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Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Trade name
Columbia Pictures
Formerly
Columbia Pictures Corporation (1924–1968)
Division
Industry Film
Predecessor
  • Cohn-Brandt-Cohn (CBC) Film Sales Corporation (1918–1924)
Founded
  • June 19, 1918; 105 years ago (1918-06-19) (as Cohn-Brandt-Cohn (CBC) Film Sales Corporation) in New York City, United States
  • January 10, 1924; 100 years ago (1924-01-10) (as Columbia Pictures) in Los Angeles, United States
Founders Harry and Jack Cohn
Joe Brandt
Headquarters Thalberg Building, 10202 West Washington Boulevard, ,
U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Sanford Panitch (president)
Products Motion pictures
Owner Sony
Parent Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group
Subsidiaries Ghost Corps

Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company 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.

It is one of the leading film studios in the world, and was one of the so-called "Little Three" among the eight major film studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. Today, it has become the world's third largest major film studio.

The company was also primarily responsible for distributing Disney's Silly Symphony film series as well as the Mickey Mouse cartoon series from 1929 to 1932. The studio is headquartered at the Irving Thalberg Building on the former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (currently known as the Sony Pictures Studios) lot in Culver City, California since 1990.

Columbia Pictures is a member of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), under Sony Pictures Entertainment.

History

On June 19, 1918, brothers Jack and Harry Cohn and their business partner Joe Brandt founded the studio as Cohn-Brandt-Cohn (CBC) Film Sales Corporation. It adopted the Columbia Pictures name on January 10, 1924 (operating as Columbia Pictures Corporation until December 23, 1968) went public two years later and eventually began to use the image of Columbia, the female personification of the United States, as its logo.

In its early years, Columbia was a minor player in Hollywood, but began to grow in the late 1920s, spurred by a successful association with director Frank Capra. With Capra and others such as the most successful two reel comedy series The Three Stooges, Columbia became one of the primary homes of the screwball comedy. In the 1930s, Columbia's major contract stars were Jean Arthur and Cary Grant. In the 1940s, Rita Hayworth became the studio's premier star and propelled their fortunes into the late 1950s. Rosalind Russell, Glenn Ford and William Holden also became major stars at the studio.

The Columbia Pictures logo, featuring the Torch Lady, a woman carrying a torch and wearing a drape (representing Columbia, a personification of the United States), has gone through five major changes. It has often been compared to the Statue of Liberty, which was an inspiration to the Columbia Pictures logo.

History

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 was based on actress Doris Doscher (known as the model for the statue on the Pulitzer Fountain) as the Standing Liberty quarter used from 1916 to 1930, though the studio's version was given longer hair. The logo changed in 1928 with a new woman wearing a draped flag and torch. The woman wore a headdress, the stola and carried the palla of ancient Rome, and above her were the words "A Columbia Production" ("A Columbia Picture" or "Columbia Pictures Corporation") written in an arch. The illustration was based upon the actress Evelyn Venable, known for providing the voice of the Blue Fairy in Walt Disney's Pinocchio. An alternative version of the 1928 logo with the slogan, "Gems of the Screen"; itself a takeoff on the song "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean", later inspired the renaming of the Charles Mintz Studio into Screen Gems.

In 1936, the logo was changed: the Torch Lady now stood on a pedestal, wore no headdress, and the text "Columbia" appeared in chiseled letters behind her. Pittsburgh native Jane Chester Bartholomew, whom Harry Cohn discovered working as an extra at Columbia, portrayed the Torch Lady in the logo. There were several variations to the logo over the years—significantly, a color version was done in 1943 for The Desperadoes. Two years earlier, the flag became just a drape with no markings. The latter change came after a federal law was passed making it illegal to wear an American flag as clothing. In the 1950s, the woman's robe was redrawn and shaded with a plunging neckline and an exposed slipper-clad foot. A new form of animation was used on the logo as well, with a torch that radiates light instead of flickers. From 1955 to 1963, Columbia used the woman from its logo under the Screen Gems banner, officially billing itself as a part of "the Hollywood studios of Columbia Pictures", as spoken in announcements at the end of some Screen Gems series. 1976's Taxi Driver was one of the last films released before the "Torch Lady" was revamped, although the classic logo would be later used in several Columbia releases, generally to match the year a given film is set in.

From 1976 to 1993, Columbia Pictures used two logos. The first, from 1976 to 1981 (or until 1982 for international territories) used just a sunburst representing the beams from the torch, although the woman appears briefly in the opening logo. The score accompanying the first logo was composed by Suzanne Ciani. The studio hired visual effects pioneer Robert Abel to animate the first logo. The image was created with over fifty light exposures that included streak and special filter passes. The woman returned in 1981, but in a much smoother form described as resembling a Coke bottle. The 1981 version was also used for Triumph Films, with the woman under the Arc de Triomphe in the logo. During the studio's run with the Coca-Cola Company from 1982 to 1989, a golden version of the Torch Lady was used for the Columbia Pictures Television logo until it was replaced with the 1981 version after Coca-Cola sold Columbia to Sony. The slogans for the 1976 and 1981 logos were "Let us entertain you" and "Movies That Matter", respectively.

In 1992, the longest-running, and perhaps best known, iteration of the logo was created; the television division was the first to use it. Films began to use the new logo the year after, when Scott Mednick and the Mednick Group were hired by Peter Guber to create logos for all the entertainment properties then owned by Sony Pictures. Mednick hired New Orleans artist Michael Deas, to digitally repaint the logo and return the woman to her "classic" look. Michael Deas hired Jennifer Joseph, a 28-year-old graphics artist for The Times-Picayune, as a model for the logo. Due to time constraints, she agreed to help out on her lunch break. Joseph had recently discovered she was pregnant at the time. Deas also hired The Times-Picayune photographer Kathy Anderson to photograph the reference photography. The animation was created by Synthespian Studios in 1993 by Jeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak, who used 2D elements from the painting and converted it to 3D. The studio being part of Sony would not be referenced on-screen until 1996. VHS promos featured the 1992 logo and the previous versions with the number 75 behind the Torch Lady, commemorating the studio's 75th anniversary in 1999 with the slogan, "Lighting Up Screens Around The World". The 1992 logo was also used for Screen Gems Network and Columbia Showcase Theatre, both now defunct programming blocks that featured syndicated airings of Sony Pictures-owned shows and films, respectively. In 2012, the 1992 logo was displayed as a painting at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Michael Deas gave an interview to WWL-TV: "I never thought it would make it to the silver screen and I never thought it would still be up 20 years later, and I certainly never thought it would be in a museum, so it's kind of gratifying."

Filmography

Film series

Title Release date No. Films Notes
The Three Stooges 1934–65 200 190 short subjects through 1959, and ten feature films from 1941 to 1965
The Lone Wolf 1935–49 15
Charles Starrett 1935–52 131 Westerns, including 64 features as The Durango Kid
Blondie 1938–50 28
Five Little Peppers 1939–40 4
Ellery Queen 1940–42 5
George Formby 1941–46 7 (from South American George to George in Civvy Street); released by Columbia outside the United States
Boston Blackie 1941–49 14
Cantinflas 1942–82 34 (from Los tres mosqueteros to El barrendero); released by Columbia outside the United States
Crime Doctor 1943–49 10
The Whistler 1944–48 8
Rusty 1945–49 8
Gene Autry 1947–53 33
Jungle Jim 1948–55 16
Gasoline Alley 1951 2
13 Ghosts 1960–2001 2
Matt Helm 1966–69 4
Death Wish 1974–82 2 International distributor; released in the US by Paramount Pictures and produced by Filmways Pictures
Spider-Man 1977–present 13 co-production with Danchuck Productions (1977–81 series only), Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures Animation (including the MCU Spider-Man films)
Fun with Dick and Jane 1977–2005 2
The Blue Lagoon 1980–91
Gloria 1980–99
Annie 1982–2014 3 co-production with Rastar, Overbrook Entertainment, Village Roadshow Pictures, Storyline Entertainment, Chris Montan Productions and Walt Disney Television (1999 TV movie only)
Ghostbusters 1984–present 5
The Karate Kid 6
Flatliners 1990–2017 2
City Slickers 1991–94 co-production with Castle Rock Entertainment, Nelson Entertainment (1991 film only) and Face Productions
My Girl co-production with Imagine Entertainment
El Mariachi 1993–2003 3
RoboCop 1993–2014 2 co-production with Orion Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Little Women 1994–2019 co-production with Di Novi Pictures, Pascal Pictures and Regency Enterprises (2019 film only)
Bad Boys 1995–present 3 co-production with Simpson/Bruckheimer
I Know What You Did Last Summer 1997–98 2 co-production with Mandalay Pictures
Men in Black 1997–2019 4 co-production with Amblin Entertainment
Stuart Little 1999–2002 2 co-production with Red Wagon Productions
Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2002–07 3 Produced in association with Marvel Entertainment
Terminator 2003–09 2 co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures
The Grudge 2004–06 co-production with Ghost House Pictures
Jumanji 2005–present 3
The Pink Panther 2006–09 2 Co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
James Bond 2006–15 4 co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (from Casino Royale to Spectre)
Robert Langdon 2006–16 3 co-production with Imagine Entertainment and Relativity Media
Ghost Rider 2007–11 2 co-production with Marvel Entertainment, Crystal Sky Pictures, Hyde Park Entertainment, Saturn Films, Imagenation Abu Dhabi, and Relativity Media
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2009–13 co-production with Sony Pictures Animation
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2009–15 co-production with Happy Madison Productions
Zombieland 2009–present co-production with Pariah
Grown Ups 2010–13 co-production with Happy Madison Productions
Dragon Tattoo Stories 2011–present co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Smurfs 2011–17 3 co-production with Sony Pictures Animation and The K Entertainment Company
Jump Street 2012–14 2 co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Relativity Media, and Original Film
The Amazing Spider-Man Produced in association with Marvel
Hotel Transylvania 2012–22 4 co-production with Sony Pictures Animation
The Equalizer 2014–23 3 Co-production with Escape Artists
Marvel Cinematic Universe 2017–present Produced in association with Marvel Studios, Pascal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (licensed only)
Sony's Spider-Man Universe 2018–present co-production with Marvel and Pascal Pictures
Peter Rabbit 2 co-production with Sony Pictures Animation (2018), Animal Logic, Olive Bridge Entertainment, 2.0 Entertainment, Screen Australia, and Screen NSW
Spider-Verse co-production with Sony Pictures Animation, Marvel, and Pascal Pictures
Escape Room 2019–present Co-production with Original Film

Highest-grossing films

  film currently playing   Indicates films playing in theatres in the week commencing 17 May 2024.
Highest-grossing films in North America
Rank Title Year Domestic gross
1 Spider-Man: No Way Home 2021 $814,108,407
2 Spider-Man 2002 $407,022,860
3 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 2017 $404,540,171
4 Spider-Man: Far From Home 2019 $390,532,085
5 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Versefilm currently playing 2023 $381,311,319
6 Spider-Man 2 2004 $373,585,825
7 Spider-Man 3 2007 $336,530,303
8 Spider-Man: Homecoming 2017 $334,201,140
9 Jumanji: The Next Level 2019 $320,314,960
10 Skyfall 2012 $304,360,277
11 The Amazing Spider-Man 2012 $262,030,663
12 Men in Black 1997 $250,690,539
13 Ghostbusters 1984 $229,242,989
14 Hancock 2008 $227,946,274
15 The Da Vinci Code 2006 $217,536,138
16 Venom: Let There Be Carnage 2021 $213,550,366
17 Venom 2018 $213,515,506
18 Bad Boys for Life 2020 $204,292,401
19 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014 $202,853,933
20 Spectre 2015 $200,074,609
21 22 Jump Street 2014 $191,719,337
22 Men in Black II 2002 $190,418,803
23 Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2018 $190,241,310
24 Hitch 2005 $179,495,555
Highest-grossing films worldwide
Rank Title Year Worldwide gross
1 Spider-Man: No Way Home 2021 $1,916,306,995
2 Skyfall 2012 $1,142,471,295
3 Spider-Man: Far From Home 2019 $1,131,927,996
4 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 2017 $962,126,927
5 Spider-Man 3 2007 $894,983,373
6 Spectre 2015 $880,674,609
7 Spider-Man: Homecoming 2017 $880,166,924
8 Venom 2018 $855,013,954
9 Spider-Man 2002 $825,025,036
10 Jumanji: The Next Level 2019 $800,059,707
11 2012 2009 $791,217,826
12 Spider-Man 2 2004 $788,976,453
13 The Da Vinci Code 2006 $758,239,851
14 The Amazing Spider-Man 2012 $757,930,663
15 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014 $708,982,323
16 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Versefilm currently playing 2023 $689,810,862
17 Hancock 2008 $624,386,746
18 Men in Black 3 2012 $624,026,776
19 Casino Royale 2006 $606,099,584
20 Quantum of Solace 2008 $589,580,482
21 Men in Black 1997 $589,390,539
22 The Smurfs 2011 $563,749,323
23 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation 2018 $528,583,774

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Columbia Pictures para niños

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