by Rebecca Raichek
11800 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90025
CBS Films is a film company that is owned by CBS Corporation and produces, distributes, and acquires feature films. Created in 2007, CBS Films is a small production company who release about four to six films every year that consist of various different genres . CBS Films are always on the lookout for new quality films regardless of genre, and generally focus on the production of smaller films since they are more agile and adapt to the market place says Vice President of Communications Grey Munford . CBS Films looks to make good movies that are able to find an audience. Showtime and CBS help with the financing of the films, and the showcasing and syndication as well. Because CBS is good at putting premium content out, CBS films are able to reach their intended audience. They gain viewers through less of a traditional promotional and advertising way, but are still equally as successful as the big studios .
Terry Press: President
Reid Sullivan: Chief Financial Officer
Scott Shooman: Executive Vice President Acquisitions and Co-Productions
Steven Friedlander: Executive Vice President Theatrical Distributions
Since CBS Films was established in 2007, they have released 17 movies that have earned a total gross income of $321,882,427 . The top earning movie was Last Vegas with $63,914,167, followed by The Woman in Black with $54,333,290. In the first quarter of 2014, the Entertainment sector of CBS Corporation which includes CBS Films earned $457 million which was a decrease for the first quarter in 2013 which was $480 million . In the third quarter of 2014 which is the most recent, the Entertainment sector of CBS corporation earned $335 million which was a decrease from $431 million in 2013 .
Currently, CBS Films has one film in theaters and one that is coming out in February. In July 2014 CBS Films acquired the U.S rights to the British film Pride after it debuted at the Cannes film festival. Pride is a film about the true story of a gay and lesbian activist group in London supporting the national union of mineworkers strike. It stars Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, and is directed by Matthew Warchus. The film was distributed by Pathe and the acquisition deal was made by Scott Shooman who negotiated with Cameron McCracken and Pierre du Plessis . Pride was a small film with a limited release of only 124 theaters in the U.S and has a total gross of $1,446,634 . Critics gave the film great reviews and was given 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes . To advertise the film, CBS Films relied heavily on the use of social media and personal interactions through the audiences via Twitter. CBS Films retweeted audience reviews of Pride on their page instead of self-promoting the movie themselves. According to Vice President of Communications Grey Munford, “ the best thing you can do is retweet the good things other people are saying. People trust it more with reviews coming from other people.” He also stressed that “Pride was a social first movie- in the digital space social media is most important,” . Pride will be available on Blue-Ray on December 23rd, 2014.
Another upcoming project for CBS Films is the release of The DUFF in February 2015. The trailer for The DUFF had it’s world release during the premiere of The Hunger Games as part of a strategy by CBS to target the demographic of Women Under 25 . According to Munford, the trailer was strategically released during The Hunger Games because it was the single biggest movie released between November and February that would reach the target demographic . The DUFF is about a high school girl who finds out she is the
“DUFF” of her friend group- the designated ugly fat friend, and she desperately tries to change her image. This film has also used social media to advertise, and actors Bella Thorne and Robbie Amell have tweeted a link to the trailer encouraging their fans and followers to watch it and see the movie when it is released.
Starting in 2015, Lionsgate Entertainment will take over CBS Film’s distribution operations as a multiyear agreement. The deal also includes Lionsgate taking control over all international sales for CBS films. CBS will still produce and acquire their own films, but Lionsgate will have total control of distribution both in theaters and in home entertainment . This deal comes after CBS Films has made a move to become a more significant studio in acquiring films, especially after they acquired Inside Llewyn Davis, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and most recently Pride .
Another upcoming project for CBS Films is the production of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark which will be an adaptation of the books written by Alvin Schwartz. The films will be adapted by John August, and will be produced by Sean Daniel, Jason Brown, and Elizabeth Grave .
Because CBS Films is a smaller film company, they rely heavily on social media in order to advertise and promote their films. They have a Facebook account where they constantly post about their current and upcoming projects and provide behind the scenes pictures for the 5,700 people who like the page. Vice President of Communications for CBS Films Grey Munford, explained how social media has helped their films successfully compete with big budget movies at the box office. Their film The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, opened up within 2-3 million dollars of Fox’s big budget film Chronicle. . The film used social media and built an online fan base to successfully advertise and also emphasized on the stardom of Daniel Radcliffe to persuade his current fans to see the movie.
CBS Films also used Radcliffe as an advertising tool to promote their Romantic- Comedy What If which he starred in as well. The film had a social media campaign through the new app We Heart It which is an image-sharing social network, and gained 22,000 followers .
. About CBS Films, cbsfilms.com/about, RT 11/27/14
. G.Munford, Personal Communication, October 29 2014.
. CBS Films All Time Box Office Results, boxofficemojo.com, RT 11/27/14
.CBS Corporation Investor Relations, investors.cbscorporation.com, RT 11/28/14
.“Pride Acquired by CBS Films”, variety.com, RT 11/27/14
.Pride (2014), boxofficemojo.com, RT 11/27/14
 Rotten Tomatoes, rottentomatoes.com, RT 11/29/14
. “Lionsgate Takes Over CBS Films’ Distribution & Global Sales, deadline.com, RT 11/28/14
.“John August To Pen ‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’ For CBS Films, deadline.com, RT 11/28/14
.“CBS Films Bringing Musical ’13’ to Big Screen, hollywoodreporter.com, RT 11/28/14
.“Young-adult movie campaigns mine social media” usatoday.com, RT 11/28/14