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Paramount Pictures

 

Paramount Pictures Corporation (also known simply as Paramount) is an American film studio based in Hollywood, California, that has been a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, and the sole member of the "Big Five" film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood.
The studio has produced many critically acclaimed films such as Titanic, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Braveheart, Ghost, Mean Girls, Psycho, Coming to America, Rosemary's Baby, Nebraska, Forrest Gump, Babel, The Conversation, and Team America; as well as commercially successful franchises such as: the Godfather films, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Grease films, the Top Gun films, The Italian Job, the Transformers films, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, the Tomb Raider films, the Friday the 13th films, the Cloverfield films, the G.I. Joe films, the Beverly Hills Cop films, the Pet Sematary films, Jackass, the Odd Couple films, South Park, the Crocodile Dundee films, the Wayne's World films, Rugrats, the Naked Gun films, the Anchorman films, Beavis & Butthead, Jimmy Neutron, the Addams Family films, the Zoolander films, ?on Flux, the Ring films, the Bad News Bears films, The Wild Thornberrys, the Paranormal Activity films; as well as the first four films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Indiana Jones films, and the DreamWorks Animation properties such as the Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon films before both studios were respectively acquired by Disney (under Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm) and both 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures.
In 1928, Paramount began releasing Inkwell Imps, animated cartoons produced by Max and Dave Fleischer's Fleischer Studios in New York City. The Fleischers, veterans in the animation industry, were among the few animation producers capable of challenging the prominence of Walt Disney. The Paramount newsreel series Paramount News ran from 1927 to 1957. Paramount was also one of the first Hollywood studios to release what were known at that time as "talkies", and in 1929, released their first musical, Innocents of Paris. Richard A. Whiting and Leo Robin composed the score for the film; Maurice Chevalier starred and sung the most famous song from the film, "Louise".
Paramount cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios continued to be successful, with characters such as Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor becoming widely successful. One Fleischer series, Screen Songs, featured live-action music stars under contract to Paramount hosting sing-alongs of popular songs. The animation studio would rebound with Popeye, and in 1935, polls showed that Popeye was even more popular than Mickey Mouse. After an unsuccessful expansion into feature films, as well as the fact that Max and Dave Fleischer were no longer speaking to one another, Fleischer Studios was acquired by Paramount, which renamed the operation Famous Studios. That incarnation of the animation studio continued cartoon production until 1967, but has been historically dismissed as having largely failed to maintain the artistic acclaim the Fleischer brothers achieved under their management.
Viacom split into two companies in 2006, one retaining the Viacom name (which continues to own Paramount Pictures), while another was named CBS Corporation (which now controls Paramount Television Group, which was renamed CBS Paramount Television, now known as CBS Television Studios and worldwide distribution unit is now CBS Television Distribution and CBS Studios International, in 2006, Simon & Schuster [except for Prentice Hall and other educational units, which Viacom sold to Pearson PLC in 1998, and what's left of the original Paramount Stations Group, now known as CBS Television Stations). National Amusements retains majority control of the two.
In 2005, Viacom announced the spin-off of CBS into a separate public entity. As part of this spin-off, the Entertainment Group that was led by Dolgen, Lansing and McGrath, was dissolved and Paramount broken up into its separate assets. Famous Music, part of the company since its founding by Jesse Lasky, was sold to Sony Music. The UPN network and its TV stations were transferred to CBS. Paramount itself was broken into two parts and the television production and assets were stripped and made part of CBS. The theme parks group was sold to Cedar Fair in 2006 and renamed the parks by taking out the "Paramount's" prefix. Simon and Schuster also became part of CBS. The company's three chains of movie theaters were divested Famous Players Theaters, the dominant theater circuit in Canada was sold to its competitor Cineplex Odeon. UCI which dominated the international theater markets consisting of 1,300+ screens in 11 countries was sold to buyout firm Terra Firma. Mann Theaters was slowly divested screen by screen with the world-famous "Graumann's Chinese Theater" being sold to a consortium led by Eli Samaha.