United International Pictures

United International Pictures is a joint venture of Paramount Pictures (part of Viacom, owned by National Amusements) and Universal Pictures (part of NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast) which distributes some of their films outside the United States and Canada. UIP also had international distribution rights to certain Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists films when MGM was part of the venture. In 2001, MGM left UIP,[1] and signed a distribution deal with 20th Century Fox's overseas arm. The company formerly distributed DreamWorks releases internationally as well.

United International Pictures
Joint venture
PredecessorCinema International Corporation
CIC Video
FoundersArthur Abeles
Lew Wasserman
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
ProductsMotion pictures
OwnerViacom (50%)
NBCUniversal (50%)


Cinema International Corporation

Paramount's early history with MCA dates back to the 1950s, when part of its talent pool worked for Paramount Pictures; Alfred Hitchcock was among the best known. In 1958, MCA purchased the pre-1950 Paramount sound feature film library. In 1962, MCA purchased Universal Studios. In 1966, Gulf+Western purchased Paramount.

In a cost-cutting move, in 1970, as a result of American anti-trust laws, and due to declining movie-going audiences, both Paramount and Universal agreed to merge their international operations into a new company: Cinema International Corporation, registered in England and Wales. It even operated in Canada and the Caribbean until the late 70s, when those territories were considered part of the "domestic" North American market.

In 1973, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer closed down its distribution offices and became a partner in CIC, which took over international distribution for MGM's films; however, United Artists took over the US, Canadian and Caribbean distribution for MGM's films that time. CIC also entered the home video market by forming CIC Video, which distributed Paramount and Universal titles on video worldwide. MGM however, had its own video unit, which later became a joint venture with CBS as MGM/CBS Home Video (later known as MGM/UA Home Video, which was later renamed to MGM Home Entertainment).

United International Pictures

In 1981, MGM merged with United Artists, which had its own international distribution unit. CIC refused to let MGM drop out of the venture at the time, but let them merge UA's overseas arm into CIC, which led to the reorganization of the company as United International Pictures. MGM eventually left the venture in 2001, when it moved its international distribution to 20th Century Fox. The last MGM film to be released through UIP was Hannibal.

In 1986, Ted Turner purchased MGM/UA, but later resold the company except for its film library, which included the pre-May 1986 MGM film and television library and the pre-1950 Warner Bros. film library (which the latter was sold to Associated Artists Productions in 1956, and got acquired by United Artists in 1958). After that library was acquired by Turner, UIP (through MGM/UA) signed a deal to continue distributing the pre-May 1986 MGM and pre-1950 Warner Bros. film libraries for theatrical release.

CIC's name lived on in its video division, which became directly managed as a joint venture of Paramount Home Video and MCA Videocassette, Inc. (later MCA Home Video and MCA/Universal Home Video). CIC Video survived until 1999, when Universal purchased PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and reorganized its video division (which was a joint venture with what is now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and remains so to this day) under the Universal name, while Paramount took over full ownership of CIC Video and merged it under its own video division.

UIP also had a subscription television arm, UIP Pay TV, which distributed Paramount, MGM/UA, and Universal releases to pay TV broadcasters outside the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Anglophone Caribbean. UIP Pay TV was broken up in 1997 after a 4-year investigation by the European Union, as it accused UIP as a cartel-like organisation. The pay TV rights for the films were eventually transferred to Paramount International Television (later renamed CBS Paramount International Television and currently known as CBS Studios International; today, the Paramount films are distributed by Trifecta Entertainment & Media), Universal Worldwide Television (currently known as NBCUniversal International Television Distribution) and MGM Worldwide Television.

2007 reorganization

As the international box office started to exceed the US box office, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures started discussions about the future of United International Pictures under Universal Pictures vice chairman Marc Shmuger and Paramount vice-chairman Rob Friedman. Shmuger completed them with Rob Moore, recently appointed Paramount Pictures president of worldwide marketing and distribution. The two firms agreed countries were UIP would continue operating and on a draft system to select countries were that company would take over UIP operations and the other would have to start up operations. Either may sub-distribute films via the other former UIP countries until 2009. Starting as of January 1, 2007, United International Pictures considerably reduced its international operations. At least 15 key countries are now directly managed separately by Universal, taking over operations in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland and Paramount, taking over operations in Australia, Brazil, France, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the United Kingdom. UIP was planned to continue in Japan, Korea, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.[2] Universal announced in November 2007 a withdrawing from UIP South Korea to set up its own branch at the same time as the other UIP operation cease; Paramount announced in that country CJ Entertainment would be the companies exclusive distributor.[3] UIP president and chief operating officer Andrew Cripps[2] was hired as Paramount Pictures International head. Paramount Pictures International distributed films that made the 1 billion mark in July 2007; the fifth studio that year to do so and it its first year.[4]

Though their Japanese operations were initially planned to be kept intact, United International Pictures withdrew from the Japanese market in late 2007;[5] and as a result, Paramount Pictures started taking their Japanese distribution operations in-house until January 31, 2016 when they formed distribution alliances with TOWA PICTURES Company, Ltd. for Japanese theatrical distribution of their films starting with The Big Short on March 4, 2016,[6] and Universal Pictures Japan also formed distribution alliances with TOHO-TOWA Company, Limited for theatrical distribution[7] and Geneon Entertainment (now NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan) for home entertainment distribution.[8]

In 2002, United International Pictures withdrew from the Finnish market. As a result, their releases in that country later started being handled by Buena Vista International Finland, then in 2006, distribution passed on to national cinema operator Finnkino.

Past organization

The company was formerly based in London, United Kingdom, though their operations in that country are currently being taken over by Paramount Pictures. However, as of 2010, they continue to directly distribute films in 20 countries: Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE and Turkey. In addition, the company has distribution agreements with locally owned distribution companies in a further 43 countries.[9] One such example is Bontonfilm in the Czech Republic, who previously distributed material from CIC & UIP in both the Czech and the Slovak markets.

See also


  1. ^ "Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures to begin self-distribution of films in 15 key countries beginning in January 2007". IndependentFilm.com. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Anne (September 7, 2005). "'End of an Era' for United International Pictures". Backstage. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Whiteman, Bobbie (November 29, 2006). "CJ to carry Paramount pix for South Korea". Variety. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (August 1, 2007). "Paramount joins billion-dollar club". Variety. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  5. ^ "Foreign film distributor closing down". The Japan Times Online. 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  6. ^ Variety Asia Online Archived August 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Show Biz Japan!#7 - JETRO USA - Japan External Trade Organization". Jetro.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  8. ^ "Geneon to Merge with Universal Pictures Japan - News". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
  9. ^ UIP website: Who We Are Retrieved 2012-09-10

External links

A Man Will Rise

A Man Will Rise (originally known as Local Hero) is an uncompleted comedy western film directed by Tony Jaa and Vitidnan Rojanapanich, and starring Jaa, Dolph Lundgren, Conan Stevens, and Byron Gibson. Set in 1950s Thailand, the film follows a local gangster who terrorizes a town. When a young man opposes him, the gangster hires a group of foreign hit men to kill the rebel and silence the town.In January 2013, Jean-Claude Van Damme was rumored to be co-starring alongside Jaa; in reality, he was never available due to scheduling issues, and as a result, Lundgren was cast as an alternative. The film entered production in April 2013, but came to an abrupt halt after three months of filming. Sahamongkol Film International filed a $49–50 million lawsuit against Jaa, Universal Pictures, and United International Pictures, claiming Jaa was in breach of his contract by accepting a role in Fast and Furious 7. After two years of legal proceedings, Sahamongkol dropped the lawsuit in July 2015. Despite this, production of A Man Will Rise has not continued, and the film remains uncompleted.

CIC Video

CIC Video was a home video distributor, established in 1980, owned by Cinema International Corporation (the forerunner of United International Pictures), and operated in some countries (such as United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Japan, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, South Korea, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, Philippines, Chile and Venezuela) by local operators. Outside North America, it distributed films by Universal Pictures (now owned by NBCUniversal/Comcast) and Paramount Pictures (now owned by Viacom, which is owned by National Amusements), CIC's partners. DreamWorks films were added to the company output in 1998, as the fledgling studio had a worldwide video distribution deal with Universal.

When the distributor appointed Karl Oliver from Brooke Bond Batchelors to be its sales and marketing director in 1991, they wanted him to introduce "classic fmcg disciplines" to its marketing campaign. Oliver responded by reducing video cassette prices to and promote impulse purchasing as part of CIC Video's reformed distribution strategy. After the sudden death of CIC Video's president Roy Featherstone of an asthma attack on 17 July 1992 the distributor underwent restructuring with aid from senior Universal and Paramount employees. In 1994, Viacom purchased Paramount Pictures, enabling CIC Video to gain international distribution rights to shows from, among other networks, MTV and Nickelodeon, which came into effect in Australia in 1995 and the UK and other countries in early 1996.

In 1999, CIC Video was dissolved when Universal purchased PolyGram and reorganized its video division under the Universal name. Paramount Home Entertainment became CIC Video's successor. The last videos with the CIC label were released in 2000. Meanwhile, the distributor signed sales and distribution contracts with local market producers in Europe to increase profit and the brand name of CIC Video remained in the short term in markets where Paramount Home Entertainment were absent.

Carry On (franchise)

The Carry On series primarily consists of 31 British comedy motion pictures (1958–1992), four Christmas specials, a television series of thirteen episodes, and three West End and provincial stage plays. The films' humour was in the British comic tradition of the music hall and bawdy seaside postcards. Producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas drew on a regular group of actors, the Carry On team, that included Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth, Hattie Jacques, Terry Scott, Bernard Bresslaw, Barbara Windsor, Jack Douglas, and Jim Dale.

The Carry On series contains the largest number of films of any British series, and it is the longest continually running UK film series, although with a fourteen-year break (1978–1992). Anglo Amalgamated Film Distributors Ltd produced twelve films (1958–1966), the Rank Organisation made eighteen (1966–1978) and United International Pictures made one (1992).

Producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas made all 31 films, usually on time and to a strict budget, and often employed the same crew. Between 1958 and 1992, the series employed seven writers, most often Norman Hudis (1958–1962) and Talbot Rothwell (1963–1974). In between the films, Rogers and Thomas produced four Christmas specials in 1969, 1970, 1972, and 1973, a thirteen episode television series in 1975, and various West End stage shows which later toured the regions.

All the films were made at Pinewood Studios near Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire. Budgetary constraints meant that a large proportion of the location filming was undertaken close to the studios in and around south Buckinghamshire, including areas of Berkshire and Middlesex. However, by the late 1960s (at the height of the series' success) more ambitious plots occasionally necessitated locations further afield, which included Snowdonia National Park, Wales (with the foot of Mount Snowdon standing in for the Khyber Pass in Carry On Up the Khyber), and the beaches of the Sussex coast doubling as Saharan sand dunes in Follow That Camel.

Cinema International Corporation

Cinema International Corporation (CIC) was a film distribution company started by Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures in the early 1970s to distribute the 2 studios' films outside the United States – it even operated in Canada before it was considered part of the "domestic" market.

Diva (TV network)

Diva, formerly Diva Universal, is a woman-based entertainment channel owned by Universal Networks International.

The list of Diva channels includes:

Diva (Asia TV channel)

Diva Universal (Philippines) defunct

Diva Universal (Bulgaria) defunct

Diva Universal (Italy) defunct

Diva Universal (Romania) currently

Diva Universal (Russia) defunct

Diva Adria (Serbia/Croatia/Slovenia)


Finnkino Oy is a Finnish film distributor and the biggest cinema chain in Finland. It was established in 1986 as a union of 34 companies working in the film industry. In 1994 Finnkino was acquired by the Rautakirja Group, which became a division of the Sanoma Group in 1999. Finnkino operates a total of 15 cinemas in eleven cities. It also has subsidiaries in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, operated under the names of Forum Cinemas and Forum Distribution. In early 2017, Finnkino and other Scandinavian and Baltic cinema chains were acquired by AMC Theatres.

Finnkino's biggest movie theatre multiplex is Tennispalatsi in Helsinki and its headquarters are located in Ruskeasuo, Helsinki.

In 2006, Finnkino took over Finnish theatrical distribution for films by United International Pictures' partner studios, Paramount Pictures (including films by DreamWorks) and Universal Pictures, after UIP decided to move its Finnish distribution base from Buena Vista International, which started distributing UIP's films in Finland in 2002 after UIP shut down its Finnish distribution offices. Finnkino had already distributed these studios' films on video for several years. Finnkino distributed Star Wars when the movie's special edition was released. Unlike movie theaters in the United States, Finnkino allows people to bring outside food.

Game One

Game One is a French television channel owned by Viacom International Media Networks Europe.The channel shows several programs based on video gaming. It also airs Japanese anime on a regular basis, such as Fairy Tail, Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Z Kai and Eyeshield 21.


LAPTV (Latin American Pay Television Service) is a Latin American pay television company founded by many cable providers of the region (MVS Comunicaciones, Grupo Cisneros) and many cinema producers/distributors (such as United International Pictures, distributor of Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios) but since 2019 is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company Latin America. It runs several film and television series channels, such as Cinecanal, Fox+ and Film Zone, and previously Moviecity.

List of film distributors by country

This is a list of motion picture distributors, past and present, sorted alphabetically by country.

List of highest-grossing films in Malaysia

The statistics on international films' Box Office in Malaysia has started in 2008. Box Office Mojo is the only website that provides the box office numbers for international films released in Malaysia. However, this does not include the numbers for local films. For top local films gross, please view Cinema of Malaysia. Box Office - Yahoo! Malaysia and Cinema Online Malaysia are two current websites that show the ranking of films weekly inclusive of local films, but not providing any box office number. Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) also provide only the ranking of both local and international films weekly, based on the popularity at its own cinema theatres. The ranking can be accessed at the right bottom corner of GSC's website.

MTV Hits (Europe)

MTV Hits is a 24-hour non-stop of music pop from Viacom International Media Networks Europe that launched on 27 May 2014, replacing MTV Hits UK version. The channel is widely available throughout Europe, except United Kingdom and Ireland.

MTV Music 24

MTV Music 24 (also called MTV Music) is a Dutch pay television music channel of MTV. The programming consists of non-stop music videos 24-hours a day.

Momentum Pictures

Momentum Pictures is a film distributor owned by Entertainment One. Prior to 2013, it was a brand of Canadian distributor Alliance Films used for its releases in the United Kingdom, and was one of the leading independent distributors in the UK and Ireland. Following eOne's purchase of the company, Alliance and its divisions were folded under the eOne brand. The Momentum brand was revived in 2015 as part of a venture with Orion Pictures to jointly acquire films for distribution in North America and international markets.Under Alliance ownership, Momentum's most successful theatrical releases include the films The King's Speech, Amélie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation, Control, Downfall, The Young Victoria, Defiance, Milk, Let the Right One In, The Illusionist, Just Friends, District B13 Ultimatum, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Law Abiding Citizen, Glorious 39, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Red Tails and P.S. I Love You.

The studio has also released several family films, such as Hoodwinked!, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (co-distributed with United International Pictures as part of a two-year agreement), Arthur and the Invisibles and Igor, as well as the home video rights for popular TV series Creature Comforts.

Nick Records

Nick Records (also known as Nickelodeon Records or Nick Music) is the record label for the children's television channel Nickelodeon. The label featured new and emerging young musical artists, "triple threat" singers who would also act and dance on the network's series, and soundtrack and compilations based on Nickelodeon TV shows.

Nickelodeon (Swiss TV channel)

Nickelodeon is a Swiss pay television channel centred towards kids. It was launched on 1 April 2009 timesharing with VIVA. The programming schedule was the same as Nickelodeon Germany feed, with commercial breaks from that country being replaced by local ads.

In March 2010, Nick was rebranded. Since 16 May 2011, Nickelodeon Switzerland timeshares with Comedy Central.

Paramount Channel

Paramount Channel is the name of several television channels operated by Viacom International Media Networks which showcase the Paramount Pictures film catalogue. The first Paramount Channel was launched in Spain on March 30, 2012, and in the years since, the channel has operated in a number of territories across Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Stewart Till

Stewart Till, CBE (born 1951) is the chairman and chief executive of United International Pictures, the biggest film distributor in the world.Till is also the chairman of the UK Film Council. He is a graduate of the University of Bath. In July 2006 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Essex.

Stowaways on the Ark

Stowaways on the Ark is a 1988 German animated adventure film, released theatrically in Germany as In der Arche ist der Wurm drin by United International Pictures on 24 March 1988. It's inspired by the story of Noah's Ark from the Book of Genesis. The film was later released in the United States and Canada.

Wild About Harry (2000 film)

Wild About Harry is a 2000 British comedy film directed by Declan Lowney and written by Colin Bateman. The film stars Brendan Gleeson, Amanda Donohoe, James Nesbitt, Adrian Dunbar, Bronagh Gallagher and Ruth McCabe. The film was released on 26 October 2001 by United International Pictures.

Corporate directors
Viacom Media Networks
Viacom International Media Networks
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Miscellaneous assets
Defunct/former properties
See also
Universal Parks
& Resorts
NBCU Film and
Broadcast, Cable,
Sports and News
and Digital
Other assets:
and predecessors:


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