Film Distribution Labels: The Men Behind Them

A major film studio is a company that produces, distributes, and releases films. It commands a significant share of box office revenue in a given market. There are several film distribution labels out there. Here are some of them and the men behind those labels.

Relativity Media

This is an American media company with its headquarters in California. Lynwood Spinks and Ryan Kavanaugh founded it in 2004. They founded it as a middleman company. Relativity Media arranges multi-film slate deals with studios. It then arranges financial support through banks. It receives film equity, producer’s credit, and a fee. It was the third-largest mini-major on a global scale. It acquires, develops, produces, and distributes films. The media company also works in fashion, sports, digital, and music industries.

Ryan Kavanaugh, one of the founders of Relativity Media, was also the former CEO. He was born on December 4, 1974, and is a current executive of Warner Bros. Pictures. He financed more than 200 films representing more than $17 billion in revenue. He produced and distributed a lot of films. He is also known for creating the Moneyball or the Monte Carlo Model of film finance. He received several awards and honorary mentions.

Touchstone Pictures

This is an American film distribution label created and owned by The Walt Disney Company. Ron W. Miller founded this in 1984 and has its headquarters in California. The Walt Disney Studios financed and produced films released under the Touchstone label. Most of those feature films target adult audiences with more mature themes. The studio’s flagship family entertainment Walt Disney Pictures caters to a younger audience. Touchstone did not exist as a distinct business operation. It was a pseudonym brand for the studio.

Ron W. Miller was the president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company from 1980 to 1984. He was an American businessman and a professional American football player. He was also the president of the board of directors of the Walt Disney Family Museum. He was the son-in-law of Walt Disney. Born on April 17, 1933, he worked at Walt Disney Productions in 1954. He was a liaison between WED Enterprises and Disneyland. In 1980, he became president of Walt Disney Productions and CEO in 1983. He pushed the company to expand and explore. He created the Touchstone label and the Disney Channel.

Columbia Pictures

In 1918, Joe Brandt, Harry Cohn, and Jack Cohn founded CBC Films Sales Corporation. It adopted the Columbia Pictures name in 1924. It went public two years later and began to use the image of Columbia. Columbia Pictures is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group. Columbia’s major contract stars in the 1930s included Jean Arthur and Cary Grant. Rita Hayworth was the studio’s premier star in the 1940s. She was responsible for propelling their fortunes into the late 1950s. Some of the major stars at the studio were Rosalind Russell, Glenn Ford, and William Holden.

Jacob Cohn, more known as Jack Cohn, was born on October 27, 1889. He co-founded Columbia Pictures with his younger brother, Harry Cohn, and Joe Brandt. He joined the fledgling Film Service Company owned by Carl Laemmle in 1908. This company became the Independent Motion Picture Corporation and produced its own films. He convinced Laemmle to produce newsreels in 1913 and formed Universal Weekly. He then convinced him to hire an old friend in the advertising business, Joe Brandt, who was also a lawyer. He recommended his brother, Harry, for a job within the studio. He became Laemmle’s personal secretary. Jack was anxious to branch out on his own by 1920. He enlisted Harry and Joe to form their own production company and called it CBC Film Sales. CBC stands for their surnames, Cohn-Brandt-Cohn. Harry lobbied for a name change in 1925. It became Columbia Pictures Corporation when they went public.

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