Focus Features

Focus Features LLC is an American film production and distribution company, owned by Comcast through Universal Pictures, a division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal. Focus Features distributes independent and foreign films in the United States and internationally.

Focus Features LLC
Formerly
USA Films
Subsidiary
IndustryFilm
PredecessorOctober Films
Good Machine
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Founded2002
Headquarters,
Key people
Peter Kujawski (Chairman)
ProductsMotion pictures
OwnerNBCUniversal
(Comcast)
ParentUniversal Pictures
(NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment)
DivisionsFocus World
SubsidiariesGramercy Pictures
High Top Releasing
OTL Releasing
WebsiteOfficial website

History

Focus Features was formed from the 2002 divisional merger of USA Films, Universal Focus and Good Machine. USA Films was created by Barry Diller in 1999 when he purchased October Films and Gramercy Pictures from Seagram and merged the two units together.[1][2]

In March 2004, Focus Features revived Rogue Pictures as a genre label.

In 2014, FilmDistrict was merged into Focus. In May 2015, Gramercy Pictures was revived by Focus as a genre label, that was on action, sci-fi, and horror films.[3]

In February 2016, Focus merged with Universal Pictures International as part of a new strategy to "align the acquisition and production of specialty films in the global market".[4][5][6]

In April 2017, Vine Alternative Investments re-acquired the pre-2008 Rogue film library from Focus Features.[7]

Focus World

In August 2011, Focus Features launched Focus World, a label focusing on the video on demand market with initial plans to distribute 15 films per year, with one film being released per month.[8]

Distributors

Australia

UK

US

Canada

As a distributor, Focus' most successful release in North America to date is Brokeback Mountain, which earned $83 million at the North American box office. However, this is not counting the domestic total of Traffic, which earned $124.1 million under the USA Films banner. The animated film Coraline (which Focus did not produce, but did distribute) was also highly profitable for the company. Although suffering its share of unsuccessful releases, Focus has been consistently profitable, and its international sales arm (unusual among studio specialty film divisions) allows it to receive the foreign as well as domestic revenues from its releases.[9] Its DVD and movie rights revenues are boosted by cult classics including Wet Hot American Summer.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Diller gets back into movies". The Telegraph-Herald. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "Universal Adds Division for Specialty Films". Los Angeles Times. September 28, 1999. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  3. ^ "Focus Revives Gramercy Pictures Label For Genre Films". Deadline Hollywood. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "FOCUS FEATURES AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTIONS TO MERGE OPERATIONS UNDER FOCUS FEATURES BANNER". NBCUniversal. February 4, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  5. ^ "Focus Features Shake-Up: Peter Schlessel Out". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  6. ^ "Focus Features Shake-Up: What's Behind Peter Schlessel's Abrupt Exit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Hipes, Patrick; Hipes, Patrick (April 27, 2017). "New Village Roadshow Co-Owner Vine Acquires Manchester Film Library".
  8. ^ Team, Indiewire (August 23, 2011). "Focus Features Launches VOD Premiere Label Focus World". Indiewire.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Claudia Eller, "Positive cash flow through hits and misses makes Focus Features an attractive asset", Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2010.

External links

9 (2009 animated film)

9 is a 2009 American computer animated science fiction film directed by Shane Acker, written by Pamela Pettler and produced by Jim Lemley, Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov and Dana Ginsburg. The film stars the voice of Elijah Wood as the titular role, alongside other voices of John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau and Fred Tatasciore.The film is based on Acker's Academy Award-nominated 2005 short film of the same name created at the UCLA Animation Workshop . Focus Features released it theatrically on September 9, 2009. It received generally mixed reviews from critics and earned $48.4 million on a $30 million budget. It also received an Annie Award nomination for Best Animated Effects in a Feature Production. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 29, 2009. As of 2019, this is the only adult animated film released by Universal Pictures (under Focus Features) to date.

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot is a 2000 British dance drama film about a boy becoming a professional ballet dancer. It is set in County Durham, North East England during the 1984–85 coal miners' strike. It was produced by Greg Brenman and Jon Finn, music composed by Stephen Warbeck, co-produced by BBC Films, Tiger Aspect Pictures and Working Title Films, distributed by Universal Pictures and Focus Features, written by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry.The film stars Jamie Bell as 11-year-old Billy, an aspiring dancer dealing with the negative stereotype of the male ballet dancer, Gary Lewis as his coal miner father, Jamie Draven as Billy's bullying older brother, and Julie Walters as his ballet teacher. The film was theatrically released on 29 September 2000 by Universal Pictures and Focus Features. It received positive reviews from critics and it earned £72,853,509 on a £3 million budget. In 2001, author Melvin Burgess was commissioned to write the novelisation of the film based on Lee Hall's screenplay. The story was adapted for the West End stage as Billy Elliot the Musical in 2005; it opened in Australia in 2007 and on Broadway in 2008.

Bleecker Street (company)

Bleecker Street is an American film distribution company based in New York City. The company was named after 65 Bleecker Street, the street address of Andrew Karpen's prior company Focus Features.

Boy Erased

Boy Erased is a 2018 American biographical drama film based on Garrard Conley's 2016 memoir of the same name. It is written for the screen and directed by Joel Edgerton, who also produced with Kerry Kohansky Roberts and Steve Golin. The film stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Edgerton, and follows the son of Baptist parents who is forced to take part in a gay conversion therapy program.

Boy Erased premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 1, 2018, and also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was theatrically released in the United States on November 2, 2018, by Focus Features and grossed over $11 million worldwide. It received generally positive reviews from critics, who mostly praised the performances of the cast, and received various award nominations, including two Golden Globe Award nominations: Best Actor for Hedges and Best Original Song for "Revelation". The film won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release at the 30th GLAAD Media Awards.

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 American romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee and produced by Diana Ossana and James Schamus. Adapted from the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx, the screenplay was written by Ossana and Larry McMurtry. The film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams and depicts the complex emotional and sexual relationship between Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist in the American West from 1963 to 1983.The film received critical acclaim and commercial success. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Best Picture and Best Director at the British Academy Film Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Producers Guild of America Awards, Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards, among others. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, the most nominations at the 78th Academy Awards, where it won three—Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score—though it lost the Best Picture award to Crash in a controversial Oscars upset.In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It is currently the most recent film chosen to be in the Registry.

Coraline (film)

Coraline is a 2009 American 3D stop-motion animated dark fantasy horror film directed by Henry Selick and based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel of the same name. Produced by Laika as its first feature film, Coraline depicts an adventurous girl named Coraline finding an idealized parallel world behind a secret door in her new home, unaware that the alternative world contains a dark and sinister secret.

The film was released in United States theaters on February 6, 2009 by Focus Features after a world premiere at the Portland International Film Festival, and received critical acclaim. The film made $16.85 million during opening weekend, ranking third at the box office, and by the end of its run had grossed over $124 million worldwide. Coraline won Annie Awards for Best Music in an Animated Feature Production, Best Character Design in an Animated Feature Production and Best Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, and received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Animated Feature.

FilmDistrict

FilmDistrict Distribution, LLC was an American motion picture company based in Los Angeles. It specialized in acquisitions, distribution, production, and financing. FilmDistrict was founded in August 2010 by Peter Schlessel in partnership with Graham King and Timothy Headington.

FilmDistrict's releases were distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for home and media markets, and after early 2014 those operations were handled by Focus Features and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment respectively, with the exception of Red Dawn which was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. FilmDistrict was dissolved into Focus Features in 2014. Soul Surfer, Drive, Looper, Evil Dead and Pompeii were retained by TriStar Pictures after 2014.

Good Machine

Good Machine was an independent film production, film distribution, and foreign sales company started in the early 1990s by its co-founders and producers, Ted Hope and James Schamus. David Linde joined as a partner in the late 1990s and also started the international sales company Good Machine International. They sold the company to Universal Pictures, where it was then merged with USA Films to create Focus Features. Hope, along with the heads of production development and business affairs (Anthony Bregman, Anne Carey, and Diana Victor) then went on to form the independent production company This is that corporation. Schamus and Linde became Co-Presidents of Focus Features.In 2001, the Museum of Modern Art celebrated the tenth anniversary of Good Machine's work, commemorating their support of international and domestic filmmakers.

Gramercy Pictures

Gramercy Pictures is a currently dormant American film production label of Universal Studios' Focus Features division, both of which are owned by NBCUniversal which is ultimately owned by Comcast. It was founded in May 1992 as a joint venture between PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Universal Pictures. Gramercy was the distributor of PolyGram films in the United States and Canada and also served as Universal's art-house division. After Seagram's buyout of PolyGram, Gramercy along with October Films were merged by Barry Diller to form USA Films in 1999. In 2015, Focus Features (the current art-house division for Universal) revived the name as a label for action, horror and sci-fi genre films; the label went silent after the release of Ratchet & Clank.

Harriet (film)

Harriet is an upcoming biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons, who wrote the screenplay with Gregory Allen Howard. It is based on the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad. It stars Cynthia Erivo as Tubman, with Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles and Janelle Monáe in supporting roles.

It is scheduled to be released on November 1, 2019, by Focus Features.

Hollywoodland

Hollywoodland is a 2006 American period mystery film directed by Allen Coulter and written by Paul Bernbaum. The story presents a fictionalized account of the circumstances surrounding the death of actor George Reeves (played by Ben Affleck), the star of the 1950s film Superman and the Mole Men and television series Adventures of Superman. Adrien Brody stars as a fictional character, Louis Simo, a private detective investigating Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), who was involved in a long romantic relationship with Reeves and was the wife of MGM studio executive Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins). Reeves had ended the affair and had become engaged to a younger woman, aspiring actress Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney).

Development for Hollywoodland began in 2001 when Focus Features purchased Bernbaum's script, titled Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Michael and Mark Polish were set to direct with Benicio del Toro in the lead role, but Focus Features placed the film in turnaround to Miramax Films the following year. Ultimately, Truth, Justice, and the American Way became a joint production between the two studios and filming commenced in May 2005, with veteran television director Coulter making his feature film directorial debut. Due to copyright issues with DC Comics, the film was retitled Hollywoodland and released to generally positive reviews.

Irresistible (upcoming film)

Irresistible is an upcoming comedy film written and directed by Jon Stewart. It stars Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, Mackenzie Davis and Topher Grace.

Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings is a 2016 American stop-motion action fantasy film directed and produced by Travis Knight (in his directorial debut). It stars the voices of Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, and Matthew McConaughey. It is the fourth feature film produced by Laika. The film revolves around Kubo, a young boy who wields a magical shamisen (a Japanese stringed instrument) and whose left eye was stolen during infancy. Accompanied by an anthropomorphic snow monkey and beetle, he must subdue his mother's corrupted Sisters and his power-hungry grandfather Raiden (The Moon King), who is responsible for stealing his left eye.

Kubo premiered at Melbourne International Film Festival and was released by Focus Features in the United States on August 19 to critical acclaim and grossed $77 million worldwide against a budget of $60 million. The film won the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film at the 70th British Academy Film Awards and at the 89th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Visual Effects, becoming the second animated film ever to be nominated in the latter category following 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the first film to be nominated for both.

Milk (film)

Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Dustin Lance Black, the film stars Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as Dan White, a city supervisor who assassinated Milk and Mayor George Moscone.

Attempts to put Milk's life to film followed a 1984 documentary of his life and the aftermath of his assassination, titled The Times of Harvey Milk, which was loosely based upon Randy Shilts's biography, The Mayor of Castro Street (the film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for 1984, and was awarded Special Jury Prize at the first Sundance Film Festival, among other awards). Various scripts were considered in the early 1990s, but projects fell through for different reasons, until 2007. Much of Milk was filmed on Castro Street and other locations in San Francisco, including Milk's former storefront, Castro Camera.

Milk was released on November 26, 2008 by Focus Features. Its release date was tied to the 2008 California voter referendum on gay marriage, Proposition 8, when it made its premiere at the Castro Theatre two weeks before Election Day. The film was released to much acclaim and earned numerous accolades from film critics and guilds for Penn's performance, Van Sant's directing, and the screenplay, it received 8 Oscar nominations at the 81st Academy Awards, including Best Picture and went on to win two for Best Actor for Penn, his second Oscar, and Best Original Screenplay for Black.

Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals is a 2016 American neo-noir psychological thriller film written, produced and directed by Tom Ford, based on the 1993 novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. The film stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, and Michael Sheen. The plot follows an art gallery owner as she reads the new novel written by her first husband and begins to see the similarities between it and their former relationship.

Principal photography began on October 5, 2015, in Los Angeles. The film premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival on September 2, 2016 and was released in North America on November 18, 2016, by Focus Features. It received largely positive reviews and grossed over $32 million worldwide.Nocturnal Animals was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. It received numerous accolades, including Shannon earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 89th Academy Awards. It also received nine BAFTA Award nominations and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay, plus a Best Supporting Actor win for Taylor-Johnson.

ParaNorman

ParaNorman is a 2012 American stop-motion animated dark fantasy comedy horror film, produced by Laika and distributed by Focus Features. Directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, from a screenplay by Butler, it stars the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, Jodelle Ferland, Tempestt Bledsoe, Alex Borstein and John Goodman. It is the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces, and only the second to be shot in 3D. In the film, Norman, a young boy who can communicate with ghosts, is given the task of ending a 300 year-old witch's curse on his Massachusetts town, despite being grounded by his father.

ParaNorman was released on August 17, 2012. It received mainly positive reviews and was a modest box office success, earning $107 million worldwide against its budget of $60 million. The film was nominated for that year's Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film.

Suffragette (film)

Suffragette is a 2015 British historical period drama film about women's suffrage in the United Kingdom, directed by Sarah Gavron and written by Abi Morgan. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, and Meryl Streep.Filming began on 24 February 2014. It is the first feature film to be shot in the Houses of Parliament. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 12 October 2015 by French film company Pathé through their British distributor 20th Century Fox with a limited release in the United States on 23 October 2015 by Focus Features.

The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls is a 2014 American stop-motion animated fantasy comedy film. Produced by Laika, it was directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi with a screenplay by Irena Brignull and Adam Pava, based on the novel Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow. The film tells the story of Eggs, a human boy raised by trash-collecting trolls, known as "Boxtrolls", as he attempts to save them from Archibald Snatcher, a pest exterminator. The film introduces Isaac Hempstead-Wright as the voice of Eggs and features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Dee Bradley Baker, Steve Blum, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, and Simon Pegg.The film was released on September 26, 2014, by Focus Features, to generally positive reviews from critics. The film earned $109 million on a $60 million budget. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Working Title Films

Working Title is a British film and television production company owned by Universal Pictures. The company was founded by Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe in 1984. It produces feature films and several television productions. Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan are now the co chairmen of the company.

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