Gracie Films
TypePrivate
IndustryFilm and television animation production
PredecessorJohn Charles Walters Company
Founded1986; 36 years ago (1986)
FounderJames L. Brooks
Headquarters,
United States
Key people
Richard Sakai (President)[1]
Websitegraciefilms.com

Gracie Films is an American film and television production company founded by James L. Brooks in 1986. The company is primarily responsible for producing its long-running flagship animated series The Simpsons, as well as the films Big, Broadcast News, and Jerry Maguire.

Overview

James L. Brooks, who had previously founded John Charles Walters Company, founded Gracie Films at 20th Century Fox in 1986, with Polly Platt as executive vice president. Named for comedian Gracie Allen, the company was established to "provide real writers with a vehicle to get their movies made".[2] Its primary distributor is currently Sony Pictures Entertainment, though it continues to produce The Simpsons at Fox's studio in Century City, Los Angeles.

According to Simpsons Confidential, Brooks gave The Simpsons' writing staff free rein, as he firmly believed they were the most important part of the process,[3] and "in the legal battles over The Simpsons, it was Fox that was being sued, not Gracie Films".[4] The company also coordinates international distribution and dubbing for The Simpsons,[5] "in Italy, in particular... [finding] voices for dubbing that would match those of the original American actors as closely as possible."[6]

Gracie Films' production logo depicts noisy patrons in a movie theater (which were the voices of then-CEO of Fox Garth Ancier and music composer Jeffrey Townsend double-tracked to sound like there were more people) being shushed by a woman in the back row (with the shush sound being done by Tracey Ullman. The company's name appears on the screen, accompanied by a brief passage played on keyboard. Audio variations exist on The Simpsons, often with dialogue from the episode or characters such as Homer responding to the shush. The most common audio variation is on the Treehouse of Horror episodes excluding Treehouse of Horror (The Simpsons episode) which used the original logo audio and Treehouse of Horror II and Treehouse of Horror III which has the organ theme only, where the shushing sound was replaced by a woman screaming and the logo's music is played in a minor key on a synth-emulated pipe organ. Originally, the Roland D-50 PN-D50-01 Pipe Organ preset was used for that particular variant. The music was composed by Jeffrey Townsend and Alf Clausen on a tiny KORG synth rack using a custom programmed preset. Gracie Films’ main production office is at the Sidney Poitier building on the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Culver City, California. In 1989, Gracie Films had struck a deal with ABC.[7]

Filmography

Television

Years active Title Creator(s) Co-production company(s) Distributor(s)
1987–1990 The Tracey Ullman Show James L. Brooks
Jerry Belson
Ken Estin
Heide Perlman
Klasky Csupo 20th Television
1989–present The Simpsons Matt Groening Klasky Csupo / Film Roman / 20th Television Animation[8]
1991–1992 Sibs Heide Perlman Columbia Pictures Television Sony Pictures Television
1993–1994 Phenom Sam Simon
Dick Blasucci
Marc Flanagan
Columbia Pictures Television / ELP Communications
1994–1995
2000–01 (revival)
The Critic Al Jean
Mike Reiss
Columbia Pictures Television
2001 What About Joan? Ed. Weinberger Columbia TriStar Television
2014 "The Simpsons Guy" Seth MacFarlane Fuzzy Door Productions 20th Television

Films

Year Title Director Co-production company(s) Distributor(s) Box office Ref.
1987 Broadcast News James L. Brooks 20th Century Fox $67.3 million [9]
1988 Big Penny Marshall $151.7 million [10]
1989 Say Anything... Cameron Crowe $21.5 million [11]
The War of the Roses Danny DeVito $160.2 million [12]
1994 I'll Do Anything James L. Brooks Columbia Pictures Sony Pictures Releasing $10 million [13]
1996 Bottle Rocket Wes Anderson $560,069 [14]
Jerry Maguire Cameron Crowe TriStar Pictures / Vinyl Films $273.6 million [15]
1997 As Good as It Gets James L. Brooks TriStar Pictures $314.1 million [16]
2001 Riding in Cars with Boys Penny Marshall Columbia Pictures $35.7 million [17]
2004 Spanglish James L. Brooks $55 million [18]
2007 The Simpsons Movie David Silverman 20th Century Fox / 20th Century Fox Animation / Film Roman / Rough Draft Feature Animation / Rough Draft Korea / AKOM 20th Century Fox $536.4 million [19]
2010 How Do You Know James L. Brooks Columbia Pictures Sony Pictures Releasing $48.7 million [20]
2016 The Edge of Seventeen Kelly Fremon Craig H. Brothers / Tang Media Productions / Virgin Produced STX Entertainment $18.8 million [21]
2018 Icebox[22] Daniel Sawka Endeavor Content / HBO Films HBO TBA
2023 Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Kelly Fremon Craig Lionsgate TBA

Theme park

Year Title Director Co-production company(s) Distributor(s) Notes
2008 The Simpsons Ride Mike B. Anderson
and John Rice
20th Century Fox / Blur Studio / Film Roman / Reel FX Creative Studios Universal Creative Located in Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Shorts

Year Title Director Co-production company(s) Distributor(s) Notes
2012 The Longest Daycare David Silverman 20th Century Fox Animation / AKOM / Film Roman 20th Century Fox Shown with Ice Age: Continental Drift.
2020 Playdate with Destiny 20th Century Studios / 20th Century Animation / AKOM 20th Century Studios Shown with Onward.
2021 The Force Awakens from Its Nap 20th Television Disney+ Exclusive Disney+ short film.
The Good, the Bart, and the Loki 20th Television Animation / AKOM
Plusaversary
2022 When Billie Met Lisa 20th Television Animation
Welcome to the Club

References

  1. ^ "Richard Sakai / Variety". Variety. 17 December 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  2. ^ Alisa Perren, Indie, Inc.: Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s, p. 159, at Google Books
  3. ^ John Ortved, Simpsons Confidential, p. 30, at Google Books
  4. ^ John Ortved, Simpsons Confidential: The uncensored, totally unauthorised history of the world's greatest TV show by the people that made it, p. 126, at Google Books
  5. ^ Michela Ardizzoni, Chiara Ferrari (eds.), Beyond Monopoly: Globalization and Contemporary Italian Media, p. 101, at Google Books
  6. ^ Chiara Francesca Ferrari, Since When Is Fran Drescher Jewish?: Dubbing Stereotypes in The Nanny, The Simpsons, and The Sopranos, p. 73, at Google Books
  7. ^ "Golden" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1989-12-04. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  8. ^ "Disney Launches 20th Television Animation, Promotes Veteran Exec Marci Proietto to Run New Unit Responsible for 'The Simpsons' & 'Family Guy'". 30 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Weekend Box Office : Appealing to All 'Generations'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
  10. ^ "Big (1988)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  11. ^ Box Office Information for Say Anything.., BoxOfficeMojo.com; retrieved April 4, 2013.
  12. ^ "The War of the Roses". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  13. ^ "I'll Do Anything". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "Bottle Rocket". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  15. ^ "Jerry Maguire". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  16. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 26–28, 1997". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  17. ^ "Riding in Cars with Boys". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  18. ^ "Spanglish". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  19. ^ "Top Single Day Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 28, 2007.
  20. ^ "How Do You Know (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  21. ^ "The Edge of Seventeen (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  22. ^ "HBO Films Acquires Immigration Drama Icebox". Retrieved December 21, 2019.