TriStar Pictures
USINFO | 2013-11-29 17:41

TriStar Pictures, Inc. (spelled as Tri-Star until 1991) is an American film production/distribution studio and subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, itself a subdivision of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, which is owned by Sony Pictures.

The concept for TriStar Pictures came about in 1982 when Columbia Pictures (then a subsidiary of Coca-Cola), HBO, and CBS decided to pool resources to split the ever-growing costs of making movies, creating a new joint venture. On May 16, 1983, it was given the name Tri-Star Pictures (when the new company was formed and did not have an official name, the press used the code-name "Nova", but the name could not be obtained as it was being used as the title for the PBS science series). It was the first new major Hollywood studio to be established since RKO Pictures was founded over 50 years earlier.

Their first production, released in 1984, was The Natural, starring Robert Redford. During this venture, many of Tri-Star's releases were released on VHS by either RCA-Columbia Pictures Home Video (now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), CBS/FOX Video (now CBS Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), or HBO Video. In addition, HBO would gain exclusive cable distribution rights to these films, and broadcast television licenses would go to CBS.

CBS dropped out of the venture in 1985, though they still distributed some of TriStar's films on home video until at least 1992. In 1986, Tri-Star entered into the television business as Tri-Star Television. In 1987, HBO dropped out of the Tri-Star venture as well and on September 7, Columbia Pictures bought their venture shares and merged Columbia and Tri-Star into Columbia Pictures Entertainment, also creating Columbia/Tri-Star. Both companies continued to produce and distribute films under their separate names.

Sony era
In 1989, all of Coke's entertainment holdings were acquired by Sony Corporation of Japan, who merged Columbia and Tri-Star, but continued to use the separate labels. Sony Pictures Entertainment later revived TriStar Television as a television production banner in 1991 and merged with its sister television studio Columbia Pictures Television to form Columbia TriStar Television on February 21, 1994. Both studios continued to operate separately until TriStar folded in 1999 and CPT until 2001.

TriStar was the theatrical distributor for many films produced by Carolco Pictures (the rights to only one of their films, Cliffhanger, has been retained by TriStar).

Around summer 1998, Sony Pictures Entertainment merged Columbia and TriStar to form Columbia TriStar Pictures (or Columbia TriStar Entertainment, Inc. or the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group) but just like Columbia Pictures Entertainment, both divisions continued producing and distributing films under their own names.

TriStar was relaunched in 2004 as a marketing and acquisitions unit that will have a "particular emphasis on genre films."

About the TriStar Pictures logo
The company's logo of a Pegasus (either stationary or flying across the screen), introduced in 1984, has become something of a cultural icon. The second logo was originally painted by Alan Reingold and debuted in 1992, along with sister studio Columbia Pictures, sharing both on-screen logos (as well as Merv Griffin Enterprises) to use the "Cloud BG" featured in Columbia "Torch Lady" logos. The theatrical version was animated by Intralink Creative in 1993. The background is nighttime blue. The clouds are orange.

The short TriStar theme, which accompanied the studio's ident, was composed by Dave Grusin.

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