CBS Films

By Losa Amara Meru
- Photo Courtesy of [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

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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

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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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Current Film News

Last Vegas

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 [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


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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]
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]













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CBS Films

by Anjela Latcheva

Official Logo of CBS Films

11800 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles, California 90025

Telephone: (310) 575-7000


CBS films is an American studio that handles the development, financing, marketing and production of motion pictures [1]. CBS films is a division of the CBS Corporation. Established in 2007, CBS Films has released nine motion pictures to date. CBS Films also plans to release about four to six movies a year including a variety of genres that will be distributed globally as well as in the United States.


CBS Films originally shortly made an appearance in 1979 under the name CBS Theatrical Films. When CBS Corporation launched the new theatrical films division it was in a joint venture with Columbia Pictures and HBO called Tri-Star Pictures. CBS eventually dropped out of the venture in 1985 and CBS Theatrical Films ended its existence.

However, CBS was bought by Viacom in 2000, which also owned Paramount Pictures at that time. In March 2007, when Viacom and Paramount announced their split, CBS Corporation decided to launch CBS Films. This division was originally created to make content for CBS’s cable movie channel.

CBS Corporation then signed with SONY Pictures for a three year deal where they agreed to distribute internationally. The studio released its first film Extraordinary Measures on January 22, 2012. CBS then released its second film, the romantic comedy The Back Up Plan was released in April 2010. The divisions third release was a movie opening for the Thanksgiving Day weekend, Faster, featuring Dwayne Johnson made $12 million at the box office to start.

After the release of five films and grossing over $30 million, CBS Films’ revenue was lower than expected. CBS decided to freeze their film production for now and decided to plan on acquiring films at film festivals such as the Sundance festival. Management also changed in April 2012 which is predicted to provide interesting changes for CBS FIlms.

The pay-cable rights to the new CBS Films’ titles are held by CBS’s premium cable network SHOWTIME. SONY Pictures also has international theatrical rights as well as home entertainment distribution rights for the many CBS Films titles [1].

CBS Films: The Principles 


Photo courtesy of CBS Films

Wolfgang Hammer

Co-President of CBS Films. He manages business, finance, legal affairs, and acquisitions for CBS Films [1]. Before working at CBS FIlms, Hammer was Executive Vice President of the Motion Picture Group at Lionsgate. He studied at the University of Vienna Law school and earned his master’s at Stanford University.


Photo courtesy of CBS Films

Terry Press

Co-President of CBS Films. She oversees creative, distribution, marketing and physical production for CBS Films [1].


Photo courtesy of CBS Films

Steven Friedlander

Executive Vice President, Theatrical Distribution for CBS Films. He manages the domestic theatrical acquisitions and distribution [1].


Photo courtesy of CBS Films

Ried Sullivan

Chief Financial Officer for CBS Films.


Photo courtesy of CBS Films

Rik Toulon

Executive Vice President and General Counsel of CBS Films. He manages all legal activities for the company and performs certain business functions in connection with the company’s distribution, finance, acquisition, key vendor and strategic alliance arrangements [1].


Photo courtesy of CBS Films

Maria Faillace

The Executive Vice President of Production for CBS Films. She manages production for the divisions home grown titles [1].


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Past Releases

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Courtesy of CBS FIlms

Extraordinary Measures – Co-produced with Double Feature Films. Gross: $15,134,168


Courtesy of CBS FIlms

The Back-Up Plan -Co-produced with Escape Artists. Gross: $77,477,008


Courtesy of CBS FIlms

Official Website: Faster – Co-produced with Tri-Star Pictures. Gross: $35,542,923


Courtesy of CBS FIlms

Official Website: The Mechanic – Co-produced with Millennium Films. Gross: $51,070,807


Courtesy of CBS FIlms

Beastly -Gross: $28,834,009


Courtesy of CBS FIlms

Official Website: The Woman in Black – Co-produced with Alliance Films. Gross: $127,730,736


Courtesy of CBS FIlms

Official Website: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – Co-produced with Lionsgate. Gross: $34,564,651. Nominated for three golden globe awards including best picture [5]! Acquiring this film was a huge step for CBS Films, starring Emily Blunt alongside Oscar Nominee Kristen Scott Thomas this film was popular amongst many.


Courtesy of CBS FIlms

 Official Website: The Words – Co-produced with Animus Films. Gross: $13,231,461

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Courtesy of CBS FIlms

Official Website: Seven Psychopaths – Co-produced with Blueprint Pictures. Gross: $23,492,318. Voted best Ensemble Cast by The Boston Society of FIlm Critics [5] !

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Courtesy of CBS FIlms

Official Website: The Last Exorcism: Part II

Future Releases

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The Kings of Summer

The official selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. This coming of age comedy, previously known as Toy’s House, will be in theaters May 31st 2013. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Robert and written by Chris Galletta, this film follows three friends as they decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land [4]. Watch the trailer here!



From the director of The Grudge, this Sci-Fi thriller is about a group of passengers that encounter what appears to be a supernatural force while on a transpacific flight. Directed by Takashi Shimizu, Flight 7500 was originally scheduled to be released in August 2012 but has been delayed until sometime in 2013. 7500’s cast includes Ryan Kwanten, Jerry Ferrara, and Amy Smart [4]. Watch the trailer here!



Directed and written by Maggie Carey, this comedic film is about a girl’s list of things to accomplish before hitting college campus in the fall. The film follows her experience and exploits the pressure to become more sexually experienced during high school. The To-Do list cast includes Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse from Superbad, and Connie Britton from ABC’s Nashville [4]. Watch the trailer here!


Last Vegas

Another comedy schedules to be released in December 2013, this film is about three friends in their mid thirties who decide to take a break from their day-to-day lives and throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single bud. An amazing famous cast including Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Jerry Ferrara [4].

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courtesy of entertainment weekly

Inside Llewyn Davis

CBS Films announced that it has acquired the US rights to Inside Llewyn Davis which is written and directed by academy award winners Joel and Ethan Coen. The film follows an aspiring singer-songwriter as he navigates in the 1960’s folk-music scene in New York City. Cast includes Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and John Goodman. Sneak Peak of the trailer below!

Inside Llewyn Davis trailer

What’s Next for CBS Films?

Being that CBS Films is a relatively young and upcoming division, it has been doing extraordinary well at the box office. I predict we will be seeing more of CBS Films since CBS Films recently announced that they had acquired the rights to the movie Inside Llewyn Davis, this just might be an enormous breakthrough for CBS Films. The movie’s directors have made it to the festival in previous years and have actually had some success.  There is word from a previous screening during February that now created tremendous hype for Inside Llewyn Davis which has already been suspected as a possible candidate for the Cannes Films Festival competition. The Cannes Film Festival is still the most prestigious and definitely the most important event in our cinematic calendar, which kicks off May 15th 2013 [3].

Contact [6]

Grey Munford

Vice President of Communication, CBS Films

(310) 575-7435



[1] – Official website of CBS Films

[2] – Official website of CBS Corporation

[3] – Entertainment Weekly, Inside Movies, Announcement about new CBS film acquisition

[4] – Movie and film information

[5] – Recent News on CBS Films

[6] – Lastest press on CBS Films