This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "First Look Studios" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
First Look Studios
FormerlyOverseas Filmgroup (1980-2001)
First Look Media (2001-2005)
Company typePrivate
IndustryFilm production
Home video
Founded1980; 44 years ago (1980)
FoundersRobert Little
Ellen Little
Defunct2010; 14 years ago (2010)
SuccessorMillennium Entertainment (2010-2014)
Alchemy (2014-2016)
FilmRise (2016-present)
HeadquartersCentury City, California
ProductsDVD, Blu-ray
Total assets$25 million
DivisionsFirst Look Pictures
First Look Home Entertainment
First Look Television

First Look Studios was an American independent film distributor that specialized in home video releases of films and television series.


Overseas Filmgroup

In 1980, Robert and Ellen Little founded Overseas Filmgroup as a film sales company for foreign markets. Overseas Filmgroup expanded towards film financing to give the company greater control over its output. From the company's foundation, it competed with fellow, also-defunct film producers J&M Film Sales (later J&M Entertainment), Manson International and Producers Sales Organization as the most successful company with global film sales.

Overseas Filmgroup decided to pay $3 million in order to set up operations for different areas worldwide such as Spain, Arizona, Texas, Taiwan, Italy, southern California and Colorado in the mid-1980s, and by 1986, the company became active, setting up a number of domestic theatrical, home video and television syndication sales with New World Pictures and other distributors.[1]

In 1987, while other sales companies were gaining production outfits, the Littles stated that they would avoid production, so Overseas Filmgroup had set up a company policy stating that they would acquire new films via distribution advances, and the three new movies, namely those directed by Roland Emmerich, will be offered to various Mifed buyers.[2] The company was the original international home video distributor for the show Tales from the Darkside, until it was sold off to Lorimar-Telepictures in late November 1987 after Lorimar International president Jeff Schlesinger saw all episodes of the show that was well-suited and combined to become eight ninety-minute episodes from the show.[3]

Films ranged from genre titles such as Blue Tiger (starring Virginia Madsen) and No Way Back (starring New Zealand actor Russell Crowe) to art house films, including Antonia's Line, Mrs. Dalloway, The Secret of Roan Inish, Waking Ned Devine, and Titus.[4] In 1993, the company expanded towards North American distribution through its First Look Pictures subsidiary.[5]

In 1998, Overseas Filmgroup went public. Two years later, EUE/Screen Gems acquired a minority interest in the company.

First Look Studios

In January 2001, as part of a restructuring, Overseas Filmgroup was renamed First Look Media (not to be confused with the news organization of the same name).[6] The Overseas Filmgroup name remained as the international distribution division of First Look Media. In 2003, founders Robert and Ellen Little left First Look, and Overseas Filmgroup was renamed First Look International.[7][4]

On July 29, 2005, after a merger with Canadian businessman Henry Winterstern's Capital Entertainment, the combined company became First Look Studios. Winterstern became CEO of First Look and shared the role as chairman with EUE/Screen Gems' Chris Cooney.[8] In November 2005, First Look acquired DEJ Productions from Blockbuster.[9]

In March 2006, First Look acquired Ventura Distribution, a Californian home video distribution company,[10] including its subsidiary UrbanWorks Entertainment, and the domestic television syndication rights to fifty six films from Pinnacle Entertainment.[11] In 2006, the company launched a television syndication division known as First Look Television.[12] By 2006, First Look's film library consisted of 700 films, and continued to add more with the financing of in house productions.[13]

In March 2007, Henry Winterstern resigned from the company but stayed on as an adviser.[14] The same month, Nu Image acquired a 52% stake in First Look. The deal was brokered by William Morris Independent. Following the acquisition, Nu Image and its production/distribution arm Millennium Films were given an outlet for home video and theatrical distribution[15]

In January 2008, First Look Studios started releasing titles on Blu-Ray.

In November 2010, First Look Studios filed for bankruptcy through an assignment for the benefit of the studio's senior secured creditors. Millennium Entertainment, a new sister company formed by Nu Image, acquired most of First Look's assets and inherited many of the former key management and staff.[16]


Distributed lines


  1. ^ "Overseas Filmgroup assembles pics shot all over the map". Variety. 1986-10-22. p. 51.
  2. ^ "Overseas Filmgroup Avoids Production But Has 3 To Move". Variety. 1987-10-21. p. 56.
  3. ^ "Lorimar Gets 'Darkside' For Offshore Homevid". Variety. 1987-12-02. p. 23.
  4. ^ a b "First Look Studios at 25".
  5. ^ "First Look Pictures/Overseas Filmgroup - Independent Magazine". Independent Magazine. 1998-01-01. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  6. ^ "Overseas Filmgroup Changes Name to First Look Media To Reflect the Widened Scope of Its Business and Adds Two Divisions". (Press release). Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  7. ^ Indiewire (27 February 2004). "Relaunched First Look Media Bolsters Company In Advance of AFM | IndieWire". IndieWire. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  8. ^ First Look Studios. "Capital Entertainment Merges With First Look Media to Become First Look Studios". (Press release). Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  9. ^ Hettrick, Scott (November 8, 2005). "DEJ deal to First Look". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  10. ^ "First Look drives to Ventura for $20 mil". Variety. March 21, 2006. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  11. ^ Dempsey, John (2006-06-14). "First Look pix it up". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  12. ^ Dempsey, John (2006-06-14). "First Look pix it up". Variety. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  13. ^ Waxman, Sharon (2007-03-08). "First Look Studios - Henry Winterstern - Movies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  14. ^ "First Look's Winterstern resigns". Variety. 2 March 2007. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  15. ^ "First Look gets a Nu Image". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  16. ^ First Look Studios Acquired by Millennium Entertainment., retrieved 2016-10-14