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Lighting Up Screens Around the World

Sony Pictures Studio's rich history can be traced back to 1918 when brothers Harry and Jack Cohn formed a partnership with their associate Joe Brandt, to produce low-budget short films and featurettes. They called the company CBC Film Sales (Cohn-Brandt-Cohn- or as it was more commonly known in the trade press, "Corned Beef and Cabbage"). By 1920, the film industry was attracting audiences of 35 million a week willing to pay five cents a pop to be drawn into the magical world of filmed entertainment.

Meanwhile, down the road in Hollywood, Columbia Pictures got its start, bringing pictures like It Happened One Night and Lawrence of Arabia to life.

Columbia Pictures officially moved onto the studio lot in 1990 after its acquisition by Sony Corporation; and the rest is history, as they say.

For more detail, visit our Company Museum site.

1919
Jack Cohn, Harry Cohn and Joe Brandt form CBC Film Sales
1924
CBC Film Sales is incorporated as Columbia Pictures Corp. (CPC)
1925
Columbia Pictures Corp. purchases two sound stages in Hollywood
1928
Columbia Pictures Corp. hires director Frank Capra
1934
The Clark Gable/Claudette Colbert hit IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT wins five Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture giving Columbia Pictures its first Oscar®
1935
35-acre ranch in Burbank is purchased and becomes the site for many Westerns
1938
Frank Capra's YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU brings home two Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture
1948
Screen Gems is created, making Columbia Pictures one of the first studios to work in television
1949
ALL THE KING'S MEN, starring Broderick Crawford, wins three Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture
1953
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, starring Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, takes home eight Academy Awards® including Best Picture
1954
ON THE WATERFRONT wins another eight Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture and Best Actor honors for Marlon Brando
1955
Jack Cohn dies at age 67
1957
Columbia Pictures takes home seven Academy Awards®‚ for THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI including Best Picture
1958
Harry Cohn dies at age 66
1962
Director David Lean’s epic, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, wins Best Picture as well as six other honors at the Academy Awards®
1965
DAYS OF OUR LIVES first airs. Screen Gems is first major studio to enter soap opera distribution
1966
A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS wins six Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture and Best Actor for Paul Scofield
1968
The musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, OLIVER! brings home six Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture
1972
Columbia Pictures moves from Poverty Row to share The Burbank Studios with Warner Communications
1973
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS launches as Screen Gems' second daytime serial
1974
Screen Gems changes name to Columbia Pictures Television
1975
WHEEL OF FORTUNE first airs. Pat Sajak first hosts in 1982 and Vanna White joins him in 1983
1979
KRAMER VS. KRAMER, the drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep wins five Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress
1982
The Coca-Cola Company purchases Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., parent company of Columbia Pictures
1982
GANDHI wins eight Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley
1983
TriStar Pictures is formed as a joint venture between Columbia, HBO, and CBS
1984
JEOPARDY! with Alex Trebek first airs
1984
THE NATURAL, TriStar Pictures' first release, is a hit with audiences
1986
Merv Griffin Enterprises is acquired, which produces WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY!
1987
THE LAST EMPEROR wins nine Academy Awards®‚ including Best Picture
1987
The theatrical divisions of Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures merge to form Columbia Pictures Entertainment (CPE)
1989
The Coca-Cola Company sells Columbia Pictures Entertainment to Sony Corporation
1990
CPE vacates the Burbank Studios and moves to the historic MGM lot in Culver City, CA, renaming it Sony Pictures Studios (SPS)
1991
Columbia Pictures Ent. changes its name to Sony Pictures Entertainment
1991
The Culver Studios is purchased by Sony Pictures Entertainment
1992
Sony Pictures Classics (SPC), is formed, specializing in the acquisition, marketing, and distribution of prestigious foreign and American independent films
1992
INDOCHINE wins Best Foreign Language Film and SPC's first Oscar® at the Academy Awards®
1992
Sony Pictures Imageworks becomes a new division of Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City
1994
SPE SPC's BURNT BY THE SUN wins Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards®
1994
The Game Show Network is launched by SPE
1995
SPE announces the launch of Sony Entertainment Television channel in Latin America and Brazil
1995
Columbia TriStar TV Distribution records highest national launch of any series with SEINFELD in syndication market (99% coverage)
1997
SPE breaks records for a motion picture distributor with $2.3 billion in worldwide box office and $1.2 billion domestically; MEN IN BLACK is highest grossing film in SPE's history to date.
1998
Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia based in Hong Kong is formed
1998
Screen Gems is reorganized as a specialty motion picture label focusing on films that fall between those traditionally developed and distributed by Columbia Pictures and those released by SPC
1998
John Calley named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment
1999
Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) launches EverQuest which goes onto become the best-selling online role playing game of all time
2000
SPE announces the creation of Sony Pictures Digital (SPD), which will align SPE's digital production with online content and game services to deliver next-generation entertainment
2000
Nobuyuki Idei named Sony Corporation's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
2001
SPC's CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON wins four Oscars® including Best Foreign Language Film; becomes fastest selling DVD in Home Entertainment’s history to date
2001
Sony Pictures Digital launches Screenblast, the first ever broadband creativity platform featuring content and powerful editing tools
2001
SPE, MGM, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. announce a joint venture to distribute films on-demand over the Internet; the venture is later named Movielink
2002
JEOPARDY! celebrates its 4000th syndicated television episode
2002
Sony Pictures Animation is formed to develop all-CG features for SPE
2002
Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN becomes the highest grossing film in SPE history. Its $400 million in domestic box office ranks it as the 5th highest domestic grossing movie of all-time
Motion Picture ©2002 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Spider-Man character ® & ©2013 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
2002
On August 19, SPE crosses the $1 billion mark in domestic gross, faster than any other distributor in history
2002
SPE renames television operations group: Sony Pictures Television (SPT) and Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI)
2002
SPE shatters all-time film industry box office records domestically ($1.57 billion) and worldwide ($2.87 billion)
2002
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (CTHE) breaks industry records with more than 40 million copies of SPIDER-MAN shipped worldwide
Motion Picture ©2002 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Spider-Man character ® & ©2013 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
2003
THE CHUBBCHUBBS, produced by Sony Pictures Imageworks, wins the Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film
2004
Michael Lynton joins SPE as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
2004
Amy Pascal is promoted to Chairman of the Motion Picture Group
2004
SPIDER-MAN 2 opens at #1 in the U.S. and 70 international territories, bringing in $800 million to date
Motion Picture ©2004 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Spider-Man character ® & ©2013 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
2004
SPE sells The Culver Studios
2004
Imageworks wins Academy Award® for Achievement in Visual Effects for its work on SPIDER-MAN 2
Motion Picture ©2004 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. Spider-Man character ® & ©2013 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
2004
SPE is the #1 studio in domestic box office receipts with $1.308 billion led by such hits as SPIDER-MAN 2, THE GRUDGE, 50 FIRST DATES, 13 GOING ON 30
2005
Sir Howard Stringer assumes position of Chairman, Group CEO and Representative Corporate Executive Officer of Sony Corporation
2005
Sony Corp. of America and four partners acquire MGM Corporation.
2005
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment completes first full-length Blu-ray Disc, CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE
2005
The TriStar label is relaunched
2006
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA receives 3 Academy Awards® for Best Art Direction, Cinematography and Costume Design
2006
Amy Pascal is promoted to Co-Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
2006
THE DA VINCI CODE opening sets all-time international weekend record at $154.8 million
2006
SPE acquires Grouper, one of the largest video communities on the Internet
2006
SPA releases their first film OPEN SEASON
2006
SPE crosses the $1 billion mark in domestic box-office receipts for the 5th year in a row
© 2013 Danjaq, LLC All Rights Reserved.
2007
SPIDER-MAN 3 makes motion picture history with record-breaking $382 million worldwide debut
Motion Picture ©2007 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. MARVEL, and all Marvel characters including the Spider-Man, Sandman and Venom characters ™ & ©2013 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
2007
Grouper is relaunched as Crackle
2007
WHEEL OF FORTUNE, TV's #1 syndicated series since its premiere, celebrates its 25th anniversary
2007
SPA receives their first Academy Award® nomination with their second release SURF'S UP, nominated for Best Animated Feature
2008
Sony Pictures Digital is renamed Sony Pictures Digital Productions
2008
Sony Pictures acquires Dutch entertainment company 2waytraffic
2008
Sony Pictures Television receives 29 Emmy® nominations, the most ever for the studio
2008
QUANTUM OF SOLACE becomes top Bond film of all time at the North American box office
© 2013 Danjaq, LLC All Rights Reserved.
2008
Sony Pictures Television acquires Embassy Row
2009
PAUL BLART: MALL COP becomes the first original film to surpass $100 million at the box office in January
2009
SPE combines its domestic and international television operations under Sony Pictures Television
2009
The LOT Project is completed on SPE's Culver City Studio lot with the opening of the Jack and Harry Cohn buildings, and earns a Gold LEED rating for Environmental Design
2009
2012 becomes worldwide juggernaut with a $230 million opening weekend, grossing more than $670 million
2009
ANGELS & DEMONS release on DVD becomes biggest hit of the year across all international territories
2009
MICHAEL JACKSON’S THIS IS IT generates more than $252 million worldwide
2009
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS tops box office charts for 2 weeks, making it most successful film to date for SPA
2009
THE DR. OZ SHOW enjoyed the highest-rated talk show debut in seven years
2009
SPE opens Colorworks on the lot, a full-service digital intermediate (DI) facility
2009
Design Sony Pictures Releasing International passes $2 billion overseas, a first in SPE history
2009
Sony Pictures Entertainment Digital Authoring Center begins 3D authoring
2010
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases the studio's first Blu-ray 3D™ title in the US, Sony Pictures Animation's CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS
2010
SPE is awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification for the studio's Lot and Office Transformation (LOT) Project
2010
Sony Corporation of America extends Amy Pascal's long-term employment agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment
2010
Acclaimed film, THE SOCIAL NETWORK crosses $200 million worldwide
2011
Sony, Discovery, and IMAX launch 3net, the 24/7 3D television network
2011
SPE partners with MGM in worldwide theatrical distribution and co-financing pact
2011
THE SMURFS takes in more than $563 million in global box-office
2011
SPE releases its first UltraViolet Titles, FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS and THE SMURFS
2012
Sony Pictures plans to install major work of public art called "Rainbow" by renowned American multi-media artist, Tony Tasset
2012
MEN IN BLACK 3 takes in more than $1.3 billion in global box-office
2012
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN takes in more than $521 million in global box-office
2012
Sony Pictures becomes the second Hollywood studio of 2012 to hit $1 billion domestically with success of MEN IN BLACK 3, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, 21 JUMP STREET, THE VOW, THINK LIKE A MAN and UNDERWORLD AWAKENING