Imagine Entertainment

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Imagine Entertainment
Private
Industry Film
Production company
PredecessorImagine Films Entertainment
FoundedNovember 1985;34 years ago (1985-11)
Founder Brian Grazer
Ron Howard
Headquarters150 South El Camino Drive, ,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Brian Grazer (Chairman)
Ron Howard (Chairman)
Michael Rosenberg (Co-Chairman)
ProductsFeature films, TV series
OwnerBrian Grazer
Ron Howard
Divisions Imagine Features
Imagine Television Studios
Imagine Documentaries
Imagine Kids+Family
Subsidiaries Jax Media
Website imagine-entertainment.com

Imagine Entertainment (formerly Imagine Films Entertainment and also known simply as Imagine) is an American film and television production company founded in November 1985 by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer.

Contents

Co-founders Ron Howard and Brian Grazer at a Tribeca Film Festival panel on A Beautiful Mind Ron Howard Brian Grazer 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Co-founders Ron Howard and Brian Grazer at a Tribeca Film Festival panel on A Beautiful Mind

Background

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard met in 1982 on Night Shift , with Howard directing and Grazer co-producing. They followed it up by working on 1984's Splash . [1]

History

Imagine Films Entertainment

The company was originally founded in November 1985, following the success of the motion picture Splash . The company went public the following year. At first, the company set a deal with Tri-Star Pictures to produce feature films and television shows. Imagine granted Tri-Star the right of first refusal to syndicate their off-network shows produced by Imagine. Its offering was sold to Allen & Co. for 1,667,000 units for common stock and warrant it to purchase additional one-third of its stock. The net proceeds were used for development and production of theatrical films, television series, mini-series and made for television movies, although "the company does not presently intend to develop game shows or daytime soap operas." Imagine however has its prospectus having negotiations with Paramount Television for a commitment with ABC for a half-hour pilot and five episodes based on the comedy film Gung Ho . [2]

Later the same year, Imagine had a five-year deal with Showtime/The Movie Channel, Inc. and it was able to develop projects for the channels Showtime and The Movie Channel. The agreement will kick-off with 1989 pay television availabilities and include pay-per view exhibition rights to all Imagine-produced films and about 30 motion pictures and "an unspecified number of original products" are also covered by the agreement. "Long-form dramas" or series may be developed as part of the original material to be developed and aired exclusively on Showtime, adding that it may also acquire the syndication rights to these films and original products. [3] [4]

On July 29, 1987, Tri-Star Pictures and Imagine Films Entertainment announced the termination of obligations by Imagine to offer Tri-Star distribution rights for all of its television programming and feature films. Imagine, which has received more than $1.7 million from Tri-Star, will make a $1.3 million payment to Tri-Star, the companies said and advances from Tri-Star will be eliminated. The companies said they "intend to work together on a project-by-project basis" and that projects already in development won't be affected. Imagine said the modified agreement "provides it with the flexibility to pursue certain financing and distribution opportunities which were not anticipated when the companies entered the original agreement." [5]

On December 1, 1987, the company sealed a production and distribution deal with Universal Pictures via a "long-term multiple picture agreement" that they distributed Imagine's films for three to five films a year and the agreement "contemplates the possibility" that Universal acquired a 20% share in Imagine [6] [1] and it will conclude through November 1992 for financing 50% of 30 films. Imagine had an IPO in 1986 at $8 for a package of one share and one warrant. Shares rose to $19.25 before falling in the stock market crash in 1987 to $2.25. In the summer of next year, Imagine struck a deal with MCA TV to handle distribution of its television material. MCA and Imagine will have a joint television venture which MCA has the exclusive network and home video distribution rights. Imagine retains domestic distribution rights for now and is banking on those rights becoming more valuable in the future as its theatrical and television programs gain exposure. Imagine's television division will focus on half-hour comedies, whereas MCA will focus one-hour programs for the networks. [7] [8]

In the September of 1988, Robert Harris who was employee of MCA, and president of Universal Television Group joined the company as president of motion pictures and television. Harris said the studio is also taking original feature cable projects with Showtime, HBO, TNT, USA and MTV Network (which includes Nickelodeon and VH-1, in addition to projects with on-air networks) [8]

On May 29, 1989, Imagine and Central Independent Television signed a deal to make TV movies for the worldwide business. The new joint venture will produce between four to six TV movies and mini-series a year. MCA who owns about 20% of Imagine and has worldwide distribution rights to its TV series as well as to its long-form programs on a project-by-project basis will also have first consideration on international distribution rights to the joint venture's programs. Imagine and Central retain rights in the U.S. and UK, respectively. [The Imagine-Central joint venture is separate from MCA's own ongoing exploration of a joint venture with a European company for Europe-based long-form co-production. The company is in discussions with two or three potential partners, but a deal is not expected soon.] Its projects must have U.S. and UK presales to go forward, although the venture will seek U.S. buyers going beyond the three big commercial networks to include Fox, as well as cable networks TNT, USA Network, Showtime and HBO. The deal also allows for theatrical distribution, although such co-productions are not in the planning now. [9]

Imagine and Second City signed a joint venture deal in May 1989. In the September of 1989, Imagine is entering syndication production business and signed a long-term co-production deal with Second City Entertainment, for a late night talk/comedy strip that was distributed by MCA TV. It will use the ready talent pool of Second City comedians. The result is My Talk Show , which aired in the 1990-91 season. [8] As HA!: The Comedy Network is ready to air in 1990, they stuck deals with Imagine Films Entertainment, for series featuring the Second City Repertory Company, as well as MTM Enterprises. [10]

In 1991, Imagine Films Entertainment shut down its original Imagine Television division, and terminating its exclusive production partnership with MCA, Inc., and it will lay off 30 of its 80 employees of its company. It came when the series My Talk Show , and Paernthood flopped. Andrew Suskind, Joyce Brotman, Todd Bergesen, Richard Pierson, Judy Ranam and Lisa Bloom left the company. [11]

By May 1992, 48% of the stock was public traded and worth $9.375. The duo agreed to a new six picture deal with Universal while concurrently offering $9 a share to buy the company's public outstanding share to start a new company with its assets. If not, they planned to leave the company at their contract expiration in November to start the new company anyway. Universal was providing the cash for a buyout of an equity stake in the new company. [4]

Imagine Entertainment

In early 1997, Imagine Entertainment reopened its television division, signed a deal with Walt Disney Television for the development of TV series, which will expire at the end of 2000. It's movie contract remained with Universal. It boosts up their access to Disney's TV production slate. Imagine will be exclusive for development and production of TV projects, including half-hour comedy series, one-hour dramas, motion pictures for TV and miniseries. [12] [13] They hired Tony Krantz to be co-chairman of its television division, and it will share a stake in the television division with its founders Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, while overseeing the TV division's day-to-day operations. [14]

In 2000, the partnership teamed up with 20th Century Fox for development of TV series, an agreement set to expire at the end of 2016. [1] In 2011, the company had three weak box office performers with The Dilemma, Cowboys & Aliens and Tower Heist. Because of their weak financial pact renewal with Universal in January 2012, Imagine laid off 5 employees, including production executive Jeremy Steckler. [15] This also moves Imagine from exclusive to a first-look deal. By 2013, Imagine was considering other funding methods for the company's films including crowdfunding for a Friday Night Lights movie. [16]

In November 2013, Michael Rosenberg was promoted to co-chairman followed in December 2013, with Erica Huggins being promoted to his previous position as president. [17] Industry insiders indicated in late January 2016 that a deal with Raine Group was in the works that would have Raine become a partner of the production company while contributing $100 million. [1]

In 2017, Imagine had made a six-picture deal with Warner Bros. and Australian visual effects/animation studio Animal Logic to develop, finance, and produce six animated/live-action films. [18] [19]

In 2018, Imagine acquired a controlling stake in Jax Media. [20]

In December 2019, Imagine Entertainment CEO Rich Battista left the company after only less than 4 months since being appointed in late August. [21]

Filmography

Feature-film division

The feature-film division has participated in over sixty productions and is associated with Universal Pictures, [22] which has distributed many of Imagine's productions, some with other studios. Erica Huggins was hired as senior vice president of motion picture production and was elevated to executive vice president in 2006, and later to co-president of production in 2010. [17]

Theatrical films

1980s
YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
1987 Like Father Like Son
Tri-Star Pictures
only film produced under a production pact with Tri-Star Pictures; first film
1988 Willow
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
with Lucasfilm Ltd.
Vibes
Columbia Pictures
Clean and Sober
Warner Bros. Pictures
1989 The 'Burbs
Universal Pictures
first film under a production pact with Universal Pictures [4]
The Dream Team
Parenthood [1]
1990s
YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
1990 Cry-Baby
Universal Pictures
Opportunity Knocks with Brad Grey Productions and Meledandri-Gordon Company; international distribution by Carolco Pictures
Kindergarten Cop [4]
Problem Child with Robert Simonds Productions [4]
1991 The Doors
Tri-Star Pictures
with Carolco Pictures
Closet Land
Universal Pictures
Backdraft with Trilogy Entertainment Group
Problem Child 2 with Robert Simonds Productions
My Girl
Columbia Pictures
1992 Far and Away
Universal Pictures
[4]
HouseSitter
Boomerang
Paramount Pictures
with Eddie Murphy Productions
1993 CB4
Universal Pictures
Cop and a Half
For Love or Money
1994 My Girl 2
Columbia Pictures
Greedy
Universal Pictures
The Paper
The Cowboy Way
1995 Apollo 13
1996 Sgt. Bilko
Fear
The Nutty Professor [15]
Ransom
Buena Vista Pictures
with Touchstone Pictures
The Chamber
Universal Pictures
with Davis Entertainment
1997 Liar Liar
Inventing the Abbotts
20th Century Fox
1998 Mercury Rising
Universal Pictures
Psycho
1999 EDtv
Life
Bowfinger
2000s
YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
2000 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
Universal Pictures
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
2001 A Beautiful Mind with DreamWorks Pictures [1]
2002 Undercover Brother
Blue Crush
Stealing Harvard
Sony Pictures Releasing
with Columbia Pictures and Revolution Studios
8 Mile
Universal Pictures
with Mikona Productions GmbH & Co. KG [15]
2003 Intolerable Cruelty with Mike Zoss Productions
The Missing
Sony Pictures Releasing
with Columbia Pictures and Revolution Studios
The Cat in the Hat
Universal Pictures
with DreamWorks Pictures
2004 The Alomo
Buena Vista Pictures
with Touchstone Pictures
Friday Night Lights
Universal Pictures
[1]
2005 Inside Deep Throat with HBO Documentary Films and World of Wonder
Cinderella Man with Buena Vista International, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax Films and Parkway Productions
Flightplan
Buena Vista Pictures
with Touchstone Pictures
Fun with Dick and Jane
Sony Pictures Releasing
with Columbia Pictures and JC 23 Entertainment
2006 Curious George
Universal Pictures
with Universal Animation Studios
Inside Man with 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks [1]
The Da Vinci Code
Sony Pictures Releasing
with Columbia Pictures and Skylark Productions
2007 American Gangster
Universal Pictures
with Relativity Media and Scott Free Productions
2008 Changeling with Relativity Media and Malpaso Productions
Frost/Nixon with StudioCanal and Working Title Films
2009 Angels & Demons
Sony Pictures Releasing
with Columbia Pictures and Skylark Productions
2010s
YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
2010 Robin Hood
Universal Pictures
with Relativity Media and Scott Free Productions
2011 The Dilemma with Spyglass Entertainment and Wild West Picture Show Productions [15]
Take Me Home Tonight
Relativity Media
with Rogue
Cowboys & Aliens
Universal Pictures
with DreamWorks Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, K/O Paper Products, Fairview Entertainment and Platinum Studios; international distribution by Paramount Pictures [15]
Restless
Sony Pictures Classics
with Columbia Pictures
Tower Heist
Universal Pictures
with Relativity Media [15]
J. Edgar
Warner Bros. Pictures
with Malpaso Productions and Wintergreen Productions
2012 Katy Perry: Part of Me
Paramount Pictures
with AEG Live, EMI Music, Perry Productions, Pulse Films, Magical Elves Productions, Splinter Films, MTV Films and Insurge Pictures
2013 Rush
Universal Pictures
independently financed; with Exclusive Media, Cross Creek Pictures, Working Title Films and Revolution Films
2014 Get on Up with Jagged Films and Wyolah Films
The Good Lie
Warner Bros. Pictures
with Alcon Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment and Black Label Media
2015 In the Heart of the Sea with Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, COTT Productions, Enelmar Productions A.I.E., Roth Films, Spring Creek Pictures and Kia Jam [1]
2016 Pelé: Birth of a Legend
IFC Films
with Seine Pictures
Inferno
Sony Pictures Releasing
with Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital, LSG Productions and Mid Atlantic Films
2017 Lowriders
Universal Pictures
with BH Tilt and Telemundo
The Dark Tower
Sony Pictures Releasing
with Columbia Pictures, Weed Road Pictures and MRC
American Made
Universal Pictures
with Cross Creek Pictures, Hercules Film Fund, Quadrant Pictures and Vendian Entertainment
2018 Solo: A Star Wars Story
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
with Lucasfilm [23]
The Spy Who Dumped Me
Lionsgate
with Bron Studios [24]
2019 Pavarotti
CBS Films
with PolyGram Entertainment, Decca Records and White Horse Pictures
Future
YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
July 31, 2020 Rebuilding Paradise National Geographic Documentary Films [25]
TBA Julia
Sony Pictures Classics
[26]
The Shrinking of Treehorn
Paramount Pictures
[27]
new Friday Night Lights film
Universal Pictures
[28]

Direct-to video films

2000s
YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
2009 Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
with Universal Animation Studios
2010s
YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
2015 Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
with Universal 1440 Entertainment and Universal Animation Studios
2016 Kindergarten Cop 2 with Universal 1440 Entertainment and Where's Arnold Productions [1]
2017 Cop and a Half: New Recruit with Universal 1440 Entertainment, Everywhere Studios and 50 Degrees North Productions
2019 Backdraft 2 with Universal 1440 Entertainment, Rafaella Productions, Nexus Factory, uMedia and Title Media
Undercover Brother 2 with Universal 1440 Entertainment and Hal Lieberman Company

2020s

YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
2020 Dads AppleTV+ [29]
Future
YearTitleDistributorNotesReferences
TBA Hillbilly Elegy
Netflix
Tick, Tick... Boom! with 5000 Broadway Productions [30]

Television division

Its television division, Imagine Television has participated in at least twenty productions and is associated with 20th Century Fox Television.

Television productions

Year(s)TitleNetwork/ChannelNotes
1986–1987 Gung Ho
ABC
with Paramount Television and Four Way Productions
1987–1988 Ohara with Warner Bros. Television and M'ass Production
1987 Take Five
CBS
with TriStar Television and Empire City Presentations
1989 Knight & Daye
NBC
1990–1991 Parenthood
My Talk Show
Syndication
with Second City Entertainment and MCA TV
1997–1998 Hiller and Diller
ABC
with Touchstone Television
1998 From the Earth to the Moon
HBO
1998–2000 Sports Night
ABC
with Touchstone Television
1998–2002 Felicity
The WB
1999–2001 The PJs
FOX/The WB
with The Murphy Company, Will Vinton Studios, and Touchstone Television
2000 Wonderland
ABC/The 101 Network
with Touchstone Television
Rat Bastard
UPN
Pilot
2001 The Beast
ABC
with Touchstone Television
2001–10 24 [1]
FOX
with Real Time Productions, Teakwood Lane Productions, and 20th Century Fox Television
2003 Miss Match
NBC
with Darren Star Productions and 20th Century Fox Television
2003–06
2013–present
Arrested Development [16]
FOX/Netflix
with The Hurwitz Company and 20th Century Fox Television
2004 The Big House
ABC
with 20th Century Fox Television
2004–05 Quintuplets
FOX
with Mark Reisman Productions and 20th Century Fox Television
2005 The Inside with Reamworks and 20th Century Fox Television
2006 Saved
TNT
with Sarabande Productions and Fox 21
2006–2015 Curious George
PBS Kids
with WGBH-TV and Universal Animation Studios
2006 Treasure Hunters
NBC
with Magical Elves, Inc. and Madison Road Entertainment
2006–08 Shark
CBS
with Deforestation Services and 20th Century Fox Television
2006–11 Friday Night Lights [16]
NBC
with Film 44 and Universal Media Studios
2008 24: Redemption
FOX
with Teakwood Lane Productions and 20th Century Fox Television
2009–11 Lie to Me with Pagoda Pictures, Samuel Baum Productions, MiddKid Productions, and 20th Century Fox Television
2010–15 Parenthood
NBC
with True Jack Productions, Universal Media Studios, and Universal Television
2011 Friends with Benefits with Big Kid Pictures, Pickle Films, and 20th Century Fox Television
The Playboy Club with Alta Loma Entertainment, Storyland Entertainment, and 20th Century Fox Television
2012 The 84th Academy Awards [31]
ABC
with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Great Escape
TNT
with Profiles Television Productions, The Hochberg Ebersol Company, and Fox Television Studios
2013 How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)
ABC
with Hot Lava Girl Productions and 20th Century Fox Television
2014 Those Who Kill
A&E/Lifetime Movie Network
with One Two One Three Pictures, Miso Film, and Fox 21
24: Live Another Day
FOX
with Teakwood Lane Productions and 20th Century Fox Television
Gang Related with Chris Morgan Productions, Skeeter Rosenbaum Productions, and 20th Century Fox Television
2015–2020 Empire [1] with Lee Daniels Entertainment, Danny Strong Productions, Little Chicken Inc., and 20th Century Fox Television
2015 The Bastard Executioner
FX
with Sutter Ink, FX Productions, and Fox 21 Television Studios
2017 24: Legacy
FOX
with Coto/Katz Productions, Teakwood Lane Productions and 20th Century Fox Television [32]
Shots Fired with Undisputed Cinema and 20th Century Fox Television
2017–present Genius
National Geographic Channel
with Paperboy Productions, OddLot Entertainment, EUE/Sokolow and Fox 21 Television Studios
2019 Why Women Kill
CBS All Access
with CBS Television Studios
2019-present The Conners
ABC
with Jax Media, Mohawk Productions and Sara + Tom
2020-present 68 Whiskey
Paramount Network
with CBS Television Studios, yes Studio and Little City
2020 Filthy Rich
FOX
with Wyolah Films and Fox Entertainment
TBAUntitled Music Comedy [33]
Amazon Instant Video
with Amazon Studios
Problem Child [34]
NBC
with STX Entertainment and NBCUniversal
Untitled Space Show [35]
Nickelodeon
with Nickelodeon Productions
Untitled Willow sequel series [36]
Disney+
with Lucasfilm and MGM Television

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