CBS Films

CBS Films Inc. is an American film production and distribution company founded in 2007 as a subsidiary of CBS Corporation[3] and was considered a mini-major studio up until 2019.[4]

CBS Films Inc.
IndustryMotion Pictures
PredecessorCBS Theatrical Films
FoundedMarch 2007 (March 2007)[2]
FounderLeslie Moonves[1]
United States
Key people
Terry Press (President)
Number of employees
2 (as of 2019)[3]
ParentCBS Entertainment Group

CBS Films originally was planned to distribute, develop and produce four to six $50 million budget movies a year.[2] After October 11, 2019, CBS Films was re-configured to be a production company for television films to be carried by CBS All Access.[5]


The CBS network had formed a previous CBS Films, Inc. as its syndication arm in 1952, which was later renamed CBS Enterprise in 1968, then later Viacom two years later, but due to fin-syn law being upheld in 1972, CBS was forced to spin off the company. CBS made a brief move into film production in 1967, creating Cinema Center Films and closed in 1972 as an unprofitable unit. In 1979 CBS launched a new theatrical films division, which was officially named CBS Theatrical Films the following year. While this was in operation, CBS entered into 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 came to an end that same year. In 2000, CBS was bought by Viacom, which also owned Paramount Pictures.[6]

Company history

In March 2007, following the 2006 split from Viacom which retained Paramount, CBS Corp. launched CBS Films with the hiring of Bruce Tobey as head of business affairs, legal, finance and video distribution. Amy Baer was hired in September 2007 as president and CEO for CBS Films.[2] With CBS retaining ownership of Showtime and Viacom deciding to launch Epix in 2009 with Paramount films, this division was created to make content for the channel.[3] On November 17, 2009, CBS signed with Sony Pictures for a three-year deal for international distribution.[7][8]

The studio's launch seemed to well timed to its executives with the closure or restructuring of many film studios including the formerly prominent Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Miramax Films and Warner Independent Pictures. Also that CBS will be able to well market its films with all its parent corporation's advertising channels from broadcast to billboards.[1]

The studio released its first film, Extraordinary Measures, on January 22, 2010.[1] CBS Films released its second film, a romantic comedy The Back-up Plan, in April 2010. Opening over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, Faster, its third film and the Dwayne Johnson action flick, was weak at the box office with a $12 million start.[9] In August, the company purchased distribution rights for the first time for the remake movie, The Mechanic.[10] CBS moved to replace Bruce Tobey, chief operations officer, with Wolfgang Hammer in November 2010.[9]

After releasing five films and only one gross over $30 million, CBS Films's decided to change direction and become an acquirer of films rather than a producer in March 2011. Baer was released after the ended of her contract in October, with a trio of senior executives left to head up the division.[11]

On April 23, 2012, CBS Films named Hammer and Terry Press Co-Presidents. Press, who had been consulting for the studio since 2010, oversees creative, distribution, marketing and physical production. Hammer will oversees all business, finance, legal affairs and acquisitions, including financed, co-financed and completed projects for the division.[12] Hammer moved CBS Films into becoming a major film acquisition mover thus allowing internal projects to development more. CBS's highest profile purchase was $4 million for Inside Llewyn Davis which won Cannes' Grand Prix and nominations for two Academy and 3 Golden Globe awards.[13]

In July 2014, Hammer moved from being co-president to being a consultant for digital.[13] In 2015, Lionsgate took over CBS Films' U.S distribution and global sales functions.[14] In 2017 reported CBS Films would finance Jane the Virgin actor Justin Baldoni's first directing/producing effort based on an original script by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis.[15]

In January 2019, it was reported that CBS Films will release four theatrical films in 2019, then be folded into the main CBS Entertainment Group, switching its focus to creating original film content for CBS All Access.[16] Jexi was CBS Films' final theatrical release on October 11, 2019.[5] The ViacomCBS merger closed on December 4, 2019 returned Paramount Pictures to being a sister company of CBS, making a theatrical subsidiary for the network superfluous.


The pay cable rights to CBS Films' releases are held by sister company Showtime Networks.[2] Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions also has U.S home entertainment distribution rights and foreign theatrical and home entertainment distribution rights for all CBS Films pre-2015 products,[7] before Lionsgate took over CBS Films' distribution functions.[14]

Release DateTitleBudgetGross (worldwide)Notes
January 22, 2010Extraordinary Measures$30 million$15.1 million
April 23, 2010The Back-up Plan$35 million$77.5 million
November 24, 2010Faster$24 million$35.5 millionCo-production with TriStar Pictures and Castle Rock Entertainment
January 28, 2011The Mechanic$40 million$51.0 millionCo-production with Millennium Films
March 4, 2011Beastly$17 million$43.1 million
February 3, 2012The Woman in Black$13 million$127.7 millionUS distribution only, produced by Hammer Pictures, UK Film Council, Alliance Films, Exclusive Media Group and Cross Creek Pictures
March 9, 2012Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$14.5 million$34.6 millionUS distribution only, produced by Lionsgate Films, UK Film Council and BBC Films
September 7, 2012The Words$6 million$13.2 million
October 12, 2012Seven Psychopaths$15 million$33 millionCo-production with the British Film Institute, Blueprint Pictures and Film4 Productions
March 1, 2013The Last Exorcism Part II$5 million$15.2 millionCo-production with StudioCanal and Strike Entertainment
May 31, 2013The Kings of Summern/a$1.4 millionCo-production with Big Beach Films
July 26, 2013The To Do List$1.5 million$3.9 million
November 1, 2013Last Vegas$28 million$134.4 millionCo-production with Good Universe; international distribution was held by Universal Studios
December 6, 2013Inside Llewyn Davis$11 million$13+ million[13]US distribution only, produced by StudioCanal, Scott Rudin Productions, and Mike Zoss Productions
April 4, 2014Afflicted$318,000$121,200Co-production with Entertainment One and IM Global
April 25, 2014Gambitn/a$14.2 millionUS home video distribution only[17]
August 15, 2014What If$11 million$7.8 millionUS distribution only, produced by Entertainment One and Telefilm Canada
September 26, 2014Pride$16.7 millionUS distribution only, co-production with 20th Century Fox, BBC Films, British Film Institute, Canal+, Ciné+, Ingenious Media and Pathé
February 20, 2015The DUFF$8.5 million$43.5 millionCo-production with Wonderland Sound and Vision and Vast Entertainment
November 13, 2015Love the Coopers$24 million$41.1 millionCo-production with Groundswell Productions, Imagine Entertainment, and Handwritten Films
March 25, 2016Get a JobCo-production with Lionsgate Premiere and Double Feature Films
April 12, 2016Flight 7500[18]$2.8 millionCo-distribution with Lionsgate Films
August 12, 2016Hell or High Water$12 million$37.9 millionCo-production with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Odd Lot Entertainment, Film 44, and LBI Entertainment
October 7, 2016Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life$8.5 million$23.3 millionCo-production with Lionsgate Films, James Patterson Entertainment, and Participant Media
December 21, 2016Patriots Day$40 million[19]$52.4 million[19]Co-distribution with Lionsgate Films
March 10, 2017The Sense of an EndingCo-distribution with Lionsgate[20]
June 2, 2017Dean$950,000$254,536
September 15, 2017American Assassin$33 million$66.7 millionInternational distribution by Lionsgate Films
February 2, 2018Winchester$3.5 million[21] $33.7 million[21]Co-distribution with Lionsgate Films
September 28, 2018Hell Fest[22]$5.5 million[23]$18.2 million[23]Co-production with Valhalla Entertainment and Tucker Tooley Entertainment
November 16, 2018At Eternity's Gate[24]$10.6 million[25]Co-production with Iconoclast and Riverstone Pictures
March 15, 2019Five Feet Apart[26]$7 million$88.4 million[27]
June 7, 2019Pavarotti[28]$5.9 million[29]
August 9, 2019Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark[30]$25 million$85.6 million[31]
September 6, 2019Strange but True[32]
October 11, 2019Jexi[33]last cinema release[5]

See also



    1. Eller, Claudia; Amy Kaufman (January 11, 2010). "Prime time for CBS movie bet?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
    2. Eller, Claudia (September 26, 2007). "CBS names head of movie division". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
    3. Siegel, Tatiana (May 15, 2009). "CBS tackles feature films". Variety. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
    4. Manis, Aimee (March 20, 2013). "Beyond the Big 6: Mini Majors Gain Momentum". Studio System News. Archived from the original on March 23, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
    5. White, Nicholas (October 4, 2019). "'Jexi,' CBS Films' Final Movie, Premieres in Los Angeles". Variety. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
    6. Brennan, Jude (July 23, 2014). "CBS Films' Presidency: And Then There Was One". Forbes. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
    7. Waxman, Sharon (November 17, 2009). "Sony to Distribute CBS Films Abroad". The Wrap. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
    8. Nikki Finke "Hollywood Deadline" Sony Pictures To Market & Distribute CBS Films Overseas & Home Entertainment, Retrieved on February 8, 2013
    9. "CBS Films, still seeking its first hit, replaces No. 2 executive". Los Angeles Times. December 1, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
    10. Fleming, Mike (August 8, 2010). "CBS Films To Distribute Millennium Redo 'The Mechanic' With Jason Statham". Retrieved July 27, 2012.
    11. Fritz, Ben (September 30, 2011). "Amy Baer out as head of CBS Films". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
    12. Fritz, Ben (April 24, 2012). "CBS names two co-presidents of its small film studio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
    13. Fleming, Mike Jr (July 22, 2014). "Insiders Confirm CBS Films Co-President Wolfgang Hammer Move To Digital". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
    14. "Lionsgate Takes Over CBS Films' Distribution & Global Sales". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. November 13, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
    15. "CBS Films Buys CBS Films Buys Untitled Justin Baldoni Pitch In Vein Of 'The Fault In Our Stars'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
    16. Lang, Brent; Lang, Brent (January 12, 2019). "CBS Films Being Folded Into CBS Entertainment Group, Focus Shifting to Streaming (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
    17. "CBS Films Move 'Seven Psychopaths' up to October 12th, Delay 'Gambit' to Winter 2013". IndieWire. Archived from the original on November 21, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
    18. The Deadline Team (May 9, 2012). "CBS Films Shifts Dates For 'Gambit', '7500'". Deadline Hollywood.
    19. "Patriots Day (2016) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
    20. N'Duka, Amanda (December 13, 2016). "'The Sense Of An Ending' Trailer: Secrets Are Unearthed In Drama Starring Jim Broadbent & Charlotte Rampling". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
    21. "Winchester (2018) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
    22. Evry, Max (August 11, 2016). "Jennifer Chambers Lynch to Direct Hellfest". Retrieved October 8, 2017.
    23. "Hell Fest (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
    24. Fleming Jr, Mike (May 15, 2018). "CBS Films Lands Julian Schnabel's 'At Eternity's Gate,' With Willem Dafoe As Van Gogh: Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
    25. "At Eternity's Gate (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
    26. Busch, Anita (January 26, 2017). "CBS Films Buys Untitled Justin Baldoni Pitch In Vein Of 'The Fault In Our Stars'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
    27. "Five Feet Apart (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
    28. Fleming Jr, Mike (January 8, 2019). "CBS Films Acquiring Ron Howard-Directed Luciano Pavarotti Documentary". Deadline. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
    29. "Pavarotti (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
    30. McNary, Dave (December 14, 2018). "Guillermo del Toro's 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' Set for August Release". Variety. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
    31. "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
    32. White, Peter (February 16, 2018). "Lone Scherfig Drama; HBO Europe Hacker Drama; 'Strange But True' US Deal – Berlin Briefs". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
    33. Kroll, Justin (November 29, 2018). "Adam Devine to Star in CBS Films' Comedy 'Lexi' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
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