Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment[1] (formerly Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Video, MCA/Universal Home Video, MCA Home Video, MCA Videodisc Inc. and MCA Videocassette Inc.) is the home video distribution division of American film studio Universal Pictures, owned by the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group division of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
FoundedLos Angeles, California, United States
HeadquartersUniversal City, California, United States
Area served
ProductsHome video
ParentUniversal Pictures


The company was founded in 1980 as MCA Videocassette, Inc., with the release of films on Beta and VHS, including Jaws, Jaws 2 and 1941. Prior to 1980, Castle Films (known as Universal 8 after 1977) had served as Universal's home film distribution unit. In late 1983, both the Laserdisc sister label MCA Videodisc and the VHS/Beta label MCA Videocassette were consolidated into a single entity, MCA Home Video, alternating with the MCA Videocassette name until December 1983. In 1990, with the 75th anniversary of Universal Studios, it became MCA/Universal Home Video, alternating with the MCA Home Video name from 1990 until 1997. The company later went by various company names, including Universal Studios Home Video (1997–2005) and Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2005–2016).[1]

In 1980, they released two '50s 3-D motion pictures, Creature from the Black Lagoon and It Came from Outer Space, in anaglyphic format on Beta and VHS.

This company was the video distributor for DreamWorks titles until DreamWorks was sold to Paramount Pictures' parent company, Viacom, in 2006, at which point Paramount took over distribution. After Viacom spun off DreamWorks in 2008, Universal Studios Home Entertainment was planned to resume distributing DreamWorks' movies, but this deal fell through. The company was also the video distributor for Summit Entertainment releases until they were bought by Lionsgate. Until they formed their home video division, their releases were distributed by UPHE with the exception of Dogma, which was distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In addition to DVDs, Universal was a major supporter of the HD DVD format until Toshiba discontinued the format. Since July 22, 2008, UPHE released Blu-rays and it was the last major Hollywood movie studio to do so. The very first three Blu-ray releases to come out in the U.S. were The Mummy, its sequel and The Scorpion King. Since August 9, 2016, UPHE started releasing Ultra HD Blu-rays.

UPHE is the U.S. home video distributor for the Universal Pictures film library, and shows from NBCUniversal Television Distribution (NBC, E!, Syfy, USA Network, Universal Kids, and Oxygen), Global Road Entertainment (formerly known as Open Road Films, up to Show Dogs), STX Entertainment (digital distributions up to The Space Between Us, STX takes over digital distribution of their films starting with The Foreigner; home video distribution with the exception of their first three films with EuropaCorp, which are handled by Lionsgate due to their deal with the former), Funimation (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will take over after deal expires as Sony Pictures Television bought 95% of Funimation), Bleecker Street, Mattel Creations, Aviron Pictures, Pure Flix Entertainment, Picturehouse, DreamWorks Pictures (pre-2011 and 2011-2016 libraries currently handled by Paramount and Disney, respectively), GKIDS (with the exception of some movies, which are distributed by Cinedigm or Shout! Factory), Crunchyroll (via Funimation until 2019; Warner Home Video will take over as WarnerMedia acquired Otter Media and Funimation decided to end their partnership with Crunchyroll in 2018), Blumhouse Tilt, DreamWorks Classics (via DreamWorks Animation), Big Idea Entertainment, Neon, Entertainment One,[2] and Amazon Studios (starting with Brad's Status) releases. On October 10, 2018, it was confirmed that UPHE would become MGM's new home video distributor (replacing 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), beginning with the Blu-ray release of Operation Finale on December 4, 2018.[3]

Starting on June 5, 2018, Universal re-released all of DreamWorks Animation's film library after their deal with 20th Century Fox ended.


In the Netherlands, UPHE distributes most DVDs of films released theatrically by Independent Films, although this is now limited to catalog releases, as more recent films are now released through Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Belga Films.

UPHE also distributes StudioCanal DVDs and Blu-rays in France, most of the Republic Pictures library in the UK and most of the Carolco Pictures library in Australia, Latin America, and several European countries (along with other StudioCanal properties). In the 1980s until the late 1990s, they also distributed tapes released by Cineplex Odeon in Canada.

UPHE previously distributed its films on video internationally through CIC Video (a division of Cinema International Corporation, later United International Pictures) alongside Paramount Pictures. In Japan, releases from both Universal and Paramount appeared on CIC-Victor Video Ltd. (a joint venture between CIC Video and JVC) for VHS and on Pioneer LDC, Inc. for Laserdisc. Following Universal's acquisition of PolyGram in 1999, PolyGram Video (which had international operations) was dissolved into Universal.

UPHE's international operations are a joint venture with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, a carryover from the PolyGram days,[4] but more often than not, both UPHE and SPHE operate a joint venture in Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia called Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The venture distributes UPHE and SPHE titles on home media in those countries and also licenses anime series and films from the anime library of NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan, the Japanese division of UPHE's sister company, Universal Pictures International Entertainment, formerly known as Pioneer LDC from 1981 to 2003, Geneon Entertainment from 2003 to 2009 and Geneon Universal Entertainment from 2009 to very late 2013, the year they switched to their current name. The name of the joint venture is Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia. Before that, though, NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan had a marketing and distribution division in North America called Geneon USA, which, like UPHE, also distributed home video. At the time, NBCUEJ was known as Geneon Entertainment. Geneon USA shut down in late 2007, though UPHE continues to distribute home video worldwide.

In October 2014, Universal established global headquarters for its home video division in Los Angeles.[1]

At the start of 2015, Paramount Home Media Distribution signed a distribution agreement with Universal, whereby the latter will distribute the former's titles overseas, particularly the territories where Paramount holds an office. The deal began on July 1, 2015 in the United Kingdom. Universal will continue distributing Paramount's DVDs and Blu-rays out of the United States and Canada.[5]

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c Lieberman, David; Lieberman, David (3 October 2014). "Universal Shakes Up Home Entertainment Unit Centralizing Global Leadership In L.A." Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  2. ^ https://deadline.com/2019/03/entertainment-one-eone-universal-pictures-home-entertainment-multi-territory-distribution-agreement-eddie-cunningham-steve-bertram-1202583216
  3. ^ "Operation Finale Blu-ray". Retrieved 2 January 2019 – via www.blu-ray.com.
  4. ^ http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=59043 Universal Studios Home Video And Columbia Tristar Home Video Join For International DVD Distribution
  5. ^ Lieberman, David; Lieberman, David (12 February 2015). "Universal To Distribute Paramount's DVD & Blu-ray Discs Abroad". Retrieved 2 January 2019.

External links

2016 in home video

The following films, television shows and miniseries were released on Blu-ray Disc and/or DVD on the following dates in 2016 in the United States and Canada.

2017 in home video

The following films, television shows and miniseries were released on Blu-ray Disc and/or DVD on the following dates in 2017 in the United States and Canada. Specific details are subject to change.

2018 in home video

The following films, television shows and miniseries have been released on Blu-ray Disc and/or DVD on the following dates in 2018 in the United States and Canada. Specific details are subject to change.

2019 in home video

The following films, television shows and miniseries are scheduled to be released on Blu-ray or DVD on the following dates in 2019 in the United States and Canada. Specific details are subject to change.

Barry Bostwick

Barry Knapp Bostwick (born February 24, 1945) is an American stage and screen actor and singer. He is best known for portraying Brad Majors in the musical comedy horror The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Mayor Randall Winston in the sitcom Spin City (1996–2002). Bostwick has also had considerable success in musical theatre, winning a Tony Award for his role in the musical The Robber Bridegroom.

Castle Films

Castle Films (known as Universal 8 from 1977) was a film distributor founded in California by former newsreel cameraman Eugene W. Castle (1897–1960) in 1924.

Cult of Chucky

Cult of Chucky is a 2017 American slasher film written and directed by Don Mancini. The seventh installment of the Child's Play franchise, following the 2013 film Curse of Chucky, it stars Brad Dourif as Chucky, with a supporting cast of Fiona Dourif, Alex Vincent, Jennifer Tilly and Summer H. Howell – all of whom are returning cast members from previous installments.

The film began production in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in January 2017. It premiered at the London FrightFest Film Festival on August 24, 2017, and was released with rated and unrated versions distributed by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment via Blu-ray, DVD and VOD on October 3, 2017. As of October 2017, the film has grossed $2 million from DVD and Blu-ray sales.

Eleven Arts

Eleven Arts is an American film production and distribution company in Los Angeles, founded by Ko Mori. The company uses film to bridge connections between varying cultural and global audiences all over the world. Eleven Arts Japan is the Japanese branch of the company.

Eleven Arts has primarily served to release films in small theatrical runs. Then in 2018, Eleven Arts announced it was partnering with home video distributor Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Shout! Factory to release for several anime distributed by Eleven Arts while still working in partnership with anime distributor Rightstuf and Walmart on several other anime titles.


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.

Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment

Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment (formerly known as Vivendi Entertainment, Vivendi Visual Entertainment and Visual Entertainment) is an independent film, television, DVD and digital distribution company operating in the United States and Canada. It is also a distribution partner for independent content providers.The company has provided sales, marketing, and distribution services to studios such as Entertainment One, Alliance Films, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Jim Henson Productions, The Weinstein Company, World Wrestling Entertainment, The Jim Henson Company, Salient Media, NFL Films, DHX Cookie Jar, Shout! Factory, GoodTimes Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation, Random House, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks Classics, Hallmark Channel, Indomina Releasing, Nasser Entertainment, Event Film, Sonar Entertainment, Polychrome Pictures, Sid and Marty Krofft, PorchLight Entertainment, Sundance TV, Genius Brands, Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop, NBC News, Eagle Rock Entertainment, Discovery Family, Discovery Inc., Big Idea Entertainment, Viz Media, VCI Entertainment, Hasbro Studios, ImaginAsian, Entertainment Rights, IFC Films, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, NCircle Entertainment, Blowtorch Entertainment, Mill Creek Entertainment, DHX Media, Saban Capital Group/Hasbro Studios, HIT Entertainment, Mattel Creations, Barney and Friends, Penguin Random House, BVS Entertainment, Palisades Tartan, Palm Pictures, Nelvana, BKN, ESPN, Razor & Tie, Dargaud Media, Pure Flix Entertainment, Codeblack Entertainment, Melee Entertainment, Dimension Extreme, and Genius Products.

Visual Entertainment was founded in 2004 to distribute DVDs as a division of Universal Music Group Distribution, which in turn is a subsidiary of Vivendi. In 2006, Visual Entertainment was renamed Vivendi Visual Entertainment. In 2008, Vivendi Entertainment expanded from home video into theatrical distribution. On April 3, 2012, the company was acquired from Vivendi by Gaiam and merged with its home entertainment division, renaming the combined subsidiary Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment. On October 17, 2013, Cinedigm announced it was purchasing Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment for $51.5 million. Cinedigm plans to combine Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment with their existing home video business, New Video. The acquisition closed on October 21, 2013.

Illumination (company)

Illumination (formerly known as Illumination Entertainment) is an American film and animation studio founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007 and owned by Universal Pictures, a division of NBCUniversal, which is itself a division of Comcast. Meledandri produces the movies while Universal finances and distributes all the films. The studio is best known for the Despicable Me film series and has also produced the films The Secret Life of Pets and Sing. The Minions, characters from the Despicable Me series, are the studio's mascots.

Illumination has produced 10 feature films, with its latest release being The Secret Life of Pets 2, with an average gross of $695.4 million per film. The studio's highest-grossing films are Minions, which has grossed $1.159 billion worldwide, Despicable Me 3, $1.034 billion and Despicable Me 2, $970.8 million. All three are among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time, and 7 of their films are among the 50 highest-grossing animated films, with Minions being the third all-time highest behind Disney's Frozen ($1.290 billion) and Pixar's Incredibles 2 ($1.242 billion).

List of Saturday Night Live home video releases

Traditionally, retail home video releases of Saturday Night Live material have consisted of "Best Of" compilations, comprising select performances (typically sketches) of past cast members, and notable guest hosts. Beginning in 1999, DVD releases were distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment under license from NBC, predating the network's merger with Universal. Following the establishment of NBCUniversal in 2005, Universal Studios, owners of NBC, Saturday Night Live's broadcast home, ceased the existing arrangement of outside distribution of SNL material. While Lionsgate is no longer able to acquire new SNL-related content, they have retained reissuing rights to their existing SNL content library.On December 5, 2006, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released on DVD "Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season," comprising complete episodes. Upon the set’s release, some criticism of its authenticity as complete and uncut episodes arose from reviewers and fans. This was due to the existence of original live copies, which in comparison to the "complete" episodes reveal edits and omissions, which are common among the rerun versions of the shows in the set. Following the successful sales of the first season, subsequent seasons have been released. No subsequent releases are planned for the near future, due to prohibitive music licensing costs and the rise of streaming video.

Little Boy (film)

Little Boy is a 2015 World War II war-drama film directed by Alejandro Gómez Monteverde. The screenplay is by Monteverde and Pepe Portillo, and the film was produced by Eduardo Verástegui and Leo Severino, and edited by Joan Sobel and Fernando Villena. The film stars Jakob Salvati, Emily Watson, David Henrie, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Michael Rapaport, Ben Chaplin, Eduardo Verástegui, Ted Levine, Abraham Benrubi, and Tom Wilkinson. The title is a reference to Little Boy, the code name for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, as well as a reference to the main character Pepper's height. The film was co-produced by Metanoia Films and Santa Fé Films and was released on April 24, 2015, by Open Road Films. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 18, 2015, by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film received negative reviews from mainstream critics and earned $17 million on a $20 million budget. An Indian adaptation of the film, Tubelight starring Salman Khan in the lead role, opened to mixed reviews in 2017.

Mercy (2014 film)

Mercy is a 2014 American supernatural horror film written by Matt Greenberg, directed by Peter Cornwell, and starring Frances O'Connor, Shirley Knight, Chandler Riggs, Joel Courtney, Dylan McDermott and Mark Duplass. It is loosely based on the short story "Gramma" by Stephen King. It was produced by Jason Blum for his Blumhouse Productions banner and McG. The film was released straight to video by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on October 7, 2014.

Mill Creek Entertainment

Mill Creek Entertainment is an American home video company founded in 2002 by Ian Warfield, Robert Zakheim and Scott Moss in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

The Mill Creek Entertainment catalog draws from over 12,000 hours of owned and licensed content, including contemporary and classic feature films, as well as television, animation, documentary, special interest, family entertainment and fitness content. The company's licensing partnerships with entertainment companies include Buena Vista Home Entertainment (until 2016), Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Sonar Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and CBS Home Entertainment.

The company is known for its multi-film DVD collections, which draw heavily (but not exclusively) from material in the public domain in the United States. The company also produces its own original documentary programming, including the National Parks Explorer Series, Up from Slavery, Gangster Empire: Rise of the Mob, The Ultimate Civil War Series, America's Serial Killers, and The Decade You Were Born series. Mill Creek acquired the library of Crown International Pictures from now defunct Navarre Corporation subsidiary BCI Home Entertainment.

On April 23, 2012, Mill Creek announced that they had signed a home video distribution deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, acquiring the rights to distribute 250 films from the Sony Pictures catalog on DVD and Blu-ray.

On August 27, Mill Creek announced that they had signed a long term distribution deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to distribute an additional 665 films and 54 TV series from the Sony Pictures library. In 2018, Mill Creek expanded its deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to include Universal Pictures films and TV.

NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan

NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan LLC (NBCユニバーサル・エンターテイメントジャパン合同会社, Enubīshī Yunibāsaru Entāteimento Japan Gōdō-gaisha) (abbreviated as NBCUEJ) is a Japanese music, anime and home entertainment production and distribution enterprise headquartered in Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. From its days as Pioneer LDC, NBCUEJ has been involved in the production and distribution of several anime in Japan. Geneon's North American branch (founded as Pioneer Entertainment) specialized in translating and distributing anime and related merchandise, such as soundtracks across the region. Geneon is a portmanteau of the English words, generate and eon. On February 1, 2009, Geneon merged with Universal Pictures Japan into Geneon Universal Entertainment. On December 9, 2013, the company changed its name to the current NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan. Outside Japan, the majority of NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan's anime titles are distributed by Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia in the Oceanic region, Universal Pictures in the UK and Ireland, and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment in North America.

The Little Rascals Save the Day

The Little Rascals Save the Day is a 2014 American direct-to-video comedy film released by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film is the second motion picture film succeeding the major 1994 film, and it is an adaptation of Hal Roach's Our Gang, a series of short films of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s (many of which were broadcast on television as The Little Rascals) which centered on the adventures of a group of neighborhood children.

With a screenplay by William Robertson and Alex Zamm – who also directed – The Little Rascals Save The Day presents several of the Our Gang characters in an updated setting, and features re-interpretations of several of the original shorts. It is the second of Universal's feature-length Our Gang adaptations, following 1994's theatrical release The Little Rascals.

Universal Parks
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