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Artisan Entertainment
Successor Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Founded 1982
Defunct May 2004
Industry Home video company
Motion pictures
Subsidiaries Family Home Entertainment

Artisan Entertainment was a privately held independent American movie studio until it was purchased by a Canadian studio, Lionsgate, 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, and Carolco Pictures. They also owned Family Home Entertainment (FHE), and its motion picture subdivision, FHE Pictures for a first-feature film Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie.

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 in 1982 as USA Home Video, when tapes were usually packaged in large 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 was acquired by Carolco Pictures. The unrated release of Angel Heart was the first Carolco film released by IVE on video. The first two Carolco films (First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II) were released under the Thorn/EMI/HBO Video name, but were rereleased in 1990 and 1988, respectively, under IVE.


The LIVE Entertainment logo.

In 1990, IVE became Live Home Video. New divisions were created, such as Carolco Home Video, Family Home Entertainment (which was now an imprint of Live), and Avid Home Entertainment.

In 1990, Live Entertainment decided to branch into film production. Its first feature film was the Carolco Home Video release of Total Recall. Its second feature film was the English dub of The Palermo Connection. Its third feature film was Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.

In 1992, 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 and the first Tenchi Muyo! movie.

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, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (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 through Artisan have now been rereleased under the Lionsgate Home Entertainment banner.

Notable films

As LIVE Entertainment

As Artisan Entertainment

See also

External links


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