Carolco Pictures: Wikis


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Carolco Pictures, Inc.
Former type motion picture
Fate Bankruptcy
Successor Cinergi
C2 Pictures
Founded 1976
Defunct 1996
Headquarters  United States
Key people Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna
Industry Entertainment
Products Motion pictures
Revenue Unknown
Net income Unknown

Carolco Pictures, Inc., Carolco International N.V., or Anabasis Investments was an independent 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 made bankrupt by bombs such as Cutthroat Island and Showgirls.



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-movie product. Their earliest films were co-produced with Canadian theater magnate Garth Drabinsky.

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.

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 (but not all) 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.[1] IVE became LIVE Entertainment, later Artisan Entertainment and is now known as Lions Gate Home Entertainment.

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 also worked as a screenwriter on Rambo), and Arnold Schwarzenegger to star, in a multi-million-dollar budgeted sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (released in 1991). It was the highest-grossing film of its year, and as it turned out, the most successful film in Carolco's history. Also in 1990, Carolco started a joint venture with New Line Cinema to start Seven Arts Pictures, a distribution company which primarily released many of Carolco's low-budget output.

After his partnership with Kassar, Vajna created a sister studio to Carolco, Cinergi Pictures, on November, 1989. Cinergi started to release films with The Walt Disney Company through Hollywood Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.

In later years, Carolco acquired television syndicator Orbis Communications 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).

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.

As budgets for their feature films grew, the box-office intake fell. Following the disastrous releases of Cutthroat Island and Showgirls by new distribution partner MGM in 1995, Carolco went bankrupt and the company closed soon after. Carolco's assets were purchased by 20th Century Fox for $50 million.[2]

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

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.

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 Cliffhanger, Aces: Iron Eagle III, Last of the Dogmen, Showgirls, and the television rights to Cutthroat Island and Stargate.; the rights to these have been retained by their original theatrical distributors (TriStar Pictures, New Line Cinema, Savoy Pictures/HBO, and MGM/United Artists, respectively). However, Lionsgate does own some ancillary rights to the original Stargate, and full rights to Wagons East.



















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