Screen Gems

Screen Gems, Inc.
Industry Animation (1933–1946)
Television (1948–1974)
Film (1998–present)
Founded 1933 (1933) (as animation studio)
1948 (1948) (as television subsidiary)
1998 (1998) (as film studio)
Headquarters Culver City, California, United States
Key people
Clint Culpepper (President)
Products Motion pictures
Owner Sony
Parent Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Sony Entertainment)

Screen Gems, Inc. (stylized as SCREEN GEMS) is an American film production and distribution studio that is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment's Motion Picture Group, a subsidiary of Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony Corporation.[1] It has served several different purposes for its parent companies over the decades since its incorporation. The label currently specializes in genre films, namely horror.[2]

Animation studio: 1933–1946

The name was originally used in 1933, when Columbia Pictures acquired a stake in Charles Mintz's animation studio.[3] The name was derived from an early Columbia Pictures slogan, "Gems of the Screen"; itself a takeoff on the song "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean".[4]

For an entire decade, Charles Mintz distributed his Krazy Kat, Scrappy, and Color Rhapsody animated film shorts through Columbia Pictures. When Mintz became indebted to Columbia in 1939, he ended up selling his studio to them. Mintz's production manager became the studio head, but was shortly replaced by Mintz's brother-in-law, George Winkler. Columbia then decided to "clean house" by ousting the bulk of the staff (including Winkler), and hiring creative cartoonist Frank Tashlin. After Tashlin's short stay came Dave Fleischer, formerly of the Fleischer Studios, and after several of his successors came Ray Katz and Henry Binder from Warner Bros. Cartoons (previously Leon Schlesinger Productions). Animators, directors, and writers at the series included people such as Art Davis, Sid Marcus, Bob Wickersham, and during its latter period, Bob Clampett.

Like most studios, the Screen Gems studio had several established characters on their roster. These included Flippity and Flop, Willoughby Wren, and Tito and His Burrito. However, the most successful characters the studio had were The Fox and the Crow, a comic duo of a refined Fox and a street-wise Crow.

Screen Gems was, in an attempt to keep costs low, the last American animation studio to stop producing black and white cartoons. The final black-and-white Screen Gems shorts appeared in 1946, over three years after the second-longest holdouts (Famous Studios and Leon Schlesinger Productions). During that same year, the studio shut its doors for good,[5] though their animation output continued to be distributed until 1949.

The Screen Gems cartoons were only moderately successful in comparison to those of Disney, Warner Bros., and MGM. The studio's purpose was assumed by an outside producer, United Productions of America (UPA), whose cartoons, including Gerald McBoing Boing and the Mr. Magoo series, were major critical and commercial successes.

Theatrical short film series

One-shot theatrical short films

  • How War Came (1941)
  • The Great Cheese Mystery (1941)
  • The Dumbconscious Mind (1942)
  • The Vitamin G-Man (1943)
  • He Can't Make It Stick (1943)

Television subsidiary: 1948–1974

Screen Gems, Inc.
Television subsidiary of Columbia Pictures
Industry Television production
Television distribution
Fate Renamed as Columbia Pictures Television
Successor Columbia Pictures Television
Columbia TriStar Television
Sony Pictures Television
Founded November 1948 (November 1948)
Defunct May 6, 1974 (May 6, 1974)
Headquarters New York City
Los Angeles, California USA
Parent Columbia Pictures

In November 1948, Columbia borrowed the Screen Gems name for its television production subsidiary when the studio acquired Pioneer Telefilms, a television commercial company founded in 1947 by Ralph Cohn, the nephew of Columbia's head Harry Cohn.[6] Pioneer was later reorganized as Screen Gems.[6] The studio started its new business in New York on April 15, 1949.[6]

By 1951, Screen Gems became a full-fledged television studio by producing and syndicating several popular shows (see below).

By 1952, the studio had produced a series of about 100 film-record coordinated releases for television under the brand "TV Disk Jockey Toons" in which the films "synchronize perfectly with the records".[7]

On July 1, 1956, studio veteran Irving Briskin stepped down as stage manager of Columbia Pictures and form his production company Briskin Productions, Inc. to release series through Screen Gems and supervise all of its productions.[8] On December 10, 1956, Screen Gems expanded into television syndication by acquiring Hygo Television Films (a.k.a. Serials Inc.) and its affiliated company United Television Films, Inc. Hygo Television Films was founded in 1951 by Jerome Hyams, who also acquired United Television Films in 1955 that was founded by Archie Mayers.[9] During that year, the studio began syndicating Columbia Pictures' theatrical film library to television, including the wildly successful series of two-reel short subjects starring The Three Stooges in 1957. Earlier on August 2, 1957, they also acquired syndication rights to "Shock!", a package of Universal horror films (later shifted to MCA TV), which was enormously successful in reviving that genre.[10] The name "Screen Gems," at the time, was used to hide the fact that the film studio was entering television production and distribution. Many film studios saw television as a threat to their business, thus it was expected that they would shun the medium. However, Columbia was one of a few studios who branched out to television under a pseudonym to conceal the true ownership of the television arm. That is until 1955, when Columbia decided to use 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.

From 1958 to 1974, under President John H. Mitchell and Vice President of Production Harry Ackerman, Screen Gems delivered classic TV shows and sitcoms: Father Knows Best, Dennis the Menace, The Donna Reed Show, Hazel, Here Come the Brides, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gidget, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Flying Nun, The Monkees, and The Partridge Family. It was also the original distributor for Hanna-Barbera Productions, an animation studio founded by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera after leaving Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was also the distributor of the Soupy Sales show. The company also entered a co-production deal with Canada's CTV Television Network and produced several shows, many of which were filmed or taped in Toronto for distribution to Canadian stations (Showdown, The Pierre Berton Show). The company even expanded as far as Australia, opening Screen Gems Australia to produce shows for that country's networks, including The Graham Kennedy Show for the Nine Network.[11]

In the late 1950s, Screen Gems also entered into ownership and operation of television stations. Stations owned by Screen Gems over the years included KCPX (Salt Lake City; now KTVX, owned by Nexstar Media Group), WVUE (New Orleans; now owned by the Louisiana Media Company), WAPA (San Juan; now owned by the Hemisphere Media Group), WNJU (Linden, NJ; now owned by NBCUniversal), and several radio stations as well, including 50,000-watt clear channel WWVA (Wheeling WV; now owned by iHeartMedia). As a result, in funding its acquisitions, 18% of Screen Gems' shares was spun off from Columbia and it became a publicly traded company in NYSE until 1968.

1964-1969, former child star Jackie Cooper was Vice President of Program Development. He was responsible for packaging series (such as Bewitched) and other projects and selling them to the networks.

In 1965, Columbia Pictures acquired a fifty percent interest in the New York-based commercial production company EUE, which was incorporated into Screen Gems and renamed EUE/Screen Gems. The studios were sold in 1982 to longtime Columbia Pictures Executive, George Cooney, shortly after Columbia Pictures was sold to The Coca-Cola Company.

On December 23, 1968, Screen Gems merged with its parent company Columbia Pictures Corporation and became part of the newly formed Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. for $24.5 million.[12]

On May 6, 1974, Screen Gems was renamed Columbia Pictures Television as suggested by then-studio president David Gerber.[13] The final notable production from this incarnation of Screen Gems before the name change was the 1974 mini-series QB VII. Columbia was, technically, the last major studio to enter television by name.

Changes in corporate ownership of Columbia came in 1982, when Coca-Cola bought the company, although continuing to trade under the CPT name. In the mid-1980s, Coca-Cola reorganized its television holdings to create Coca-Cola Television, merging CPT with the television unit of Embassy Communications as Columbia/Embassy Television,[14] although both companies continued to use separate identities until January 4, 1988, when it and Tri-Star Television were reunited under the CPT name. Columbia also ran Colex Enterprises, a joint venture with LBS Communications to distribute the Screen Gems library, which ended in 1988.[15]

On December 21, 1987, Coca-Cola spun off its entertainment holdings and sold it to Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. for $3.1 billion. It was renamed to Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc., also creating Columbia/Tri-Star by merging Columbia and Tri-Star. Both studios continued to produce and distribute films under their separate names.[16] In 1989, Columbia Pictures Entertainment was purchased by Sony Corporation of Japan. On August 7, 1991, Columbia Pictures Entertainment was renamed as Sony Pictures Entertainment as a film production-distribution subsidiary, and subsequently combined CPT with a revived TriStar Television in 1994 to form Columbia TriStar Television.

The television division today is presently known as Sony Pictures Television.

Selected TV shows

Television programs produced and/or syndicated by Screen Gems (most shows produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions are now owned and distributed by Warner Bros. Television Distribution, except for Jeannie and Partridge Family 2200 A.D. (see below):

Hanna-Barbera Productions

Note: The following shows were produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Briskin Productions

Specialty feature film studio, 1998–present

In 1998, Screen Gems was resurrected as a fourth specialty film-producing arm of Sony's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group. It was created after Triumph Films was closed down.[19] Screen Gems produces and releases "films that fall between the wide-release films traditionally developed and distributed by Columbia Pictures and those released by Sony Pictures Classics".[20] Many of its releases are of the horror, thriller, action, comedy and urban genres, making the unit similar to Dimension Films (part of The Weinstein Company), Hollywood Pictures (part of the Walt Disney Company), and Rogue Pictures ( when it was formally owned by Relativity Media and before that, Universal Studios).

The highest grossing Screen Gems film as of March 2017, is Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, which grossed a total of $307 million worldwide so far.

Screen Gems films


Release Date Title Notes Budget Gross
June 4, 1999Limbo$10 million$2,160,710
July 9, 1999Arlington Roadco-production with Lakeshore Entertainment$21.5 million$41,067,311


Release Date Title Notes Budget Gross
April 5, 2000Black and White$5,277,299
April 28, 2000Timecode$4 million$1,431,406
September 29, 2000Girlfight$1,666,028
January 19, 2001Snatch$10 million$83,557,872
March 23, 2001The Brothers $6 million$27,958,191
April 27, 2001The Forsaken$15 million$7,288,451
August 24, 2001Ghosts of Mars$28 million$14,010,832
September 7, 2001Two Can Play That Game$13 million$22,391,450
January 25, 2002The Mothman Prophecies$32 million$54,639,865
February 1, 2002Slackers$14 million$6,413,915
March 15, 2002Resident Evil$33 million$102,441,078
October 11, 2002Swept Away$10 million$598,645
October 18, 2002The 51st State$27 million$14,439,698
November 15, 2002Half Past Dead$25 million$19,233,280
August 22, 2003The Medalliontheatrically released by TriStar Pictures in USA$41 million$34,268,701
September 19, 2003Underworldalso with Lakeshore Entertainment$22 million$95,708,457
October 31, 2003In the Cut$12 million$23,726,793
January 30, 2004You Got Served$8 million$48,631,561
May 14, 2004Breakin' All the Rules$10 million$12,544,254
August 27, 2004Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchidalso with Columbia Pictures and Middle Fork Productions$25 million$70,992,898
September 10, 2004Resident Evil: Apocalypse$45 million$129,394,835
February 4, 2005Boogeymanalso with Ghost House Pictures$20 million$67,192,859
March 25, 2005SteamboyEuropean distribution only; co-production with Sunrise, Toho and Triumph Films$20 million$18,900,000
August 26, 2005The Cave$30 million$33,296,457
September 9, 2005The Exorcism of Emily Rose$19 million$140,238,064
October 7, 2005The Gospelco-production with Rainforest Films$3.5 million$15,778,152
January 6, 2006Hostelalso with Lionsgate$4.8 million$80.6 million
January 20, 2006Underworld: Evolutionalso with Lakeshore Entertainment$50 million$111,340,801
February 3, 2006When a Stranger Calls$15 million$66,966,987
March 3, 2006Ultraviolet$30 million$31,070,211
September 8, 2006The Covenant$20 million$37,597,471
January 12, 2007Stomp the Yardco-production with Rainforest Films$13 million$75,511,123
February 2, 2007The Messengersalso with Columbia Pictures and Ghost House Pictures$16 million$54,957,265
April 20, 2007Vacancy$19 million$35,300,645
June 8, 2007Hostel: Part IIalso with Lionsgate Films$10.2 million$35,619,521
September 21, 2007Resident Evil: Extinction$45 million$147,717,833
November 21, 2007This Christmasco-production with Rainforest Films$13 million$50,778,121
January 11, 2008First Sunday$38,608,838
January 25, 2008Untraceablealso with Universal Pictures and Lakeshore Entertainment$35 million$52,431,162
March 11, 2008Outpostco-production with Newmarket Films
April 11, 2008Prom Nightco-production with Alliance Films$20 million$57,197,876
June 3, 2008Wieners
September 19, 2008Lakeview Terrace$20 million$44,653,637
October 10, 2008Quarantine$12 million$41,319,906
January 9, 2009Not Easily Broken$5 million$10,708,890
January 23, 2009Underworld: Rise of the Lycans$35 million$91,327,197
February 20, 2009Fired Up$20 million$18,598,852
April 24, 2009Obsessedco-production with Rainforest Films$20 million$73,830,340
October 16, 2009The Stepfatherco-production with Granada Productions$20 million$31,178,915
December 4, 2009Armored$20 million$20,900,733


Release Date Title Notes Budget Gross
January 22, 2010Legionco-production with Bold Films$26 million$67,918,658
February 5, 2010Dear Johnco-production with Relativity Media$25 million$112,157,433
April 16, 2010Death at a Funeral$21 million$49,050,886
August 27, 2010Takersco-production with Rainforest Films$32 million$70,587,268
September 10, 2010Resident Evil: Afterlife$60 million$300,228,084
September 17, 2010Easy A$8 million$74,952,305
November 24, 2010Burlesque$55 million$90,000,000
January 7, 2011Country Strong$15 million$20,529,194
February 4, 2011The Roommate$16 million$40,424,438
May 13, 2011Priest$60 million$78,309,131
July 22, 2011Friends with Benefitsco-production with Castle Rock Entertainment, Zucker and Olive Bridge Entertainment$35 million$149,542,245
July 29, 2011Attack the BlockU.S distribution only; produced by Stage 6 Films, Icon Productions, StudioCanal, the UK Film Council, Big Talk Productions and Film4 Productions$13 million$5,824,175
September 16, 2011Straw Dogs$25 million$10,324,441
January 20, 2012Underworld: Awakening$70 million$130,856,741
February 10, 2012The Vowco-production with Spyglass Entertainment$30 million$153,214,597
April 20, 2012Think Like a Manco-production with Rainforest Films$12 million$96,070,507
September 14, 2012Resident Evil: Retribution$65 million$240,159,255
August 21, 2013The Mortal Instruments: City of BonesU.S distribution only; produced by FilmDistrict, Entertainment One, and Constantin Film$60 million$75,965,567
September 20, 2013Battle of the Year$20 million$14,185,460
October 18, 2013Carrieco-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Misher Films$30 million$82,394,288
February 14, 2014About Last Nightco-production with Rainforest Films and Olive Bridge Entertainment$13 million$49,002,684
June 20, 2014Think Like a Man Tooco-production with Will Packer Productions$24 million$70,181,428
July 2, 2014Deliver Us from Evilco-production with Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Ingenious Film Partners$30 million$87,937,815
September 12, 2014No Good Deedco-production with Will Packer Productions$13 million$54,323,210
January 16, 2015The Wedding Ringerco-production with Miramax Films, LStar Capital, and Will Packer Productions$23 million$79,799,880
September 11, 2015The Perfect Guy$12 million$60,185,587
February 5, 2016Pride and Prejudice and Zombies[21]co-production with Cross Creek Pictures, Sierra Pictures, MadRiver Pictures, Darko Entertainment and Handsomecharlie Films$28 million$16,374,328
August 26, 2016Don't Breatheco-production with Stage 6 Films and Ghost House Pictures$9.9 million$89,985,571
September 9, 2016When the Bough Breaksco-production with Unique Features$10 million$30,658,387
January 6, 2017Underworld: Blood Warsco-production with Lakeshore Entertainment and Sketch Films$35 million$81,093,313
January 27, 2017Resident Evil: The Final Chapterco-production with Constantin Film, Davis Films, Impact Pictures, Capcom Co, Ltd.$40 million$312,242,626
October 31, 2017Keep Watchingco-production with Voltage Productions$5 million$94,178
January 12, 2018 Proud Mary$14–30 million$21.8 million
August 10, 2018Slender Manco-production with Mythology Entertainment, Madhouse Entertainment, and It Is No Dream Entertainment$10–28 million$13.2 million
August 24, 2018Searchingco-production with Bazelevs Company and Stage 6 Films

Upcoming releases

Release Date Title Notes Director Budget
TBACadaverDiederik Van Rooijen
TBAThe Intruder[22]Deon Taylor
TBAExposureDeon Taylor


  1. 1 2 "Sony Pictures - Divisions". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  2. Lang, Brent (April 12, 2016). "Sony Pictures Chief Tom Rothman Says Movie Business Must Stay Committed to Originality". Variety. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  3. "Los Angeles Times" History of Gems June 12, 1999, Retrieved on 4 April 2016
  4. "Juvenile Stars Of These Movies Work As Long As Asked". The Helena Daily Independent. Helena, Montana. Associated Press. October 8, 1939. p. 4. Retrieved September 11, 2015 via
  5. Thomas, Bob (November 28, 1946). "Future of Movie Cartoons Gloomy As Costs Increase". The Paris News. Paris, Texas. Associated Press. p. 13. Retrieved September 11, 2015 via
  6. 1 2 3 "Screen gems has new iron in fire". Broadcasting: 70. April 13, 1959.
  7. Kleiner, Richard (May 10, 1952). "Video Disc Jockey Rolls Films, Too". Anderson Daily Bulletin. Anderson, Indiana. Retrieved September 11, 2015 via
  8. "Briskin to Form Company". Broadcasting: 52. June 11, 1956.
  9. "SCREEN GEMS BUYS HYGO, UNITED, SETS UP TV OWNERSHIP DIVISION". Broadcasting: 60. December 10, 1956.
  10. "Milwaukee Hosts of Horror table of contents". June 10, 2004. Archived from the original on June 10, 2004. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  11. "Closing credits, The Graham Kennedy Show, date unknown". Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  12. "Columbia, SG complete $24.5 million merger". Broadcasting: 53. December 23, 1968.
  13. 1 2 "Remodeling at Screen Gems". Broadcasting: 39–40. 1974-05-06.
  14. KATHRYN HARRIS "Los Angeles Times" November 25, 1986 Nation, Retrieved on May 31, 2013
  15. "Sale in the works for 'Eden' mini-series". Broadcasting: 45. 1984-01-30.
  16. KATHRYN HARRIS (September 2, 1987) Coke, Tri-Star Confirm Plans for $3.1-Billion Deal Los Angeles Times, Retrieved on August 8, 2013
  17. Manners, Dorothy (August 21, 1952). "Will Rogers Jr. Sign to Make Another Film, for TV This Time". Albuquerque Journal. International News Service. p. 18, col. 5. Retrieved September 11, 2015 via
  18. Staff (November 12, 1952). "No Introduction Needed Here". The Ogden (Utah) Standard Examiner. Retrieved September 11, 2001 via
  19. "Los Angeles Times" Sony Forms New Movie Division December 8, 1998, Retrieved on 4 April 2016
  20. "Corporate Fact Sheet". Sony Pictures Entertainment. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  21. Fleming, Mike (2014-09-23). "'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies' Gets 'GoT' Actors, Screen Gems Buyer". Deadline. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  22. Fleming Jr., Mike (May 14, 2018). "Screen Gems Lands Deon Taylor Thriller 'The Intruder'". Deadline. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.