CBS Films

by Christopher Langsdorf

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A Brief History

Created in 2007 CBS FIlms has released nine films to date. The studio handles the development, financing, production and marketing of films. The company has global partnerships in addition to the fact they distribute their own films in the United States. The studio has  released nine films and is expected to release anywhere from four to six films per year. [1]

Key FIgures

Wolfgang Hammer 

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Hammer is currently one half of the Co-Presidents of CBS FIlms. Hammer is the former Executive Vice President for Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. He oversees business, finance, acquisitions and legal affairs for CBS Films. [1]

Terry Press

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Press is the second half of CBS Films Co-Presidents. She oversees creative, marketing, distribution and physical production for the company. Press is the former head of marketing for Dreamworks SKG and was recently honored by THR’s Power 100 rankings for Women in Entertainment. Press came in as number 71 on the list. [1]

Maria Faillace

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Faillace responsibilities fall on overseeing the production of the companies original home grown titles. Previously Faillace served as CBS FIlms Senior Vice President of Production as well as spending eight years as a member of Fox 2000, where she eventually became the Vice President of Production. [1]

Scott Shooman

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Shooman is the Executive VIce President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions for CBS Films. He recently negotiated the deal in which CBS Films acquired the sequel to the movie The Exorcism. Shooman spent ten years as a member of Sony Pictures. [2]

The Quarterly Report

 CBS Corporation recently released their third quarter financial reports as well as their financial earnings for the year to date. Their entertainment division (which CBS FIlms is part of) saw an increase in revenue as it increased to $1.68 billion compared to $1.63 for the same quarter last year. The OIBDA for the entertainment division saw a slight drop off as it was only $384 million vs. $405 million for the quarter last year. However, the Entertainment OIBDA saw an increase for the nine month period to $1.21 billion when compared to $1.11 billion for the first nine months of last year. [3]

In The News

Seven Psychopaths

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CBS Films most recent release is the film Seven Psychopaths starring Colin FarrellWoody Harrelson and Christopher Walken. The movie opened on October 12th and tells the story of a struggling writer who gets roped into the criminal world of dog kidnapping by a few of his friends. During its opening week the film made $5.8 million and around $4 million the week after.The overall budget for the film was $15 million and the film has made about $14 million to date.  Despite its somewhat quiet opening week earnings the film has been very well received and garnered a large number of positive reviews. [4] [5]

In addition to the movie’s cult like popularity it was also recognized by Film Independent, a non profit art organizations which produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards every year since its inception in 1986. Film Independent announced the nominees for each category this past November and Seven Psychopaths received two nominations in two different categories. The first nomination went to Sam Rockwell for Best Supporting Actor and the second nomination was awarded to Martin McDonagh for the “Best Screenplay” category. [4] [6] [7]

The marketing strategy for the film was quite original. Shortly before the movie came out posters started appearing in Hollywood, California for Woody Harrelson’s missing dog.

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This was of course a take off on the dog that is stolen from his character in the movie. In addition to the posters a Twitter account for his movie character Charlie Costello, was created. [8]

Seven Psychopaths received the Toronto Film Festival’s Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award. This was the first time a movie released by CBS Films won any type of award. Seven Psychopaths is the second and final release by the company this year. [9}

 The Words 

the films stars Bradley Cooper as a struggling writier. courtesy of

The Words was the first film released on September 7th, 2012 and was the first movie released by CBS Films this year. The Words had the third worst opening weekend of the year for any film as it made just $4.75 million (only Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and People Like Us had worse opening weekends at $3.8 million and $4.3 million respectively). [10] [11]

CBS Films purchased the distribution rights to The Words for $2 million, after the film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. [16]

CBS Films did their best to market the film in an attractive way. However, there was backlash as some felt the commercials and trailers for the film were too vague and did not provide enough of an idea as to what the film was about. [10]

CBS Films created a rather original marketing tactic when they encouraged fans of their Facebook page to help write a short story that had the possibility of appearing in the film. They selected the story ideas of 20 finalist who helped complete a short story entitled “No Promises” and each received a free kindle as a prize for their part of the story being selected for the final manuscript. The object of the contest was to create an interactive marketing campaign for the film. Box Office Mojo cited several possible reasons for the films disappointing opening weekend including the fact that for many it was the back to school time of the year which could have had a harsh impact on the film because of it’s PG-13 rating, meaning it was aimed more towards young adults as well as those in their early to mid twenties. [10][12]

The words was produced independently for about $6 million and the film has made $11.4 million domestically and $350,000 oversees to date. [11] 

Deus Ex: The Movie

November 15th, 2012 marked a busy day for CBS Films as the company made big news in the film industry on two different fronts. The first story to surface was the announcement that CBS Films will be releasing a movie adaptation of the highly acclaimed video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The game launched in 2011 and received critical appraise from the majority of reviewers. [13]

CBS Films has announced they have signed Scott Derrickson to both direct and wirte the screenplay for the film. Derrickson recently directed the financially successful horror film Sinister, which opened last October and has made over $50 million on a budget of just $3 million. [14] [15]

the protagonist of the video game: Adam Jensen courtesy of

The production of the film will be overseen by Maria Faillace and CBS Films Creative Executive Alex Ginno. The news of CBS’s film adaptation of the video game was met with generally positive reaction. The game collected over 100 awards including a nomination for overall game of the year for 2011 and is expected to translate well to film due to its strong narrative. [15] [17] [18] 

The Last Exorcism Part 2

The second bit of news to break on November 15th was CBS Films announcing they acquired the distribution rights to the sequel of the extremely popular horror movie The Last Exorcism Part 2 from Studiocanal. The film is scheduled to be released March 2013 and will be directed by Ed Glass-Donnelly. Ashley Bell will return to reprise her role as the film’s protagonist. [19] [20]

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Scott Shooman negotiated the deal with Studiocanal, which gives CBS Films the rights to distribution but allows Studiocanal to retain distribution rights in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The previous film surpassed expectations and earned $20 million, while the sequel has been entirely financed by Studiocanal. [19] [21]

Last Vegas

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November 5th, 2012 marked one of the company’s biggest announcements to date. The announcement concerned the filming and 2013 release of the movie Last Vegas which will star Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kilne and Michael Douglass. The film will be directed by John Turteltaub, while Adam Brooks and Dan Fogelman write the screenplay. [4]

The movie will follow the story of four men in their late sixties who decide to throw a bachelor party for the only one of them who is still single.This film will mark the first time in history that these four men will appear on the same screen together. Between the four men they have collected six Oscar wins and a total of fourteen nominations. [22]

 CBS Films Future

In October it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter that Sony Pictures has struggled in both 2011 and 2012 suffering revenue losses from the films they’ve released. Rumors have been circulating that the division of Sony may soon hit the open market and be available for purchase,. something Sony President Kaz Hirai has denied stating that “There is no reason to sell these industry-leading businesses, and no consideration is being given to the idea.. In a recent interview, head of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves was asked about his interest in Sony Pictures should it become available for purchase. Moonves said he would highly consider making the purchase should the opportunity arise. “We love our current portfolio, but as a content company, we would want to look at them,” [23] [24]


[1] CBS Films

[2] Scott Shooman

[3] CBS Entertainment 3rd Quarter

[4] Actor, Director and Writer biographies

[5] Seven Psychopaths Financial Information

[6] Film Independent Spirit Awards

[7] Seven Psychopaths Award Nominations

[8] Seven Psychopaths Marketing Campaign

[9] Seven Psychopaths People’s Choice Award

[10] The Words Opening Weekend

[11] The Words Financial Information

[12] CBS Films Facebook page

[13] Deus Ex Movie Announced

[14] Sinister Financial Information

[15] Deus Ex Director

[16] CBS Films buys The Words

[17] Deus Ex video game awards—The-Nominees.html

[18] Deus Ex Game of the year nomination—The-Nominees.html

[19] Last Exorcism Sequel Information

[20] Last Exorcism Sequel Information last-exorcism-2-release-date-images

[21] Last Exorcism Sequel Acquisition ?

[22] Lat Vegas Information las-vegas-stars-michael-douglas-robert-de-niro-morgan-freeman-kevin-kline

[23] Sony Pictures for Sale sony-chief-kaz-hirai-film-384605

[24] Les Moonves comments on Sony Pictures les-moonves-cbs-would-consider-380187

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