Entertainment

Bring It On 2000–present co-production with Strike Entertainment

The Chronicles of Riddick 2000–2013 co-production with Gramercy Pictures, USA Films, Original Film, and Relativity Media

Meet the Parents 2000–2010 co-production with DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
and TriBeCa Productions

Hannibal Lecter 2001–2002 co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Orion Pictures, Scott Free Productions, The Weinstein Company, and De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

The Fast and the Furious 2001–present co-production with Original Film, Relativity Media
Relativity Media
and One Race Films

Shrek 2001–present co-production with DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation, Pacific Data Images, DreamWorks, and Paramount Pictures

Bourne 2002–present co-production with The Kennedy/Marshall Company
The Kennedy/Marshall Company
and Relativity Media.

The Scorpion King 2002–2018 co-production with Alphaville and WWE Studios

Johnny English 2003–2018 co-production with Working Title Films, StudioCanal, and Tiger Aspect Productions

Hulk 2003–2008; TBA co-production with Marvel Studios; right of first refusal to distribute future films

Almighty 2003–2007 co-production with Spyglass Entertainment, Shady Acres Entertainment, and Original Film

Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy 2004–2013 co-production with Rogue Pictures, Relativity Media, Focus Features, Working Title Films
Working Title Films
and StudioCanal

...of the Dead 2004–2005 co-production with Atmosphere Entertainment, Romero/Grunwald Films, Cruel and Unusual Films
Cruel and Unusual Films
and Strike Entertainment

White Noise 2005–2007 co-production with Gold Circle Films

Madagascar 2005–present co-production with DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation, Pacific Data Images, DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
and 20th Century Fox

Nanny McPhee 2005–2010 co-production with Working Title Films

Curious George 2006–2015 co-production with Imagine Entertainment

Smokin' Aces 2007–present co-production with Relativity Media

Kung Fu Panda 2008–present co-production with DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation, Oriental DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
and 20th Century Fox

Marvel Cinematic Universe 2008; TBA Hulk films only; co-production with Marvel Studios

Hellboy 2008 co-production with Dark Horse Entertainment, Revolution Studios, Relativity Media, Mosaic Film
Film
Group, and Columbia Pictures

Mamma Mia 2008–2018 co-production with Gold Circle Films

Death Race 2008–present co-production with New Horizons, Cruise/Wagner Productions
Cruise/Wagner Productions
and Relativity Media

The Strangers 2008–present co-production with Intrepid Pictures, Relativity Media, Rogue Pictures and Aviron Pictures

How to Train Your Dragon 2010–present co-production with DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation, Pacific Data Images, Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
and 20th Century Fox

Despicable Me 2010–present co-production with Illumination Entertainment

Ted 2012–2015 co-production with Media Rights Capital, Bluegrass Films, and Fuzzy Door Productions

The Man with... 2012–2015 co-production with Strike Entertainment and Bluegrass Films

Pitch Perfect 2012–2017 co-production with Gold Circle Films

The Purge 2013–present co-production with Blumhouse Productions
Blumhouse Productions
and Platinum Dunes

The Croods 2013–present co-production with DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
and 20th Century Fox

Ride Along 2014–2016 co-production with Relativity Media
Relativity Media
and Perfect World Pictures

Dumb and Dumber 2014 co-production with New Line Cinema, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
and Red Granite Pictures

Ouija 2014–2016 co-production with Blumhouse Productions, Hasbro Studios, Genre Films, and Platinum Dunes

Neighbors 2014–2016 co-production with Point Grey, Relativity Media, and Good Universe

Fifty Shades 2015–2018 co-production with Focus Features, Michael De Luca Productions
Michael De Luca Productions
and Trigger Street Productions

Unfriended 2014–2018 co-production with Blumhouse Productions
Blumhouse Productions
and Bazelevs Company

The Secret Life of Pets 2016–present co-production with Illumination Entertainment

Sing 2016–present co-production with Illumination Entertainment

Trolls 2016–present co-production with DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
and 20th Century Fox

The Boss Baby 2017–present co-production with DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
and 20th Century Fox

Insidious 2018; TBA co-production with FilmDistrict, Focus Features, Gramercy Pictures, IM Global, Alliance Films, Stage 6 Films, Entertainment One, and Blumhouse Productions

Pacific Rim 2018; TBA co-production with Legendary Entertainment
Legendary Entertainment
and Warner Bros.

Highest-grossing films Universal was the first studio to have released three billion-dollar films in one year; this distinction was achieved in 2015 with Furious 7, Jurassic World
Jurassic World
and Minions.[31]

Highest-grossing films in North America[32]

Rank Title Year Box office gross

1 Jurassic World 2015 $651,926,506

2 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 $435,110,554

3 Jurassic Park 1993 $402,453,882

4 The Secret Life of Pets 2016 $368,362,470

5 Despicable Me
Despicable Me
2 2013 $368,061,265

6 Furious 7 2015 $352,786,830

7 Minions 2015 $335,036,900

8 Meet the Fockers 2004 $279,261,160

9 Sing 2016 $270,329,045

10 Despicable Me
Despicable Me
3 2017 $261,408,915

11 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas 2000 $260,044,825

12 Jaws 1975 $260,000,000

13 Despicable Me 2010 $251,513,985

14 Bruce Almighty 2003 $242,829,261

15 Twister 1 1996 $241,721,524

16 Fast & Furious 6 2013 $238,679,850

17 The Lost World: Jurassic Park 1997 $229,086,679

18 The Bourne Ultimatum 2007 $227,471,070

19 The Fate of the Furious 2017 $225,764,765

20 Ted 2012 $218,815,487

21 King Kong 2005 $218,080,025

22 The Lorax 2012 $214,030,500

23 Back to the Future 1985 $210,609,762

24 Fast Five 2011 $209,837,675

25 The Mummy Returns 2001 $202,019,785

Highest-grossing films worldwide

Rank Title Year Box office gross

1 Jurassic World 2015 $1,670,400,637

2 Furious 7 2015 $1,516,045,911

3 The Fate of the Furious 2017 $1,238,764,765

4 Minions 2015 $1,159,398,397

5 Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park
‡ 1993 $1,029,153,882

6 Despicable Me
Despicable Me
3 2017 $1,015,741,270

7 Despicable Me
Despicable Me
2 2013 $970,761,885

8 The Secret Life of Pets 2016 $875,457,937

9 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
‡ 1982 $792,910,554

10 Fast & Furious 6 2013 $788,679,850

11 Sing 2016 $631,214,341

12 Fast Five 2011 $626,137,675

13 The Lost World: Jurassic Park 1997 $618,638,999

14 Mamma Mia! 2008 $609,841,637

15 Fifty Shades of Grey 2015 $571,006,128

16 King Kong 2005 $550,517,357

17 Ted 2012 $549,368,315

18 Despicable Me 2010 $543,113,985

19 Meet the Fockers 2004 $516,642,939

20 Twister 1 1996 $494,471,524

21 Bruce Almighty 2003 $484,592,874

22 Jaws 1975 $470,653,000

23 Lucy 2014 $463,360,063

24 Gladiator 2000 $457,640,427

25 The Bourne Ultimatum 2007 $442,824,138

‡ Includes theatrical reissue(s). See also

List of television shows produced by Universal Studios DreamWorks

Notes

^ Robert H. Cochrane (1879–1973) formed the Cochrane Advertising Agency in Chicago in 1904. He joined the Laemmle Film
Film
Service as advertising manager in 1906, and for the next 30 years devoted himself to promoting Carl Laemmle
Carl Laemmle
as the 'star' of various motion picture enterprises. In 1912 Cochrane was elected vice-president of the Universal Film
Film
manufacturing Company, and served as president of Universal in 1936–37 after Laemmle sold his interests.[4]

^ International distribution only. Released by Warner Bros. domestically in North America.

References

^ "Contact Us". NBCUniversal.  ^ a b Lieberman, David. " Comcast
Comcast
Completes Acquisition Of GE’s 49% Stake In NBCUniversal." Deadline.com (March 19, 2013) ^ "Our Story". MPAA.  ^ Cochrane, Robert H. (2007). "Beginning of motion picture press agenting". Film
Film
History: An International Journal. Indiana University Press. 19 (3): 330–332. doi:10.2979/fil.2007.19.3.330. Retrieved 2016-01-07.  ^ Rose, Liza (April 29, 2012), "100 years ago, Fort Lee was the first town to bask in movie magic", The Star-Ledger, retrieved November 11, 2012  ^ Koszarski, Richard, Fort Lee: The Film
Film
Town, Rome, Italy: John Libbey Publishing -CIC srl, ISBN 0-86196-653-8  ^ "Studios and Films". Fort Lee Film
Film
Commission. Retrieved May 30, 2011.  ^ Fort Lee Film
Film
Commission (2006), Fort Lee Birthplace of the Motion Picture Industry, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 0-7385-4501-5  ^ "About Us: Universal Studios History". The Filmmakers Destination. NBCUniversal. Retrieved 2016-02-12.  ^ a b Hirschhorn, Clive (1985) [1983]. The Universal Story. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-7064-1873-5.  ^ Leonard Leff and Jerold Simmons The Dame in the Kimono, 1990 (original edition) ^ "International Pictures and the merger with Universal Pictures". cobbles.com. Retrieved 8 November 2017.  ^ "UNIVERSAL-INTERNATIONAL AND THE EARLY MCA YEARS". filmreference.com. Retrieved 8 November 2017.  ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (April 10, 1995). "The MCA sale: The deal; Seagram
Seagram
Puts the Finishing Touches on Its $5.7 billion Acquisition of MCA". The New York Times.  ^ " Love Actually
Love Actually
(2003) - Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com.  ^ "New York Film
Film
Academy - Los Angeles". nyfa.edu.  ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 5, 2009). "'Two And A Half Men' Cast's Holiday Gifts For The Show's Crew And Staff". Deadline.  ^ a b Goldstein, Lindsay (June 19, 2014). "Universal Partnerships & Licensing to Expand to Consumer Products Covering NBC
NBC
and Sprout". The Wrap. Retrieved June 27, 2014.  ^ James, Meg (January 27, 2011). "GE completes its purchase of Vivendi's stake in NBC
NBC
Universal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 22, 2013.  ^ Lafayette, Jon (January 29, 2011). " Comcast
Comcast
Competes Deal". Multichannel News. Retrieved May 21, 2011.  ^ Masters, Kim (December 13, 2012). ".Why Studios Don't Pay to Make Movies Anymore". hollywoodreporter.com. p. 4. Retrieved April 22, 2013.  ^ Faughnder, Ryan (2013-07-10). " Legendary Entertainment
Legendary Entertainment
strikes five-year deal with NBCUniversal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-07-10.  ^ "Focus Revives Gramercy Pictures
Gramercy Pictures
Label For Genre Films". Deadline Hollywood. Deadline.com. May 20, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-20.  ^ a b Lang, Brent (December 16, 2015). "Steven Spielberg, Jeff Skoll Bring Amblin Partners
Amblin Partners
to Universal". Variety. Retrieved December 23, 2015.  ^ a b Busch, Anita (December 16, 2015). "It's Official: Spielberg, DreamWorks, Participant, eOne, Others Pact For Amblin Partners". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 23, 2015.  ^ "Universal Slate Deal".  ^ "Comcast's NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal
buys DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
in $3.8-billion deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 April 2016.  ^ James Rainey (2016-08-23). " DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Animation's New Management Structure". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-11.  ^ a b Perry, Spencer (February 15, 2017). "Universal Studios Buys a Minority Stake in Amblin Partners". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved February 20, 2017.  ^ "Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Relaunches as Amblin Partners". The Wall Street Journal. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.  ^ Nancy Tartaglione. "'Minions' Tops $1 Billion Worldwide; Universal Sets Another Industry Record - Deadline". Deadline.  ^ "Universal All Time Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 9, 2017. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Universal Studios.

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on IMDbPro (subscription required) Universal Studios on IMDbPro (subscription required) Universal Studios Animation at The Big Cartoon DataBase

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Entertainment One
and Alibaba Pictures. ^ Co-owned with China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group
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A subsidiary of NBCUniversal, a Comcast
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Feature films

Antz
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The Road to El Dorado
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Shrek
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Produced with Aardman

Chicken Run
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(2013) Trolls
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Holiday (2017)

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4-D (2003) Far Far Away Idol
Far Far Away Idol
(2004) The Madagascar
Madagascar
Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005) First Flight (2006) Hammy's Boomerang Adventure
Hammy's Boomerang Adventure
(2006) Secrets of the Furious Five
Secrets of the Furious Five
(2008) B.O.B.'s Big Break (2009) Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon
Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon
(2010) Megamind: The Button of Doom (2011) Night of the Living Carrots
Night of the Living Carrots
(2011) Gift of the Night Fury
Gift of the Night Fury
(2011) Book of Dragons
Book of Dragons
(2011) Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters (2011) Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (2012) Rocky and Bullwinkle (2014) Dawn of the Dragon Racers
Dawn of the Dragon Racers
(2014) Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll (2016)

People

Bill Damaschke Chris Meledandri Jeffrey Katzenberg

Subsidiaries

DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Channel DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Classics

Big Idea Entertainment Harvey Entertainment

DreamWorks
DreamWorks
New Media ( AwesomenessTV
AwesomenessTV
(51%)) Pearl Studio

Related topics

Amblimation DreamWorks DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Records DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Television DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Interactive Go Fish Pictures In amusement parks

DreamWorks
DreamWorks
Experience

Pacific Data Images List of DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
programs List of unproduced DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation
projects

Authority control

ISNI: 0000 0001 1503 5626 GND: 10026963-1

v t e

Animation industry in France

Studios/Companies

Active

Callicore Ellipse Programmé Fantôme Folimage Gaumont Film
Film
Company

Gaumont Animation Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé Xilam

Gobelins School of the Image H5 Illumination Mac Guff Les Armateurs Mac Guff Marathon Media Millimages Neomis Animation On Animation Studios Pictak Cie Procidis Pumpkin 3D Sav! The World Productions Sparx Animation Studios Studio 100 Animation TeamTO Technicolor
Technicolor
Animation Productions Tele Images Kids

Defunct

Action Synthese DIC Entertainment Django Films Moonscoop Group

Related

Émile Cohl Fantasma

.