PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (formerly known as PolyGram Films and PolyGram Pictures or simply PFE) was a British film studio founded in 1979 which became a European competitor to Hollywood, but was eventually sold to Seagram Company Ltd. in 1998 and was folded in 2000. Among its most successful and well known films were An American Werewolf in London (1981), Flashdance (1983), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995), The Big Lebowski (1998), Fargo (1996), The Usual Suspects (1995), The Game (1997) and Notting Hill (1999).

PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
TypeSubsidiary
PredecessorCasablanca Filmworks
FoundedMay 8 1979; 43 years ago (May 8 1979)
FoundersPeter Guber
Jon Peters
Defunct2000; 23 years ago (2000)
FateAcquired by Seagram and folded into Universal Pictures
SuccessorsUniversal Pictures
OwnerPhilips (1980–1998)
Seagram (1998–1999)
ParentPolyGram (1980–1998)
Universal Pictures (1998–2000)
DivisionsPolyGram Television
PolyGram Video

In 1979, PolyGram created PolyGram Pictures in a partnership with Peter Guber. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, PolyGram continued to invest in a diversified film unit with the purchases of individual production companies. In 1995, PolyGram purchased ITC Entertainment for $156 million. In May 1998, PolyGram was sold to Seagram, which owned Universal Pictures and Universal Music Group, for $10 billion. Seagram sold off some of PolyGram's assets while mainly acquiring its music division. The ITC Entertainment library was sold to Carlton Communications for £91 million, the pre-April 1996 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment library was sold to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), and PolyGram's US distributor was sold to USA Networks. After many of its assets were sold, the remains of PolyGram's film division was folded into Universal Pictures. When the newly formed entertainment division of Seagram faced financial difficulties, it was sold to Vivendi, and MCA became known as Universal Studios, as Seagram ceased to exist. Vivendi remained the majority owner of the Universal Music Group until 2021, when it sold most of its stake, MGM owns the rights to most of the pre-1996 library, and the remaining film and television library is owned by NBCUniversal. In 2017, Universal Music Group established a film and television division, resurrecting the PolyGram Entertainment name.[1]


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