Paramount Pictures

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Paramount Pictures Corporation
legal form Corporation
founding 1912
Seat Los Angeles , California , United States
United StatesUnited States 
management Jim Gianopulos (Chairman and CEO )
Branch Media, entertainment

Logo with old Viacom lettering (1994-2006)
The artist Dario Campanile in front of his new logo design for Paramount on the occasion of the company's 75th anniversary. The picture is on display at Paramount Studios.
The entrance gate to Paramount Pictures on Melrose Avenue

Paramount Pictures is an American film production company for both cinema and television films and series . The company is part of the ViacomCBS group. The company is one of the major studios .

The beginning 1912 to 1933

Paramount's roots go back to 1912 when Adolph Zukor founded the Famous Players Film Company from the profits he made from renting Queen Elizabeth to Sarah Bernhardt . The studio's biggest star was Mary Pickford , and in 1914 Zukor transferred the distribution of his films to the newly formed Paramount Pictures Corporation , co-founders of Jesse L. Lasky and William Wadsworth Hodkinson . Hodkinson was a veteran of the General Film Company and had close ties with the Edison's Trust. Paramount also took on the distribution of the Feature Play Company films by Jesse L. Lasky, which he co-founded with Samuel Goldfish (later Samuel Goldwyn ) and Cecil B. DeMille in 1913 . The new company had a resounding success with the first film, The Squaw Man , the first full-length feature film from Hollywood.

In 1916, Lasky and Zukor had a majority stake in the company and kicked Hodkinson out. Paramount became the Famous Player-Lasky Corporation with Zukor as President and Lasky as Vice President. In the next few years, 12 other companies merged with Famous Players-Lasky , which soon opened their own sales channel by taking over the cinema chains from Artcraft and Paramount Publix Corporation . Over the years, Paramount has become the most powerful rental company in the USA. In 1927 the company was renamed Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation and in 1930 Paramount Publix Corporation .

The company made more money than any other film company, largely thanks to the largest cast of stars. As a reaction and under the rallying cry Stop Zukor , America's free cinema entrepreneurs founded First National in 1917, which lured Paramount into their biggest box office attraction in 1918: Mary Pickford, who moved for a salary of over $ 1.1 million a year, only for a short time later co-founding United Artists as an independent producer . It was not until 1924 that a real competitor emerged with the founding of MGM , which finally showed higher profits than Paramount in 1928.

The stars of the time included: Rudolph Valentino , Gloria Swanson , Pola Negri , Mary Miles Minter , Mae Murray , Clara Bow , Florence Vidor , Bebe Daniels , Lila Lee , Wallace Reid and Louise Brooks . Films of the time included some De Mille masterpieces, such as his bathroom romances with Gloria Swanson, and some monumental films such as The Ten Commandments , James Cruze and The Covered Wagon . A forte of the studio were social comedies by directors such as Ernst Lubitsch , Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast and Malcolm St. Clair . Josef von Sternberg could start his career here. With the advent of the talkie , Paramount was forced to swap almost its entire stock of stars within a good two years, but the company still made money in 1930, at the height of the talkie craze . An unimaginable $ 18 million, more than any other company until 1946. New stars of the studio were Ruth Chatterton , Sylvia Sidney , Gary Cooper , Fredric March , Kay Francis and Miriam Hopkins and especially Marlene Dietrich . New directors were Dorothy Arzner and Rouben Mamoulian . However, the financial decline of the studio began almost at the same time, which initially had to spend a fortune on the technical upgrade of its cinema chain without being able to realize the investments again in the worsening depression . The losses of the Paramount Publix cinema branch resulted in a total loss of over $ 16 million in 1932 and the bankruptcy in the following year. In 1935 the reorganization took place under the name Paramount Pictures, Inc.

1933 to 1994

Paramount Pictures was acquired by the conglomerate Gulf and Western Industries (later Gulf + Western ) in 1966 . In 1967 G + W also took over the Desilu Productions studio , founded by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz , on the neighboring property, and merged it with Paramount, which also brought the Desilu television series Star Trek to Paramount. Under new management, G + W began to sell its industrial holdings in the 1980s and gave up its diversification in favor of concentrating on media holdings. In 1989, G + W changed its name to Paramount Communications .

In 1994, Paramount Communications of Viacom acquired and continues to be responsible for the production and distribution of content for cinema and television.

1994 until today

Paramount Pictures
90th Anniversary

Paramount Pictures produced over 3000 films up to 2003, including world successes such as Raiders of the Lost Ark , The Godfather , Star Trek , Play Me a Song of Death , Grease , Forrest Gump , Chinatown , Titanic and Saving Private Ryan .

Outside the US, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios operate the film distributor United International Pictures (UIP), through which most of its own titles are distributed. A similar construct existed in the home video market in the form of CIC Video . Due to mergers at Universal and the DVD boom, Universal went into business for himself and took over the PolyGram Video business . After Universal's withdrawal from CIC, Paramount took over the business, which has been known as Paramount Home Entertainment since January 2000 .

The publication of rental and purchase videos from Paramount Pictures takes place in Germany via Paramount Home Entertainment (Germany) GmbH based in Unterföhring near Munich , where the theatrical distributor Paramount Pictures Germany is also located. Before April 1, 2005, the company's headquarters were in Frankfurt am Main .

On January 1, 2006, the parent company Viacom was split into two separate companies, Paramount Pictures thus belonged to the "new" Viacom , while Paramount Television belonged to the CBS Corporation . After the new merger of the "new" Viacom and the CBS Corporation in 2019, Paramount belongs to the new company ViacomCBS .

In 2006, Paramount renamed its subsidiary Paramount Classics to Paramount Vantage . In addition, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies became subsidiaries of Paramount Pictures Corporation.

In 2011, Paramount founded the low- budget subsidiary Paramount Insurge , the first film to be released, Devil Inside .

In the years that followed, Paramount succeeded, despite occasional great successes, especially with the Mission Impossible series, no longer releasing consistently profitable films. Even previously very successful brands such as Transformers or Star Trek no longer delivered the usual success, which ultimately led to Paramount noticeably reducing the number of theatrical releases. Productions like The Irishman or Killers of the Flower Moon have been (at least partially) assigned to streaming services like Netflix and Apple Tv + in order to minimize the financial risk.

Web links

Commons : Paramount Pictures  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Pamela McClintock: Jim Gianopulos to Run Paramount Pictures for Viacom. The Hollywood Reporter, March 27, 2017, accessed February 26, 2020 .
  2. Amy Chozick, Brooks Barnes: Paramount Was Hollywood's 'Mountain.' Now it's a Molehill. In: The New York Times . January 17, 2019, ISSN  0362-4331 ( [accessed July 11, 2020]).
  3. Mark Sweney: Paramount looks to Disney model to recover after string of flops . In: The Guardian . March 30, 2017, ISSN  0261-3077 ( [accessed July 11, 2020]).
  4. ^ Anne Thompson, Anne Thompson: Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro's 'The Irishman' Headed to Netflix - Exclusive. In: IndieWire. February 22, 2017, accessed on July 11, 2020 .

Coordinates: 34 ° 5 '7.2 "  N , 118 ° 19' 8.2"  W.