CBS Films

By Losa Amara Meru
- Photo Courtesy of collider.com [a]

CBS Films was established in 2007. Located in Brentwood, Los Angeles, the feature film studio is dedicated to managing the development, financing, production, and marketing of quality motion pictures that span all genres. Currently, they release 4 – 6 movies each year. Their reach includes global distribution with partners as well as self-distributed titles in the US.

What sets CBS Films apart is the budget size of the movies they produce and acquire. The pictures they release cost under $50 million each; they aim to reach the middle ground in between expensive franchise films, low-budget experimental art films, and “genre” films.

Their tagline is “A feature film studio releasing quality films in all genres.”

To date, the studio currently has nine released pictures. [1] [2]

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Key Executives

Wolfgang Hammer, Co-President

Photo Courtesy of 5dinstitute.org [b]

Wolfgang Hammer began as Vice President of Production at Media Rights Capital, then became Executive Vice President of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, then moved to CBS Films and became the COO, and is now currently the Co-President of CBS Films. Wolfgang Hammer oversees finance, business, legal affairs, and acquisitions of the company. His specific contributions include overseeing the the acquisitions “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” “The Woman in Black,” and “The Words.” He also oversaw the co-financing and distribution deal for the Martin McDonagh film “Seven Psychopaths,” a 2012 British crime comedy starring Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, and Colin Farrell. [1] [3]

Terry Press, Co-President

Photo Courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com [c]

Terry Press previously served as the head of marketing for DreamWorks SKG and the principal of 7570 Marketing, Inc. before becoming the Co-President of CBS Films. A much sought after marketing consultant, she has consulted on CBS Films “The Mechanic,” “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” and “The Woman in Black,” as well as films such as “The Social Network,” “Julie & Julia,” “Valkyrie,” and “The Hunger Games,” which grossed $687 million worldwide under her leadership. In 2012, she was ranked on The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100. Currently, she oversees distribution, marketing, creative, and physical production for CBS Films. [1] [4]

Financial Information

As CBS Films is a division of its parent company, CBS Corporation, there is no specific financial information available for the studio. However, financial information regarding CBS Corporation’s Entertainment division is available, which encompasses CBS Television Network, CBS Interactive, CBS Global Distribution, CBS Television Studios, and CBS Films.

Third Quarter Revenue (2013): $1.88 Billion

Third Quarter Revenue (2011): $1.63 Billion

Percent Increase (over 2 years): 15.3%

The growth in revenue from the Entertainment division has been positive due to the result of higher domestic licensing revenues, growth in network affiliation fees,  the first-cycle availabilities of The Good Wife and NCIS: Los Angeles, and an increase in advertising revenues driven by the CBS Television Network. This positive growth allows CBS Films to have sufficient funds and resources to continue its quality film releases.

The chart below is indicative of CBS Corporation’s financial status as a whole (not just the Entertainment division). [5]

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Photo Courtesy of money.cnn.com [d]


Current Film News

Last Vegas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvK3m0wJutI
[e]

On the weekend of November 1st, the movie “Last Vegas” starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, and Michael Douglas finished in 3rd place at the box office garnering $16,334,566 on a budget of $28 million. Currently, it is still doing well and has stayed in the top 5 weekend grossing movies since its release. To date, it has earned $46 million domestically.

“Last Vegas” has been received fondly by a wide audience. It received an “A-” on Cinemascore and has received nothing but compliments on how entertaining it was via CBS Film’s Twitter account[5] [6]

Photo Courtesy of mrmovietimes.com [f]

According to a Huffington Post article, “Last Vegas” ranks as one of the “7 of the Best Movies for Grownups.” The article pointed out the fact that audiences over 50 accounted for 25% of all moviegoers and that that number continues to grow because “the boomer generation still really likes to go to theaters and see movies on the big screen.” According to data from the Motion Picture Association of America, the amount of post 50s adults watching movies increased by 1.6 million, a 25% increase from 2009-2012. This data points to the conclusion that CBS Films made a very smart move in creating a film with great star power, a good sized audience, and a timely release (near Thanksgiving). [7]

 

 

Inside Llewyn Davis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuQ8pz-5WLY

[g]

Photo Courtesy of impawards.com [h]

Opening in New York and Los Angeles on December 6th, “Inside Llewyn Davis” will be CBS Film’s next project to look out for. Written by Joel and Ethan Coen, the film won the Grand Prix, the second most prestigious prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. It has been screened to packed audiences at the New York, Chicago, London, and Telluride Film Festivals. Actors featured include Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, John Goodman, F. Murray Abraham and Justin Timberlake. As a film primarily about a folk musician’s journey, CBS Films celebrated “Inside Llewyn Davis” with a concert performance on November 14th, 2013 by an “American progressive acoustic music trio”  called Nickel Creek. Many prominent individuals in the music industry attended, including Barbara Streisand, Moby, James Brolin, former head of Fox Music, Robert Kraft, and the president of the American Music Association, Jed Hilly. It is rumored that Nickel Creek will be performing in multiple venues the week before the movie’s release. The soundtrack to the film was released on November 11th and has received positive reviews for its fitting early-60’s Greenwich Village folk roots sound.Unlike its comedy “Last Vegas,” CBS Films
acquired the rights to domestic distribution for $4 million, proving that it can make smart moves in the acquisition business. [5] [8] [9] [10]
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Current Film News Continued
November 19th, 2013 – CBS Films’ summer comedy, “The To Do List” became available for purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD.

September 10th, 2013 – CBS Films recently acquired “The F Word,” an independent romantic comedy directed by Michael Dowse and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, and Adam Driver. It was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and received mostly positive reviews. [5]

 

Sources

[1] http://cbsfilms.com/about/

[2] http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/11/business/la-fi-ct-cbsfilms11-2010jan11

[3] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1931533/

[4] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/terry-press-397478

[5] http://investors.cbscorporation.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=99462&p=quarterlyearnings

[6] http://boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=&yr=2013&wknd=44&p=.htm

[7] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/14/baby-boomer-movies_n_4268724.html?utm_hp_ref=fifty&ir=Fifty

[8] http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/inside-llewyn-davis-cbs-films-acquisition-coen-brothers/

[9] http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/5793044/nickel-creek-reunites-new-album-inside-llewyn-davis

[10] http://www.npr.org/2013/11/03/242103173/first-listen-soundtrack-inside-llewyn-davis

Multimedia Sources

[a] http://collider.com/wp-content/uploads/cbs-films-slice.jpg

[b] http://5dinstitute.org/images/made/u/people/_web_optimized/WH-Headshot_sm_565_330_85_sha_s_c1.jpg

[c] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/2012/11/Terry_Press_a_p.jpg

[d] http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=CBS

[e] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvK3m0wJutI

[f] http://movietimes.s3.amazonaws.com/posters/las%20vegas%20movie%20times.jpg

[g] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuQ8pz-5WLY

[h] http://www.impawards.com/2013/posters/inside_llewyn_davis.jpg

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