Orion Classics started in 1982 as the distribution label for the then independent film production company Orion Pictures, now owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was relaunched in 2018.
The original focus of 1980-era Orion Classics was on acquiring independent and foreign films for North American distribution, as headed by Michael Barker, Tom Bernard, and Marcie Bloom. In addition it aimed to produce some arthouse films of its own. It was launched when Barker, Bernard and Donna Gigliotti moved from UA Classics, a United Artists specialty division. Among its most notable films were Babette's Feast, Pedro Almodóvar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train and Richard Linklater's Slacker.
Since its relaunch Orion Classics has released Mike P. Nelson's The Domestics and Jim Cummings' The Wolf of Snow Hollow, among others.
Discover more about Orion Classics related topics
Orion Classics was formed by Orion Pictures in 1982 as an autonomous division for specialty films. United Artists Classics executives, Tom Bernard, Michael Barker and Donna Gigliotti, having a dispute with its parent United Artists left to fill Orion Classics' executive ranks, thus mirroring Orion Pictures' formation. With the UA Classics executives, the division had built in connection with the art house film community. While the three executives had different titles and responsibilities they acted as all having the same responsibilities.
The division took on the early UA Classics modus operandi of frugal marketing spending and strict staggered releasing with few prints. Thus 10 to 50 prints would be made based on its potential success with an average marketing budget of $225,000 would be first released in New York City before moving on to other metropolitan areas and given time to find its position.
The team was able to get French filmmaker Eric Rohmer to switch from UA Classics to Orion. He was then the source of its first film and box office hit with Pauline at the Beach in July 1983. Thus Orion Classics released four out of five of Rohmer's 1980s films and investing in a few of them. Orion's last acquisition in 1983 was its first independent US movie, Strangers Kiss (1984).
In August 1983, the company had indicated that they would be into production of its own material by late 1984 or early 1985. However, Orion Pictures was having more box office failures then successes thus those plans were put on hold.
In late 1991, when Orion Pictures was in serious financial trouble, Barker, Bernard, and Bloom left Orion Classics, taking the rights to the highly anticipated Merchant Ivory Productions adaptation of Howards End with them; at the invitation of former Orion president Mike Medavoy, who was now relocated at TriStar Pictures, the three set up Sony Pictures Classics, with Howards End as the company's first release.
In the mid-1990s, Metromedia acquired Orion, and merged the classics division into the Samuel Goldwyn Company. Both Orion and SGC were sold to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1997, with the latter's function of producing and/or distributing independent films being assumed by MGM's United Artists division.
In May 2018, it was announced that Orion Classics would be revived as a multiplatform distribution label, with 8 to 10 films being released per year. Orion Classics will be MGM's method of getting into the day-and-date theatrical-VOD business. The label's first film is Mike P. Nelson's The Domestics, which was released in theaters on June 28, 2018, and on VOD and digital the next day.
Discover more about History related topics
|Heads I Win, Tails You Lose||1982|
|The Pool Hustlers||1982|
|Beyond the Door||September 5, 1982|
|Pauline at the Beach||July 29, 1983|
|Carmen||October 20, 1983|
|Scrubbers||January 31, 1984|
|Privates on Parade||April 13, 1984|
|Sugar Cane Alley||April 13, 1984|
|Another Country||June 29, 1984|
|Strangers Kiss||August 13, 1984|
|Old Enough||August 24, 1984|
|Full Moon in Paris||September 7, 1984|
|Swann in Love||September 14, 1984|
|Where the Green Ants Dream||February 8, 1985|
|My New Partner||March 8, 1985|
|MacArthur's Children||May 17, 1985|
|Henry IV||June 28, 1985|
|Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart||August 9, 1985|
|Came a Hot Friday||October 4, 1985|
|Colonel Redl |
|Ran||December 20, 1985|
|A.K.||January 29, 1986|
|My Beautiful Laundrette||March 7, 1986|
|A Great Wall||May 30, 1986|
|The Green Ray||August 29, 1986|
|Restless Natives||September 12, 1986|
|The Sacrifice||November 1986|
|El Amor brujo||December 23, 1986|
|One Woman or Two||February 6, 1987|
|Devil in the Flesh||May 22, 1987|
|Jean de Florette||June 26, 1987|
|Rita, Sue and Bob Too||July 17, 1987|
|End of the Line||August 28, 1987|
|Dancing in Water||September 18, 1987|
|Manon of the Spring||November 5, 1987|
|Au Revoir Les Enfants||December 1987|
|A Month in the Country||February 19, 1988|
|Babette's Feast||March 4, 1988|
|Wings of Desire||May 6, 1988|
|Loose Connections||July 8, 1988|
|Boyfriends and Girlfriends||July 15, 1988|
|Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown||November 11, 1988|
|Field of Honor||January 20, 1989|
|Murmur of the Heart||February 3, 1989|
|Chocolat||March 10, 1989|
|The Reader||April 21, 1989|
|The Music Teacher||July 7, 1989|
|Mystery Train||November 7, 1989|
|Camille Claudel||December 21, 1989|
|Too Beautiful for You||March 2, 1990|
|Monsieur Hire||April 20, 1990|
|Jesus of Montreal||May 25, 1990|
|May Fools||June 22, 1990|
|Wait Until Spring, Bandini||June 29, 1990|
|Life and Nothing But||September 14, 1990|
|Leningrad Cowboys Go America||November 2, 1990|
|Cyrano de Bergerac||December 1, 1990|
|Open Doors||March 8, 1991|
|Love Without Pity||May 31, 1991|
|My Father's Glory||June 14, 1991|
|Europa Europa||June 28, 1991|
|Slacker||July 5, 1991|
|My Mother's Castle||July 26, 1991|
|Opera||September 6, 1991|
|The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe||September 27, 1991|
|Rhapsody in August||December 20, 1991|
|Raise the Red Lantern||March 13, 1992|
|A Woman's Tale||May 1, 1992|
|The Adjuster||May 29, 1992|
|A Tale of Springtime||July 17, 1992|
|Rain Without Thunder||February 5, 1993|
|Boxing Helena||September 3, 1993|
|Nostradamus||September 16, 1994|
|Bar Girls||April 7, 1995|
|Jeffrey||August 18, 1995|
|Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey||August 24, 1995|
|Maybe, Maybe Not||July 12, 1996|
|Ed's Next Move||September 27, 1996|
|Trees Lounge||October 11, 1996|
|Prisoner of the Mountains||January 31, 1997|
|This World, Then the Fireworks||July 11, 1997|
|One Man's Hero||September 24, 1999|
|The Domestics||June 28, 2018|
|Unlovable||November 1, 2018|
|Jinn||November 15, 2018|
|Clara's Ghost||December 6, 2018|
|Maine||December 14, 2018|
|All These Small Moments||January 17, 2019|
|Valley Girl||May 8, 2020|
|The Wolf of Snow Hollow||October 9, 2020|
Discover more about Film library related topics
Source: "Orion Classics", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 18th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_Classics.
Get our FREE extension now!
- ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (May 21, 2018). "MGM Relaunches Orion Classics as Multiplatform Distribution Label". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tzioumakis, Yannis (2012). "Orion Classics (1983 to 1997)". Unknown: Classics Divisions, Specialty Labels and American Independent Cinema. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 65–78. ISBN 9780748649594. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- 1982 establishments in California
- American companies established in 1982
- American independent film studios
- Articles with short description
- Companies based in Los Angeles
- Entertainment companies based in California
- Entertainment companies established in 1982
- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer subsidiaries
- Orion Pictures Corporation
- Short description matches Wikidata
- Wikipedia pages semi-protected from banned users
The content of this page is based on the Wikipedia article written by contributors..
The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence & the media files are available under their respective licenses; additional terms may apply.
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization & is not affiliated to WikiZ.com.