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Variety (magazine)

 

Variety is a weekly American entertainment trade magazine and website owned by Penske Media Corporation. It was founded by Sime Silverman in New York in 1905 as a weekly newspaper reporting on theater and vaudeville. In 1933 it added Daily Variety, based in Los Angeles, to cover the motion-picture industry. Variety.com features breaking entertainment news, reviews, box office results, cover stories, videos, photo galleries and more, plus a credits database, production charts and calendar, with archive content dating back to 1905.
For much of its existence, Variety's writers and columnists have used a jargon called slanguage or varietyese (a form of headlinese) that refers especially to the movie industry, and has largely been adopted and imitated by other writers in the industry. The language initially reflected that spoken by the actors of the early days during the newspaper.
In 2012, Rizzoli Books published Variety: An Illustrated History of the World from the Most Important Magazine in Hollywood by Gray. The book covers Variety's coverage of hundreds of world events, from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, through Arab Spring in 2012, and argues that the entertainment industry needs to stay aware of changes in politics and tastes since those changes will affect their audiences. In a foreword to the book, Martin Scorsese calls Variety "the single most formidable trade publication ever" and says that the book's content "makes you feel not only like a witness to history, but part of it too."
In 1920, Sime Silverman purchased an old brownstone building around the corner at 154 West 46th Street in New York, which became the Variety headquarters until its sale and demolition in 1988. Under the new management of Cahners Publishing, the New York headquarters of the Weekly Variety was then relocated in a modern office building at 475 Park Avenue South, and five years later was downgraded to a section of one floor in a building housing other Cahner's publications on West 18th Street until the majority of operations were moved to Los Angeles.
Variety discontinued reviews of films between March 1911 until January 1913 as they were convinced by a film producer, believed to be George Kleine, that they were wasting space criticising moving pictures and others had suggested that favourable reviews brought too strong a demand for certain pictures to the exclusion of others. Despite the gap, Variety is still the longest unbroken source of film criticism in existence.
In the late 1960s, Variety started to use an IBM 360 computer to collate the grosses from their weekly reports of 22 to 24 U.S. cities from January 1, 1968. The data came from up to 800 theatres which represented around 5% of the U.S. cinema population at the time but around one-third of the total U.S. box office grosses. In 1969, they started to publish the computerized box office compilation of the top 50 grossing films of the week based on this data. "The Love Bug" was the number one in the first chart published for the week ending April 16, 1969. The chart format was changed in 1989 to reduce the list to a top 40 and display a summary of the sample city theater grosses rather than publish the theater grosses separately. The sample chart was discontinued in 1990.