|Industry||Film, cable television|
|Founded||1983New York, New York, United Statesin|
|Len Amato (president)|
|Products||Films, miniseries, television programs|
|Parent|| Home Box Office, Inc. |
(WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group)
HBO Films (formerly called HBO Premiere Films and HBO Pictures) is an American production and distribution company, a division of the cable television network HBO that produces feature films and miniseries. The division produces fiction and non-fiction works, primarily for distribution to their own customers, though recently the company has been funding theatrical releases.
HBO Films slates three or four films per year and develops most them internallywith theatrical films being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
After or around 1978, HBO was involved into preproduction financing films for exclusive pay-TV rights, which is risky as the films could be unpopular while alienated movie studios.The original Silver Screen Partners, L.P. was organized by Roland W. Betts, New York film investment broker to fund movies for HBO in 1982. The limited partnership sold through E.F. Hunton were oversubscribe and raised $83 million. HBO made a 50% guarantee on their investment for exclusive cable rights. HBO then joined with Columbia Pictures and CBS to form TriStar Pictures, which was expected to become a major film studio, in 1983. HBO sold half of its ownership in TriStar in 1986.
HBO Premiere Films began in 1983 as a telefilm and miniseries production company with an "ambitious production schedule" for the HBO channel. With the high expense of theatrical film exclusive, those films appeared on multiple pay TV channels. Thus, the unit was started to give the channel some exclusives. The company's first head, Jane Deknatel (an English-born television veteran), projected the unit would do 24 projects in 1984 and 50 a few years later. HBO Premiere Films was funding the productions at 60% for just the pay TV rights. Their first film, The Terry Fox Story , shown in May 1983was also the first feature film produced expressly for pay television. Two more films were produced and shown in 1983.
By the end of the first year the schedule was cut back and the unit moved into producing theatrical films. In January 1984, Donald March took over the company from Deknatel as senior vice president. He canceled a dozen projects in development and was reassessing star vehicle productions as being done as vanity projects. A production for each month from July to November was the new plan with a push for additional rights beyond pay TV rights, like foreign theatrical, home video and network television. In January 1984, a telefilm and HBO Premiere Films' first two mini-series, All the Rivers Run then Far Pavilions were cablecast.HBO Pictures started winning Emmy Awards in 1993 with two for Barbarians at the Gate and Stalin .
Around November 1996, John Matoian was appointed as president of HBO Pictures reporting to HBO chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes. Bewkes decided by April 1999 that he want a single original programming division. Programming president Chris Albrecht oversaw original series development, specials and miniseries and was selected over Matoian. Matoian resigned because he lost his direct reporting status and would have reported to Albrecht. Executive vice president of HBO NYC Colin Callender, who reported to Matoian, was promoted to take over as president of HBO Pictures.
In October 1999, HBO NYC Productions was merged into HBO Pictures and renamed HBO Films under division president Callender. HBO Films Development Unit was also formed by November 1999.
Prior to July 2003, HBO Films made individual distribution deal for their films. The company formed its theatrical distribution division, HBO Films Domestic Theatrical Releasing, that month with a distribution label partnership pact with Fine Line Features and the hiring of Dennis O’Connor, United Artists marketing vice-president, as division head. The pact negotiation was started due a single distribution film deal between Fine Line and HBO Films for American Splendor . HBO Films Domestic Theatrical Releasing's first release was Elephant on October 24, 2003.In 2005, HBO Films Domestic Theatrical Releasing and Fine Line were effectively merged with Warner Bros. (WB) decided HBO and New Line Cinema should form a new smaller and niche films distribution arm, Picturehouse.
Len Amato, producer and as the president of Spring Creek Productions, was appointed HBO Films senior vice president in March 2007.In 2008, Picturehouse was discontinued with distribution being handled by WB's main distribution arm. HBO Films exited the theatrical film market with Picturehouse's closure. With Callender leaving to form his own production company in late 2008, no division president is appointed with department heads becoming president of their departments, Kary Antholis at HBO Miniseries, and Amato at HBO Films. Both answered to president of programming group/West Coast operations, Michael Lombardo.
|Movie||Date Released||Gross viewers |
|Behind the Candelabra||May 26, 2013||11.45|
|Taking Chance||February 21, 2009||10.45|
|Lackawanna Blues||February 12, 2005||10.14|
|Game Change||March 10, 2012||10.04|
|Something the Lord Made||May 30, 2004||9.75|
|The Wizard of Lies||May 20, 2017||8.93|
|Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee||May 27, 2007||8.00|
|Temple Grandin||February 06, 2010||7.80|
|Iron Jawed Angels||February 15, 2004||7.80|
|Grey Gardens||April 18, 2009||7.45|
The films produced by the company have garnered hundreds of Primetime Emmy Awards, 694 nominations with 162 wins,and Golden Globe Awards. HBO Films productions have won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie every year from 1993 to 2015, except for four years. Elephant is the first film produced by HBO Films to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Life According to Sam is a 2013 documentary film produced by HBO Films and based on the life of Sam Berns and has been shown at film festivals, including Sundance, and it was broadcast on HBO in October. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it was among 15 documentaries considered for Oscar nominations.
HBO Showcase was started as a second film banner for HBO in 1986 to expand the boundary of drama. Age Old Friends (1989) was the unit's first production to earn an Emmy Award. In 1996, HBO Showcase was expanded and given a new name HBO NYC Productions.
In April 1999, Colin Callender, executive VP of HBO NYC, was promoted to be HBO Pictures president.In October 1999, HBO NYC Productions was merged into HBO Pictures and renamed HBO Films under division president Callender.
In 2002 Keri Putnam was named the Executive Vice President of Movies and Mini-series at HBO Films before moving to Miramax Films in 2006.
Warner Media, LLC, doing business as WarnerMedia, is an American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate owned by AT&T and headquartered at the 30 Hudson Yards complex in New York City, United States. It was originally formed in 1990 from the merger of Time Inc. and the original Warner Communications, and was formerly known as Time Warner from 1990 to 2001 and from 2003 until 2018. The company has film, television and cable operations, with its assets including WarnerMedia Studios & Networks ; WarnerMedia News & Sports ; WarnerMedia Sales & Distribution ; and WarnerMedia Direct.
Lorimar Productions, Inc., later known as Lorimar Television and Lorimar Distribution, was an American production company that was later a subsidiary of Warner Bros., active from 1969 until 1993. It was founded by Irwin Molasky, Merv Adelson, and Lee Rich. The company's name was a portmanteau of Adelson's then wife, Lori, and McClellan-Palomar Airport in San Diego.
New Line Productions, Inc., doing business as New Line Cinema, is an American film production studio and a label of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group division of Warner Bros. Entertainment. It was founded in 1967 by Robert Shaye as an independent film distribution company, later becoming a film studio. It was acquired by Turner Broadcasting System in 1994; Turner later merged with Time Warner in 1996, and New Line was merged with Warner Bros. Pictures in 2008. New Line continues to distribute its films albeit as a part of Warner Bros. Pictures, rather than as a separate media company alongside the latter.
TriStar Pictures, Inc. is an American film studio and production company that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment's Sony Pictures, itself is a subsidiary of the Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony Group Corporation. TriStar Pictures is a sister studio of the older Sony studio Columbia Pictures.
Antony Root is a British television executive and producer. He has worked in the United Kingdom and in the United States. He is currently the executive vice-president of HBO Europe.
Picturehouse is an American independent entertainment company owned by CEO Bob Berney and COO Jeanne R. Berney. Based in Los Angeles, the company specializes in film marketing and distribution, both in the U.S. and internationally. Its releases have included Nimród Antal’s Metallica Through the Never, a live performance/action thriller hybrid film which opened with an exclusive IMAX run and was a Grammy Award nominee for Best Music Film, and Adam Wingard’s Sundance Film Festival selection The Guest, an Independent Spirit Award nominee starring Dan Stevens.
Edgar J. Scherick was an Emmy Award-winning American television executive and producer of television miniseries, made-for-television films, and theatrical motion pictures.
20th Century Animation, Inc. is an animation production studio, organized as a division of Walt Disney Studios. Originally formed in 1994 as a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, the studio is located in Century City, Los Angeles, and is tasked with producing feature-length films. Blue Sky Studios, the primary unit of 20th Century Animation, was shut down on April 7, 2021.
Home Box Office (HBO) is an American pay television network owned by WarnerMedia Studios & Networks and the flagship property of namesake parent subsidiary Home Box Office, Inc. Maintaining a general entertainment format, programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television programs as well as made-for-cable movies, documentaries and occasional comedy and concert specials.
CBS Media Ventures is an American television production and distribution company owned by CBS Entertainment Group, a division of ViacomCBS.
Sir Colin Nigel Callender is an English television, film and theater producer. He is the CEO at Playground Entertainment, a production company with offices in New York and London.
Casey Silver is an American film executive and producer.
Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO) is an American multinational media and entertainment company operating as a unit of WarnerMedia Studios & Networks, and controlled by AT&T through mass media and entertainment subsidiary WarnerMedia.
Annapurna Pictures is an independent American media company founded by Megan Ellison in 2011. Annapurna specializes in film production, live theatre production, television through its Annapurna Television division, and video game publishing through its Annapurna Interactive division.
A24 is an American independent entertainment company founded on August 20, 2012, by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel, and John Hodges that specializes in film and television production, as well as film distribution. It is based in New York City.
STX Financing, LLC, doing business as STX Entertainment, was a mini-major American entertainment and media company that creates, produces, distributes, finances and markets film, television and digital media, which includes live events and virtual reality.
Warner Bros. Pictures, doing business as Warner Bros. Pictures Group, is an American film production and distribution company owned by the WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group through its subsidiary Warner Bros. Entertainment. Headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California, it is the flagship label of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which is part of AT&T's WarnerMedia.
Bob Berney is an American independent film executive based in Los Angeles. Currently, he is the CEO of Picturehouse, an independent motion picture marketing and distribution company that acquires, markets and distributes films from the U.S. and around the world. Most recently, Picturehouse has announced that it will release Fatima, a historical drama directed by Marco Pontecorvo and starring Joaquim de Almeida, Goran Višnjić, Stephanie Gil, Lúcia Moniz, Sônia Braga and Harvey Keitel.