|Formerly||Amblin Productions (1980–1984)|
Amblin Entertainment, Inc., formerly named Amblin Productions and Steven Spielberg Productions, is an American film production company founded by director and producer Steven Spielberg, and film producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall in 1980. Its headquarters are located in Bungalow 477 of the Universal Studios backlot in Universal City, California. It distributes all of the films from Amblin Partners under the Amblin Entertainment banner.
Amblin is named after Spielberg's first commercially released film, Amblin' (1968), a short independent film about a man and woman hitchhiking through the desert. Costing $15,000 to produce, it was shown for Universal Studios and won Spielberg more directing roles.
The company was established a year later, in 1969, and it was properly incorporated in 1970. On July 14, 1975, Spielberg signed a four-picture agreement with Universal Pictures to produce its feature films through his Amblin label, aiming to build upon the success of its first two theatrical pictures The Sugarland Express and Jaws. Although Amblin is an independent production company, Universal distributes many Amblin productions, and Amblin operates out of a building on the Universal lot.
Amblin produced its first film Continental Divide in 1981, with Spielberg serving as executive producer. The following year, Spielberg and Marshall caught the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), for which they both produced Poltergeist with Amblin, but under the name Steven Spielberg Productions. The same year, Spielberg and Kennedy produced E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial with Amblin (with Spielberg also directing it), which ended up being the highest-grossing film of the year.
In 1983, Spielberg produced Twilight Zone: The Movie with Amblin (with Marshall credited as an executive producer), but the company was uncredited. Amblin went on to produce a number of successful films throughout the 1980s, such as Gremlins, Innerspace, Batteries Not Included, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and the Back to the Future trilogy. Gremlins was the first film to use the company's logo, which features the silhouette of Elliott flying in his bicycle with E.T. in the basket in front of the moon, from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
In 1985, Spielberg and Don Bluth started a partnership to produce animated feature films. The only two films that were made from the Spielberg-Bluth deal were An American Tail (1986) and The Land Before Time (1988).
On November 5, 1986, Walt Disney Pictures and Amblin Entertainment teamed up to make Who Framed Roger Rabbit, its first collaboration of such after collaborations working with Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, which had a pre-existing joint deal, which was directed by Robert Zemeckis, and it was slated for a G-rated feature, but it was upped to a PG-rated feature under the Touchstone Pictures label.
In 1987, Amblin Entertainment had named Brad Globe, former head of Lorimar's marketing division, as vice president of marketing at the production company, and Globe himself would be joined by two special consultants, which were Martin J. Lewy and Gerry Lewis, and will work closely with the marketing department of the companies that released Amblin's product.
In 1989, a dispute over film-making budgets caused Spielberg and Bluth to part ways, and Amblin's animation department was rebranded to Amblimation, which was headquartered in London. The only three films that were released under the Amblimation banner were An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story (1993) and Balto (1995). Two more films were in development, one was an animated film adaptation of Cats and another was an animated film adaptation of the book written by William Steig, Shrek!, but the former was cancelled following the studio's closure in 1997 while the latter was put on hold until it was eventually picked up by DreamWorks Animation and made into the 2001 computer animated film.
The same year, Amblin signed a deal with Turner Network Television to produce TV movies.
In 1992, Amblin launched a visual effects studio Amblin Imaging, headed by visual effects pioneer John Gross. It was later shut down in 1995.
In 1991, founding partner Frank Marshall left the company after 10 years. The next year, Kathleen Kennedy left the company.
In 1989, they set up an animated unit Amblimation. It was defunct in 1997 and was transferred to DreamWorks Animation. In 1993, Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald joined the company.
On June 21, 2021, it was announced that Amblin Entertainment signed a deal with Netflix to release multiple new feature films for the streaming service. Under the deal, Amblin is expected to produce at least two films a year for Netflix for an unspecified number of years. It is possible that Spielberg may even direct some of the projects.
Main article: List of Amblin Entertainment films
|1984–present||Gremlins||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|1985–1990||Back to the Future||Universal Pictures|
|1986–1999||An American Tail|
|1988–2016||The Land Before Time|
|1988–present||Who Framed Roger Rabbit||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|1993–2022||Jurassic Park||Universal Pictures|
Warner Bros. Pictures
|1997–2019||Men in Black||Sony Pictures Releasing|
While Amblin has never had its own theme park, theme parks have made rides based on Amblin films and co-productions.
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