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  • A huge example: every Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film made before 1986 is now owned by Warner Bros. because Turner Entertainment purchased MGM that year and immediately sold it, while keeping its film library. Time Warner's purchase of Turner in 1996 resulted in the films ending up with Warner, where they remain today.
    • The pre-1948 Warner Bros. library (which included all of the features and the color short subjects) had been sold (through Associated Artists Productions) to United Artists in 1958, and then to MGM in 1981 following their merger with UA. It was also included in Turner's purchase of the MGM library, and returned to Warner in 1996.
    • Warner Bros. also acquired the rights to the Popeye theatrical shorts, originally distributed by Paramount, as per the deal above. Unlike the WB shorts, however, all Paramount references were removed at the film studio's insistence. When it finally came time to start releasing the shorts to DVD (they never had a VHS release thanks to legal wranglings between MGM/Turner/WB and King Features Syndicate), animation historian Jerry Beck insisted the original Paramount logos be restored, even though they had nothing to do with the DVD release. So WB and Paramount made a deal which allowed this to happen, as well as let Paramount use the WB logo for John Wayne films they acquired that were originally WB's.
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    • Warner's black-and-white shorts (which included a large chunk of the Looney Tunes library) made their way back to WB via another, particularly long route. WB sold the TV rights to this library to syndicator Guild Films in the 1950s; Guild went bankrupt in 1961, and Eliot Hyman's Seven Arts Productions bought the company at auction. This is the same Seven Arts that would later buy WB itself in 1967. Once they did, the combined Warner Bros.-Seven Arts promptly had the B&W Looney Tunes poorly redrawn in color for syndication.
    • United Artists also purchased the distribution rights to the entire RKO Pictures library, which also ended up in the Turner deal, and now belongs to Warner, at least in North America (Various entities distribute much of the RKO library overseas, and they're all in the Public Domain in Japan). Exceptions include It's a Wonderful Life, which is owned by Paramount because it was produced by Liberty Filmsnote  and RKO was only the distributor (Universal has the UK rights).
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    • The 1931 version of ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' was purchased by MGM from Paramount; MGM then recalled every print they could find in order to avoid competition with their upcoming 1941 remake. They are now both owned by Warner Bros., and are sometimes packaged together.
    • The 1936 version of Show Boat was likewise purchased by MGM from Universal, who recalled that film's prints in anticipation of their 1951 remake. Warner Bros. therefore owns both of the films.
    • The only UA-produced asset Turner kept was Gilligan's Island and its spinoffs, shared with the estate of Phil Silvers and distributed today by WB's television unit.
  • Similarly, almost every feature film from Paramount made before 1950 now belongs to Universal. Paramount saw little value in its film library, and in 1958 sold these films to MCA, who planned on licensing them for television broadcast. MCA merged with Universal in 1962.
  • George A. Romero and John A. Russo's Living Dead Series, in part due to their unwillingness to trim gore and violence from the films.
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    • The original Night of the Living Dead (1968) was released independently by the Walter Reade Organization, but because they accidentally forgot to put a copyright notice on the film prints (as per US copyright law at the time), the film immediately entered the public domain, and Romero refused to ever work with them again. It has been released to home video by a number of different studios, but "officially" from Anchor Bay, Elite Entertainment, 20th Century Fox (in a colorized edition), Dimension Films, and The Criterion Collection.
    • Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978) was released by United Film Distribution Company, but the film itself remains the property of producer Richard P. Rubinstein's New Amsterdam Entertainment, and has been licensed to various home video companies over the years. It was last released to DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay, but remains out-of-print in the US because Rubinstein funded a million-dollar 3D conversion, and nobody can afford the film's asking price. Second Sight Entertainment is releasing it on 4K UHD and Blu-ray in the UK (where it was previously released by Arrow Video). Day of the Dead (1985) was also originally released to theaters by United, but they kept the rights, and it's now owned by successor Blairwood Entertainment (formerly Taurus Ent). Both Anchor Bay and Shout! Factory'sScream Factory have released the film to DVD/Blu-ray.
    • Tom Savini's remake of Night of the Living Dead (1990) was released by Columbia Pictures, and is now owned by Sony. It had a rare (but controversial) US Blu-ray from Twilight Time (a region-free Australian disc from Umbrella Entertainment was more easily available) before Sony released it themselves. Zack Snyder's remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004) was Universal (with a Blu-ray from Scream Factory), and Steve Miner's remake of Day of the Dead (2008) was First Look Studios (later Alchemy).
    • Romero's recent films in the series have gone from Universal (Land of the Dead), Dimension/Weinstein (Diary of the Dead), and Entertainment One/Magnolia Pictures (Survival of the Dead). Land also has a Blu-ray from Scream Factory.
    • The Return of the Living Dead films from Russo have this too. The first film was funded by Hemdale, and released by Orion Pictures. It's now owned by MGM (home video by Fox), and has a Blu-ray from Scream Factory. The second film was Lorimar, and now owned by Warner Bros, who also licensed the film to Scream Factory for a Blu-ray. The third film was Trimark, but now owned by Lionsgate, who released it to Blu-ray as a part of their newly revived Vestron Video label. Two recent sequels premiered directly on the SyFy Channel (DVD from Lionsgate).
  • The Chronicles of Narnia started out being produced by Walden Media and released by Walt Disney Pictures. After the second film underperformed, Walden jumped ship to 20th Century Fox for the third film. After that underperformed, Walden chose not to renew their contract with C.S. Lewis' estate, and production on a fourth film fell into Development Hell until The Mark Gordon Company picked up the rights to the series, and the next installment was going to be distributed by Sony Pictures in the US (under their TriStar banner), and Entertainment One overseas. After this did not materialize, Netflix ultimately acquired the rights to the franchise through C.S. Lewis' estate.
  • Chronic with the Terminator films. Every. single. movie. Actual distribution is even worse. First one: Orion theatrically, currently MGM; Second: TriStar Pictures theatrically and some video releases, currently Studio Canalnote ; Third/Fourth: Warner domestically, Sony overseas; Fifth: Paramount; Sixth: Paramount domestically, Disney overseas.
    • To elaborate why: The first was made by Hemdale Film Corporation, who ended up going undernote , and the rights were eventually bought by Mario Kassar, who ran Carolco Pictures, which later went bankrupt (destroying chances of James Cameron's Terminator 3 and Spider-Man) and had their film library bought by StudioCanal, who sold the rights to C2 Pictures (also ran by Kassar and his partner Andrew G. Vajna) and Intermedia, and the possibility of any more Terminator sequels became the subject of a legal deadlock (thanks to a feud between Kassar and Vajna), eventually culminating in the rights going to The Halcyon Company. Who sold the rights after going bankrupt.
      • Interestingly, Hemdale was the only production company among them to hang around long enough to see the sequel to its movie premiere in theatres; in fact, Hemdale was still around for a few more years after Terminator 2: Judgment Day (and Bruno Mattei's own unofficial sequel with a similar name, released in the United States under the name Shocking Dark due to trademark issues) was released.
    • Hannover House, a company formed by a former Hemdale employee, even tried to make a new animated movie, but was blocked by Pacificor, the hedge fund who purchased the rights from Halcyon (because they helped them purchase said rights in the first place).
    • In 2012, Pacificor sold the rights to Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures. Her brother David joined afterwards, and given his Skydance Productions have a deal with Paramount, they got a distributor. Annapurna eventually left, though Megan remained as executive producer. The failure of Terminator Genisys led Skydance to seek James Cameron (after all, the rights would revert to him at the 35th anniversary) for help on Terminator: Dark Fate. Thanks to that film flopping, it's unclear if Skydance will hold onto the rights after 2020, when they're set to revert fully back to Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd, the latter of whom co-created the franchise with Cameron.
    • Home video is complicated too for the first two movies. MGM has the first film and has licensed it to Sony, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, and Paramount for various home video releases. It was also sublicensed in the '90s by Live Entertainment, which had the home video rights to the Carolco library, including the sequel, and its successor Artisan released Judgement Day DV Ds until they were bought by Lionsgate; but internationally, Studio Canal licenses the T2 DV Ds and Blu-rays to Universal.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise:
    • The first film was produced and released independently by Bryanston Pictures, and was later reissued theatrically by New Line Cinema. The rights are currently with Vortex/Heron Communications, who has licensed the home video rights to MPI Media Group, under their Dark Sky Films banner. It was previously licensed to Media Home Entertainment and Wizard Video for VHS, Elite Entertainment for Laserdisc, and most notably Pioneer Home Entertainment (better known for their anime releases) for VHS and DVD back in the 90s/early 2000s.
    • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was released by The Cannon Group. Along with the rest of the Cannon library, it's currently owned by MGM, except for the broadcast/streaming rights, which are held by Paramount, and home video, which are handled by 20th Century Fox. Shout! Factory also licensed the film for a Blu-ray.
    • Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was released by New Line Cinema, and is now owned by Warner Bros. Warner Archive released the film on Blu-ray.
    • Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation was produced independently, but later picked up by Columbia Pictures. The film sat on the shelf for a long time before Columbia finally partnered up with Cinepix Film Properties for a theatrical release. Sony released it on DVD in 2003, and the disc is now out-of-print. According to Amazon, the film is (as of March 2018) distributed digitally by Lionsgate. Scream Factory released the film on Blu-ray, under license from Sony.
    • The remake was produced by Platinum Dunes, and released once again by New Line Cinema. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning was also released under this arrangement. Both films are now owned by Warner Bros.
    • Lionsgate now has the franchise, and has released Texas Chainsaw 3D and Leatherface (a sequel and prequel respectively to the original film), with the latter being dumped on video-on-demand.
  • The Halloween franchise has a history of this:
    • The original film was produced independently through Irwin Yablan's Compass International, who also distributed the film themselves because the major studios were uninterested, though the prints were struck through MGM. Warner-Columbia released the film in some international territories. On home video, the film was originally released exclusively by Blockbuster, and later Media Home Entertainment (VHS) and The Criterion Collection (LaserDisc). Anchor Bay also released the film numerous times through VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray for almost twenty years before Lionsgate took over the home video rights, and released the film on 4K UHD.
    • Halloween II (1981) and Halloween III: Season of the Witch were co-produced by Dino De Laurentiis and Universal, who also distributed. Universal has released both films to various home video formats themselves, but has also licensed both to GoodTimes Home Entertainment (VHS and DVD) and Scream Factory (DVD and Blu-ray). Universal would later return to the franchise in 2018, with Blumhouse producing the second reboot series.
    • After III disappointed critically and commercially, Moustapha Akkad, who executive produced the first three films, bought out John Carpenter and Debra Hill's share of the rights, and produced Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and released both independently through his Galaxy International Pictures and 20th Century Fox. Both were released to VHS by CBS/Fox, and later to VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray by Anchor Bay. Lionsgate now has home video rights.
    • After 5 underperformed, the series was sent back into development hell, and Miramax bought the rights to the series (beating out New Line) after Akkad's exclusive rights expired, and released Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, and Halloween: Resurrection through their Dimension Films label, with distribution by Disney/Buena Vista. They were released to VHS and DVD by Buena Vista, and later on Blu-ray through Echo Bridge Home Entertainment and later Lionsgate in the US and Alliance Atlantis in Canada. Paramount now distributes the films, owning a minority stake in Miramax.
    • The Weinsteins took Dimension Films and the sequel rights with them to The Weinstein Company, who released the first Rob Zombie-directed film through MGM and the sequel themselves. Genius Products released the first film to DVD/Blu-ray (Cinedigm now has the license) and Sony Pictures released the second. Alliance Atlantis released both in Canada.
    • After the Weinsteins failed to put a new film into production on time, the rights reverted back to Miramax, who worked with Blumhouse and John Carpenter to produce the new direct sequel to the original film. The film was distributed again by Universal, through their deal with Blumhouse. The two sequels to that film, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends will also be distributed by Universal.
    • It should be noted that producer Moustapha Akkad and/or his son Malek Akkad have been involved with all the films in some capacity, with their production company Trancas International, who owns 4 and 5 outright.
    • In 2014, Anchor Bay teamed up with Scream Factory to release a then-complete collection of the franchise, licensing Curse, H20, and Resurrection from Miramax, and securing the Rob Zombie films through Anchor Bay's deal with the Weinsteins.
  • Rambo from Carolco Pictures to Lionsgate/The Weinstein Company. Lionsgate owns the North American home video rights to the first three films in the series through StudioCanal.
  • Friday the 13th from Paramount (Warner Bros. overseas for the first film) to New Line Cinema after the first 8 films. This allowed them to Crossover with their franchise.
    • Then Warner became New Line's parent company and teamed up with Paramount to produce the 2009 reboot with Platinum Dunes. Warner distributed domestically while Paramount handled overseas.
    • Warner Bros. then sold their rights to the series back to Paramount so both could produce Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. Platinum Dunes was attached to a possible new Friday the 13th movie under Paramount, which had lingered in and out of Development Hell. Poor box office numbers for Rings resulted in Paramount canning the movie completely, and the rights reverted back to New Line once again in 2018.
    • Warner Bros. also licensed home video rights to most of Paramount's catalog in 2012, and released the whole Friday the 13th franchise in one Blu-ray boxset, along with individual releases. The license expired in 2015, and these releases are now out of print and expensive. Paramount reissued the first 8 movies on DVD and Blu-ray, but the next two are still out-of-print.
  • Hellboy from Revolution Studios/Columbia to Universal Pictures/Relativity Media. The reboot was from Millennium Films/Lionsgate.
    • Universal did it again, taking Kick-Ass from Lionsgate. (though they did distribute the original internationally)
  • Home Alone was initially a Warner Bros. production until the film went over budget, resulting in 20th Century Fox taking over production and the rights to the franchise.
  • The first four Scream films were released by Dimension Films, but they switched from being under Miramax to The Weinstein Company between the third and fourth films. Lionsgate released the first three films to Blu-ray, and Anchor Bay released the fourth (before they were bought out by Lionsgate). Today, Paramount now distributes the films after buying a minority stake in Miramax. After The Weinstein Company shut down, their assets were purchased by Lantern Entertainment, who were eventually merged into Spyglass Media Group. The fifth Scream film will be co-produced by Spyglass and Paramount, who will also distribute the film.
    • The same goes for the Spy Kids and Scary Movie franchises, as the first three films of their respective series were also distributed by Miramax under the Dimension Films label and their subsequent films were released by The Weinstein Company under the Dimension Films label, with the initial films now owned by Paramount.
      • Sin City, on the other hand, has an interesting subversion of this. The first film was initially distributed by Miramax, as with the other aforementioned franchises, while its sequel is being distributed by The Weinstein Company, but Miramax is co-producing it.
    • Speaking of The Weinstein Company, its home video division had several distributors through the years (Genius Products from 2006 to 2009, Vivendi Entertainment from 2009 to 2010 and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment from 2010 to 2011). It's currently distributed by Lionsgate/Anchor Bay Entertainment as TWC bought a share of Starz Media, which is Anchor Bay's parent company. Lionsgate bought Starz in 2016 and Anchor Bay was merged with Lionsgate Home Entertainment a year later.
  • Walter Lantz, who made Woody Woodpecker, jumped ship from Universal Pictures to United Artists in 1947. Lantz then briefly shut down his studio in 1949. The studio reopened in 1951 and went back to Universal as his distributor.
  • The Hustler was released by 20th Century Fox, but Touchstone Pictures took care of its sequel, The Color of Money. Both films are now with Touchstone owner Disney as of March 2019 due to the Fox buyout.
  • Hellraiser from New World to Dimension.
  • Death Wish from Paramount to Filmways to Cannon to Trimark. To go even further, MGM holds the remake rights and Columbia Pictures held foreign rights to the first two films.
  • Ever since Marvel Comics opened their own film studio:
  • The first Child's Play movie was made by United Artists, who dropped it because the studio was about to be bought by an Australian company (which never happened) who didn't want to make horror movies. The six sequels have been produced by Universal or by Universal-owned companies. The remake of the original film was released by the MGM-owned United Artists under their genre label, Orion Pictures.
  • Amazingly enough, United Artists picked up the third House film, The Horror Show, from New World and released it not long after Child's Play. New Line ended up releasing the fourth one.
  • This can happen to singular movies as well. When Miramax was sold by Disney, the studio signed new distribution deals with Lionsgate, Echo Bridge and StudioCanal for home video. Echo Bridge's license has since expired. In 2020, Paramount owns a 49% stake in Miramax and distributes the studio's catalogue worldwide.
    • Miramax's unreleased movies ended up going to different distributors. Gnomeo and Juliet and The Tempest stayed with Disney and were released by Touchstone, Don't be Afraid of the Dark went to FilmDistrict (releasing through TriStar Pictures domestically), Last Night went to Tribeca (and returned to Miramax through Platinum Disc/Echo Bridge for DVD) and The Debt went to Universal's Focus division. An older Miramax release, Princess Mononoke, briefly went to Lionsgate along with most of the catalog, but Lionsgate never got to release it, as Disney instead renegotiated the rights and re-released the film on DVD themselves in 2012.
    • Gnomeo and Juliet was released by Touchstone, but its sequel Sherlock Gnomes was released by Paramount with MGM co-producing.
  • Fright Night (1985) was backed by Columbia Pictures and a production of Vista Films; for the sequel was done by Vista and distributed by Columbia's sister studio Tristar internationally — and the remake came from DreamWorks and was distributed by Touchstone Pictures. Fright Night 2: New Blood is distributed by 20th Century Fox.
  • Arlington Road was to have been originally released by Polygram Filmed Entertainment but after a delay (due to Columbine) and Polygram merging with October Films (to become USA Films and later Focus Features), the film was sold to Screen Gems.
  • The Lone Ranger movies.
    • The first film, released in 1956 and simply titled The Lone Ranger, was distributed by Warner Bros.
    • The second film, The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold, was released two years later by United Artists. Both this movie and the previous one eventually reverted to producer Jack Wrather.
    • The third one wouldn't come until 1981, and this time it was a complete reboot, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, released by ITC/Universal and co-produced by Wrather. This film is now owned by ITV (Universal still holds theatrical rights).
    • The most recent version, released in 2013, is also a reboot and produced by Disney. Since then, Dreamworks Animation (a unit of Universal as of 2016) now owns the Lone Ranger franchise and all film rights pertaining to it, including the first two films and half the copyright to the third one (through Wrather Productions).
  • Mulholland Dr. was originally shot for the ABC network and financed by Touchstone Pictures. After ABC passed on it, director David Lynch decided to rework it and got production company Studio Canal to buy the film and finance the shooting of new footage. Universal ended up releasing the film as part of their relationship with Studio Canal.
  • The Emmanuelle films released theatrically went from Columbia to Paramount to Miramax to Cannon. Four films, four distributors.
  • The Muppets films have gone from ITC/Associated Film Distribution with the first film to ITC/Universal Pictures with the second to TriStar Pictures (you can blame the lawsuit over The Lone Ranger's mask for that one) with the third to Walt Disney Pictures with the fourth and fifth to TriStar's sister studio Columbia (this time under parent Sony Pictures) with the sixth and back to Disney from the seventh onward. Disney now owns the franchise and the home media rights to most of the films with the exceptions of Take Manhattan and From Space, which are owned by Sony.
    • Other Jim Henson works have hopped too. The Dark Crystal was a ITC/Universal Pictures release that originally was released by Thorn EMI Video in The '80s, then reissued by HBO later in the decade, followed by Walt Disney Home Video in The '90s. At the end of that decade, Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment picked it up. Labyrinth was originally released by TriStar Pictures but the initial video release was through Embassy (later Nelson) Home Entertainment, then New Line acquired the video rights in the early '90s and licensed it to Image for a deluxe laserdisc release. Again, Columbia/TriStar (re)claimed it at the end of The '90s.
    • For the 40th anniversary of The Muppet Movie, Universal (who has owned the theatrical rights to ITC productions since 1980, including said film and The Great Muppet Caper) partnered up with The Jim Henson Company for a limited re-release run that July.
  • The Studio Ghibli films have a history of this in the US. Disney/Buena Vista traditionally distributed most of them from 1997-2017, but not always:
    • If you count it, The Castle of Cagliostro (Miyazaki's first directoral film) was originally distributed in the US by Streamline Pictures before their rights expired and Manga Entertainment picked up the rights and redubbed the film with Animaze (with David Hayter as Lupin III). Their rights later expired, and the film was rescued for a DVD/Blu-ray re-release from Discotek Media with both dubs (along with a toned-down version of the latter dub). Discotek later sub-licensed the film to Disney so they could include it in their complete Miyazaki Blu-ray set.
    • The original US release of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 1985 was under New World Pictures with video distribution from Veston Video and later First Independent Video featuring a heavily edited dub that Miyazaki despised so much, he put forth a no editing clause into his future contracts. Disney would later acquire the film and redub it in 2005 for their releases beginning that same year.
    • Streamline Pictures dubbed and/or distributed Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro (with a home video release from 20th Century Fox) and Porco Rosso in the late 80s/early 90s before Disney picked up the rights and redubbed/re-released them all.
    • Because Grave of the Fireflies isn't distributed by Ghibli overseas, it wasn't included in Disney's deal. Central Park Media distributed it on video and DVD (with a dub from Skypilot Entertainment in 1998) before they went under and ADV Films rescued it. When they went under, Sentai Filmworks picked up the rights and released a remastered DVD in 2011 with a Blu-ray release in 2012 containing a new dub from Seraphim Digital.
    • Princess Mononoke was distributed by Miramax because of its intense content. After selling off Miramax, Disney reacquired the rights and released it under their own name after they renewed their contract with Ghibli.
    • The Wind Rises was distributed theatrically and on video by Disney's Touchstone Pictures label due to its content.
    • In 2011, GKIDS picked up the theatrical rights to the pre-2011 Studio Ghibli catalog, though Disney still retained home video rights to those films (sans Cagliostro, Fireflies, and Only Yesterday) until 2017. GKIDS also outbid Disney for the home video and theatrical rights to From Up on Poppy Hill, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and When Marnie Was There, and acquired the North American home video and theatrical rights to Only Yesterday as well, giving it its first western theatrical and home video releases after 25 years, with a dub. They also released Ocean Waves to DVD and Blu-ray subtitled-only. One of the reasons why GKIDS have the rights to these films outside of Disney is due to those films not made by Hayao Miyazaki, but still produced by Ghibli. In 2017, Disney's license with Ghibli expired, and GKIDS picked up the home video rights to the entire catalog, except for Cagliostro (still with Discotek), Fireflies (still with Sentai) and The Wind Rises (still with Disney until 2020). They also gave My Neighbors the Yamadas its first Blu-ray release. note 
      • Even here, GKIDS' home video distribution is split between companies. Cinedigm is releasing the newer titles licensed by GKIDS from the start (with Universal distributing), and Shout! Factory is releasing the catalog titles.
    • This trope is averted in the UK and Australia where the entire Ghibli catalog is handled by Studio Canal (formerly Optimum Releasing) and Madman Entertainment respectively.
  • Outside of home country Japan, where Toho exclusively handles distribution, the Pokémon films have gone through many distributors:
    • In the US, the first three films were distributed by Warner Bros., until their rights expired a decade after each film's respective release. Films 4-7 were distributed by Miramax, who are now owned by current Miramax owner beIN Media Group, with home video transferring to Echo Bridge, and later to Lionsgate and currently Paramount. Films 8 onward have been with Viz Media (who distributes through Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and they also have the home video rights to the anime), with the strange exception of the 11th film, which was released by Universal at first, though Viz released it themselves in 2015. Also, Cinedigm distributed the 14th film in select theaters in the US (the "White" version), otherwise, starting with the sixth movie, the films have all been straight-to-video or TV in the US. The first three films also got a new release in 2016, courtesy of Viz, meaning that, at least in the USA, the only films that The Pokémon Company International hasn't gotten the rights back to are #4-7 because they permanently stay with Paramount through Miramax. However, TPCI did briefly get the digital distribution rights to the fourth movie, before being pulled again for reasons unknown over a year later before the TPCI gained digital distribution rights to all the prior films in 2018.
    • In the UK, the Pokémon films were also Warner Bros. for #1-3. StudioCanal handles #4, 5, and 7, while Paramount has #6 (all under Miramax). Network released #10, and Universal has #11-15. None of the other films have been released to DVD in the UK, and only #1-3 were in theaters. In 2016, similar to how the rights in North America had reverted to Viz the year before, the first three movies were picked up for distribution by Manga Entertainment, which also picked up the rights to Hoopa and the Clash of Ages and will be releasing all four on Blu-ray.
    • Similarly in Australia, the first three films were released to theaters by Warner Bros. The fourth and fifth films went direct to video from Miramax/Disney, and films eight onward have been released by Beyond Home Entertainment (formerly Magna Pacific), which, similar to Viz in North America and Manga in the UK, picked up the first three films after the original distributor lost the rights in a dispute with Toho and Nintendo. Six and seven have never been released in Australia. Hoyts also released the fourteenth film to select cinemas.
    • Warner Bros. returned to distributing Pokémon movies with Pokémon Detective Pikachu. However, unlike previous films, this movie was actively co-produced by WB and is not set in the same continuity as the anime (Toho still distributes in Japan, though).
  • AKIRA has gone from Streamline Pictures to Orion Pictures/MGM to Pioneer/Geneon to Bandai Visual/Bandai Entertainment to Funimation.
  • The Noveltoons produced from October 1950 to 1962 were originally from Paramount, then were sold to Harvey Comics along with the Noveltoons intellectual property. Harvey Comics was then bought by Classic Media, then by DreamWorks Animation, then finally by Universal. Paramount sold the pre-1950 cartoons to National Telefilm Associates, which was then renamed Republic Pictures before being bought by Viacom, parent of Paramount. Paramount now owns the cartoons made prior to October 1950 and from 1962 onwards (though a substantial amount of these are in the public domain), while Universal owns the rest (in a twist of irony, Universal also owns every sound film from Paramount from 1929-1949, as stated above).
  • The Miley Cyrus film So Undercover was financed by The Weinstein Company but was sold to Open Road Films (a joint venture of the AMC and Regal theatre chains) for its theatrical release. Then the North American theatrical run got canceled and Millennium Films ended up distributing the film for home video (the failure of LOL at the box office obviously didn't help matters).
  • Haywire was to have initially been released by Lionsgate, but the film's producers (Relativity Media) backed out of their deal with them and chose to distribute themselves. The film went back to Lionsgate for its DVD and Blu-ray releases.
  • Starting with The Force Awakens, the Star Wars franchise would be distributed by Walt Disney Studios under the Lucasfilm banner after Disney's buyout of said company, displacing 20th Century Fox. However, under the terms of the deal, Fox was to retain the distribution rights to the first six films until May 2020, and would own A New Hope in perpetuity. Ultimately, Disney would acquire Fox in March 2019, bringing all Star Wars movies under one roof permanently.
    • The Clone Wars pilot movie was distributed by Warner Bros., but their rights seemingly lapsed, as the DVD and Blu-ray are out-of-print, and the film is currently available on Disney+, along with the rest of the series.
  • The home video distribution of the Peanuts TV specials moved from Media Home Entertainment and sometimes its children's sublabel Hi-Tops Video (or otherwise Kartes Video Communications in a few cases) to Paramount in 1994, then to Warner Bros. in 2008, primarily due to longtime specials producer Bill Melendez being a former Looney Tunes animator.
    • The first two Peanuts theatrical features were produced by Cinema Center Films, the former theatrical arm of CBS, and distributed by National General Pictures. The next two were made by Paramount. Thirty-five years would pass until The Peanuts Movie, which was animated by Blue Sky Studios and accordingly released by Fox.
  • Most films that Media Home Entertainment had originally released on home video saw their rights transfer as well to other distributors, principally Anchor Bay, but the assets of the company when it folded in 1993 following the conviction of Gerald Ronson, CEO of parent company Heron Communications, were sold to 20th Century Fox, which co-distributed some of the very last releases by Media Home Entertainment. For example, Media originally released the first VHS releases of the first five Nightmare on Elm Street films. After Media Home Entertainment ceased to exist, New Line, which originally theatrically distributed the five films became the rights holder for their home video releases, eventually being transferred to corporate parent Warner Bros.
  • Little Monsters and Blue Steel were financed by Vestron Pictures but ended up being distributed by MGM/UA due to Vestron's financial issues. MGM's rights to the former has since lapsed and have reverted to Vestron's successor, Lionsgate, which then released the film on Blu-Ray in September 2020.
  • My Fair Lady transferred from Warner Bros. to CBS during the 1970s, since CBS sponsored the Broadway musical that the movie was based on. Since then, the film has been released by MGM/CBS Home Video, CBS/Fox Video, Warner Home Video, and Paramount Home Entertainment at various times, mainly due to joint ventures and output deals made by CBS.
  • DreamWorks and DreamWorks Animation:
    • DreamWorks started out as an independent studio (with Universal handling home video) that was bought out by Paramount in 2006. Beginning in 2008, the studio broke off from Paramount and its films from 2009 until 2016 were distributed by Disney, under their Touchstone Pictures banner (with 20th Century Fox handling some of them overseas). After negotiations between the two broke down and DreamWorks became part of the newly-formed Amblin Partners, future releases will be from multiple studios, but primarily Universal, who owns a minority stake. For the most part, their back-catalog remains split between Paramount (every live-action release from 1997-2010, as well as sequel rights to these films), Universal (the animated films, see below), and Disney (the releases from 2011-2016).
    • DreamWorks Animation was under DreamWorks' wing until 2004, when they spilt into a separate entity. Their former parent still distributed for DWA until 2006, when the former was acquired by Viacom, leading to Paramount distributing for them until 2012. The studio was with 20th Century Fox from 2013-2017. However, with DWA's acquisition by NBCUniversal in 2016, once their deal with Fox ended in 2017 with Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Universal took over distribution permanently (starting with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World), bringing both DreamWorks and DWA under the same roof once again note .
  • Alfred Hitchcock:
    • Psycho was originally released through Paramount, but the rights to re-release the movie transferred to Universal (on whose lot Hitchcock filmed Psycho) eight years later. Universal eventually gained the rights to four more movies Hitchcock directed for Paramount: Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo.
    • Hitchcock's adaptation of Rope was released by Warner Bros. domestically, but MGM overseas. Universal later acquired the worldwide rights to the film along with the Paramount films.
    • To Catch a Thief is the only Hitchcock film that stayed with Paramount, although Warner Bros. issued it on Blu-ray when they briefly handled Paramount's catalog. North By Northwest stayed with Warner Bros, but they did license it to Universal for their US Hitchcock Blu-ray boxset (overseas sets don't include the film).
    • Rebecca and Spellbound, and Notorious were all produced by Selznick International Pictures, but the first two were distributed theatrically by United Artists and the latter by RKO Radio Pictures. Selznick retained ownership however, but the rights later ended up with ABC/Disney with MGM handling home video through 20th Century Fox. After MGM's rights expired, Criterion licensed Rebecca for home video. Anchor Bay had released the films to VHS and DVD in the 90s/2000s.
    • The rest of the Psycho series was released under Universal, although Psycho II-IV have been sub-licensed to GoodTimes and Shout! Factory/Scream Factory for home video at different points. Shout! also released the 1998 remake on Blu-ray.
  • Two victims of The Shelf of Movie Languishment after MGM's bankrupcy: The Cabin in the Woods (rescued by Lionsgate) and Red Dawn (2012) (minor studio Film District).
    • The bankrupcy lead to a variant: Spyglass Entertainment, who was installed atop MGM by the creditors who had bought the studio, had co-produced G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but decided to plaster Leo the Lion in G.I. Joe: Retaliation instead of their own logo.
  • The Seventh Son started out as a Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures feature, but when Legendary announced that they were breaking up with WB, the latter decided to cancel its planned January 2014 release date and ditch the film entirely. Distribution rights would be passed on to Legendary's new partner, Universal.
    • Universal also got the domestic distribution rights to Pacific Rim: Uprising from Warner Bros. under the new deal (WB still handled international distribution in some territories), as well as the rights to Straight Outta Compton from Warner sister studio New Line Cinema (New Line is still credited as co-producer).
  • The Walt Disney-produced Oswald the Lucky Rabbit films were sold from Universal to The Walt Disney Company in a deal that sent Al Michaels to NBC's Sunday Night Football from ESPN.
  • In a case of films switching from one brand to another within the same parent company, Touchstone Pictures release The Nightmare Before Christmas received the Disney logo for its 3D re-release.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was produced for the Quaker Oats Company (as a promotion for a failed line of chocolate bars) by David L. Wolper's production company (who later produced Roots (1977) for ABC), and distributed by Paramount during its theatrical premiere. After it flopped, they decided not to renew distribution rights. Wolper's company was purchased by Warner Communications in 1976, and Warner Bros. then added the movie to their library, where it belongs to this day.
  • The Little Rascals went from Hal Roach Studios to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. The latter studio distributed the series on behalf of the former for a decade before taking over. The 1990s movie was co-produced by Universal and the company that now owns the franchise, then known as King World, now CBS.
  • After losing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Universal, Disney turned to Celebrity Productions to distribute his new Mickey Mouse cartoons. He released the Silly Symphonies through Columbia Pictures in 1929, and they took over distribution of the Mickey series in 1930. Disney then turned to United Artists from 1932 to 1937, after which RKO Radio Pictures released Disney's shorts and features until 1953, when Disney formed their own distribution company.
  • Godzilla has always been owned by Toho. But American distribution is quite complicated. Most are now held by Sony, who produced the 1998 American movie through TriStar. After their rights to a new movie lapsed, Legendary Pictures bought them and their then-partner Warner released the 2014 movie. Even after Legendary moved to Universal, Warner will continue to make future Godzilla films in association with Legendary.
  • The history of Power Rangers distributors is something that requires branching out along different areas of distribution. On television, it was self-distributed by Saban at first before Fox purchased the company. Then Disney purchased the Saban library from Fox and later sold the franchise rights back to Haim Saban himself, with his new company, Saban Brands, co-distributing new installments in association with MarVista Entertainment until selling the property again to Hasbro in 2018. The theatrical films were first handled by Fox, with Lionsgate (itself distributed on home video by Fox) taking over the film series starting with the third film. On video, PolyGram and Warner Music Group, the latter then owned by Warner Bros., were the first to distribute the franchise, followed by Fox (which had already issued the first film on video), then Disney, and presently Shout! Factory and Lionsgate. Ironically, Disney would end up owning the first two movies, and other Saban properties still owned by Fox, years after unloading the franchise itself thanks to their acquisition of Fox's film and television assets in March 2019.
  • Dumb and Dumber and its 2003 prequel Dumb and Dumberer were both distributed by New Line, but its 2014 sequel Dumb and Dumber To was picked up by Universal (though New Line stayed on as producer).
  • Earth to Echo was originally produced by Disney. After seeing the final cut, the studio lost faith in the project and they sold the distribution rights to Relativity Media.
  • Ninja Scroll went from Manga Entertainment to Sentai Filmworks
  • Vampire Hunter D went from Streamline Pictures to Orion Pictures to Urban Vision to Sentai Filmworks.
    • It's sequel Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust went from Urban Vision to Discotek Media.
  • Universal Pictures' new deal with Blumhouse Productions led to a peculiar case of this for the latest installments in the Insidious and Sinister franchises. They were originally distributed by Film District and Summit Entertainment, respectively. Universal subsidiary Focus Features got the rights to both franchises through their acquisition of Film District (in the case of Insidious) and Blumhouse's deal (in the case of Sinister). Then, in the wake of other genre films in the pipeline for that Universal division, including Self/Less, London Has Fallen (its predecessor Olympus Has Fallen being distributed by Film District as well), The Forest (2016), and the Ratchet & Clank movie, Focus revived Gramercy Pictures, one of the company's predecessors, as a label for films like these that would not normally go under the Focus banner, similar to Rogue before it was sold to Relativity Media.
    • This deal also covered The Green Inferno. It was going to be distributed by Open Road in 2014, but they backed out over a bad deal by one of the film's financiers. Luckily, Blumhouse, under its BH Tilt label, was able to forge a deal with Universal and High Top Releasing, a label that Focus inherited from Film District, to get it released. (Oddly enough, Universal distributes Open Road's films on home video.)
    • And it happened again with the Fallen series, as Angel Has Fallen will be distributed by Lionsgate. Three films, same production companies, three distributors.
  • For Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, FUNimation partnered up with Screen Vision to release the film into US and Canadian cinemas. By the next year when it came time to release Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, they had their own theatrical distribution arm (FUNimation Films), and released the film into theaters themselves in partnership with 20th Century Fox.
    • In Japan, the original 13 Dragon Ball Z films were released by Toei Company themselves. For the recent films, they partnered up with 20th Century Fox, who had inherited the rights to distribute future Dragon Ball films through their contract for Dragonball Evolution.
  • Paramount handled True Grit, but Universal took care of the sequel Rooster Cogburn.
  • The Vacation franchise has always been with Warner Bros, but the 2015 sequel/reboot was instead distributed by Warner-owned New Line.
  • The Ghost in the Shell live-action movie was originally set to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures (Through their Touchstone Pictures label), with Paramount only handling international release, but after Disney and DreamWorks opted not to renew their distribution deal set to expire on August 2016, the domestic rights were transferred to Paramount wholesale, meaning that they will release the movie both domestically and internationally.
    • The two anime films were both produced by Production I.G., but they have different distributors. The original film was released by Shochiku in Japan, and Manga Entertainment (at the time, owned by PolyGram) outside Asia. Unlike most anime properties, Manga outright owns some distribution rights to the film permanently since they co-funded its production. Manga was sold to Anchor Bay in 2004, who was bought by Starz in 2006, who themselves were bought by Lionsgate in 2016. The second film, Innocence, was released by Toho in Japan and DreamWorks' GoFish Pictures overseas (though Manga reached a deal to release it in the UK and Australia). After Paramount inherited their back catalog, they licensed it to Bandai. When DreamWorks' deal expired, the film was out of print for years until FUNimation licensed it in 2016.
  • The Lobster was bought for US distribution by indie film company Alchemy, and was due for release in March 2016. However, due to Alchemy's financial troubles, the film was sold to fellow indie studio A24 and the planned March release date was bumped back to May of the same year.
  • Ex Machina was released by Universal internationally, in North America the film's distribution is handled by A24 due to Universal's US arm rejecting it.
    • In a similar case, The Disaster Artist, which was produced by New Line Cinema, had its domestic rights acquired by A24 amid doubts within New Line's parent studio Warner Bros. about its commercial potential. Warner Bros. is still distributing it in most international territories except for Canada, where distribution is being held by frequent A24 collaborator Elevation Pictures.
  • Castle Rock Entertainment started out as an independent production company, with their films distributed by Columbia Pictures theatrically and by New Line on home video. They were purchased by Turner Entertainment in 1994 (who merged with Time Warner in 1996), though Columbia still continued to be their theatrical distributor until the early 2000s, with Warner taking over home video. Today, the home video and digital download rights to Castle Rock's pre-1994 films are owned by MGM (who owns the PolyGram library, which the same Castle Rock films became a part of shortly after Turner's merger with Time Warner, due to having been acquired by Epic Productions) and the post-1994 films are owned by Warner Bros. WB also owns the streaming VOD and TV rights to the pre-1994 films. Several films that Columbia financially backed (A Few Good Men, In the Line of Fire and North) remain with Columbia parent Sony.
  • The first Mad Max film was released by Roadshow Entertainment in Australia, American International Pictures in the US, and Warner Bros in the rest of the world. The three other films in the series, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and Mad Max: Fury Road were released by Warner Bros worldwide. Today, MGM has the North American rights to the first Mad Max film (they own the AIP library), and frequently license it to Warner for franchise boxsets. Scream Factory also has a Blu-ray edition.
  • Amidst a complicated legal battle, all the major King Kong movies were by different studios: the 1933 original and it's 1934 sequel by RKO (now distributed by Warner domestically), the 1976 remake and its 1986 sequel by the De Laurentiis Corporation (the first distributed by Paramount), the 2005 version by Universal (who owns the rights to the King Kong name), and Universal licensed 2017's Kong: Skull Island to Warner so they could make a crossover with their Godzilla.
  • Blade Runner was released by Warner Bros, but its sequel was released internationally by Sony Pictures, with Warner handling North America only.
    • Because of the way the first film was originally financed, the distribution rights varied from territory to territory. Warner Bros. now owns the distribution rights of Blade Runner worldwide, but up until the 1990s, the video and TV rights changed hands several times, because Jerry Perenchio and Bud Yorkin controlled the ownership of the film through a holding company, which is still the case today (though in Yorkin's case, his estate owns his share since he died in 2015).
  • Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series. All of them were produced by Raimi's Renaissance Pictures, but the original film was released by New Line Cinema, Evil Dead 2 was Rosebud Releasing (a division of Embassy, whose catalog is now owned by StudioCanal), and Army of Darkness was Universal domestically, and MGM overseas (with different cuts). The reboot was TriStar Pictures, and Ash vs. Evil Dead is made by Creator/Lionsgate. Because of this, Ash vs. Evil Dead could not legally reference events from Army of Darkness in its first season, but were able to some in the second season after reaching an agreement with Universal.
    • Anchor Bay had the home video rights to the original trilogy for the longest time, though now they only have the first film and the Ash vs. The Evil Dead TV series. Lionsgate has the second film (through their deal with StudioCanal), and Army of Darkness is back with Universal, though they did license the film to Scream Factory. The reboot is on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures. Now Anchor Bay is owned by Lionsgate, so they now technically have the whole franchise except for Army of Darkness and the reboot.
  • The Man Called Flintstone and Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! were both released to theaters by Columbia Pictures, and the former even featured a studio logo gag with Wilma Flintstone drawn in place of the Columbia girl. At the time, all Hanna-Barbara shows were released to TV by Columbia-owned Screen Gems. However, HB, and their library, was bought by Turner in 1991, who merged with Time Warner in 1996. Legal complications between Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures kept these two films off of DVD until 2008, when Warner was finally able to release them. Their DVD of Flintstone removes Columbia's vanity plate gag.
  • From 1991 to 1999, Arnon Milchan's New Regency had a distribution deal with Warner Bros. In 1997, Milchan cut a deal with 20th Century Fox to distribute its films and the deal is still in effect. In 2015, the video rights for all of New Regency's Warner releases (with the exception of films Warner co-financed) reverted back to Milchan, who subsequently cut a deal with Fox for distribution. Fox then re-released these films on Blu-Ray & DVD that same year, using the same masters as the previous WB discs with slightly altered packaging. This includes films such as Heat, which was remastered 2 years later in 4k, and L.A. Confidential, which is getting a 20th Anniversary release...with no new transfer or extras.
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the sequel to Sicario, jumped ship to Sony/Columbia Pictures after the series' financier backed out of a new deal with Lionsgate, distributor of the first film. Lionsgate still has overseas rights though.
  • Apple, the corporate company of The Beatles, now owns all four of the band's feature-length films. The United Artists tags at the start has been removed from them, replaced with the Apple logo (except for Let It Be, which has yet to see a DVD or Blu-Ray release). The end tag of "Released through United Artists" has been taken off all together from the end of Yellow Submarine on its 2012 home video re-release, showing just a blank screen during the end of the song before transitioning to credits of the restoration team.
    • Previously, A Hard Day's Night was released to home video by Miramax (distributed through Buena Vista Entertainment), and likewise, all references—start or finish—to United Artists were excised. Help! saw its first home video release in 1987 through MPI and Criterion, preserving the UA vanity plates. Apple now owns the film in conjunction with EMI and Capitol, with UA plates removed.
  • In the case of The Exorcist franchise, the first two films were produced and released by Warner Bros. In the late-1980s, the rights to the franchise were transferred to Morgan Creek, the company that would produce the third film, two versions of the same prequel, and co-produced the TV series with Fox. The third film was released theatrically and on VHS by 20th Century Fox, on DVD by Warner Home Video, and on Blu-Ray by Scream Factory. Warner Bros. released the prequels theatrically and initially on DVD, but recently those films were reissued as a double-feature DVD set by Sony. In September 2018 Scream Factory released a special edition Blu-Ray of Exorcist II under license from Warner Bros.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog movie was originally set up at Sony, but after producer Neal H. Moritz decided not to renew his first-look deal with Sony and move to Paramount, and Sony deciding to place the film in turnaround after being unable to find financing for it, the Sonic movie rights were transferred to Paramount as well.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films started out as an independent production by Hong Kong-based Golden Harvest, with New Line Cinema purchasing distribution rights during production, an arrangement that stuck for two sequels. The animated film TMNT was co-produced by The Weinstein Company and New Line's future parent company, Warner Bros. After Viacom bought the TMNT property in 2009, the 2014 film and its sequel were produced by Paramount and Nickelodeon.
  • StudioCanal cancelled The Weinstein Company's North American distribution of Paddington 2 in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, saying they didn't want a family film to be associated with those events. Warner Bros., who already distributed the first film in Spain, acquired the North American rights to the sequel for $32 million.
    • Because of the Weinstein scandal, three other films (The War With Grandpa, In the Heights, and Wind River) reverted to their producers. Wind River was later sold to Lionsgate, while In the Heights was also sold to Warner Bros.
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and its sequel were made by Paramount, yet the 2018 reboot is by Warner and MGM. Warner also released the original films on DVD and Blu-ray during their home video deal with Paramount. MGM is still aboard the reboot's upcoming sequel, but Warner isn't.
  • The classic Hammer Horror films have an infamously complicated distribution history. Hammer Film Productions struck deals with distributors on a film-by-film basis for much of its history, resulting in the films within its Frankenstein and Dracula series bearing many different studio logos, especially in the United States.
  • XXx and its sequel xXx: State of the Union were both released by Sony/Columbia. When State of the Union flopped, Sony was hesitant on doing a third xXx movie. The eventual third film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, came out 12 years after the sequel's release at Paramount as a result. This also meant that franchise co-producer Neal Mortiz, who was locked under a first-look contract at Sony, could not return for the third film, having to wait until the end of 2017 to sign a new contract at Paramount. In 2018, Vin Diesel and independent company H Collective bought the xXx franchise from former owner Revolution Studios and plans to make another sequel without Paramount's involvement.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu was a Legendary Pictures/Universal co-production until contract renewal negotiations between the two broke down. Former Legendary partner Warner Bros., who had poached Kong: Skull Island from Universal several years prior, distributed the film worldwide (except Japan, where Toho has the rights), allowing Warner Bros. to return to the Pokémon franchise for the first time since Pokémon 3note .
  • The film adaptation for Five Nights at Freddy's was first set up at New Line/Warner Bros. before Executive Meddling and budget problems led to Warner Bros. putting the film in turnaround, effectively cancelling the project. Blumhouse quickly bought the rights from Warner, and Chris Columbus is attached as director and writer.
  • Similarly, Warner Bros. was supposed to produce Death Note (2017) before WB sent the film into turnaround due to a change in release strategy following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's disappointing box office numbers. Netflix then picked the project up, with the crew still attached.
  • Another movie Warner Bros. dropped (at least in the United States) was Planet 51, which was inherited from New Line after WB took over that studio. Things went south when the producers demanded it take the slot reserved for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Warner didn't comply with the demands, and distribution was instead taken up by TriStar Pictures.
  • Andy Serkis' Mowgli was in development as early as 2013 from Warner Bros, but after a serious case of The Shelf of Movie Languishment (and competition from Disney's The Jungle Book (2016)), they dumped it on Netflix, for a streaming-only release in 2019. This was a last-minute decision, after Warner had already released a trailer and sent posters to cinemas.
  • The Blob franchise. The original 1958 film was produced independently, but picked up for distribution by Paramount Pictures. It's been released to home video by GoodTimes (VHS) and The Criterion Collection (LaserDisc, DVD, and Blu-ray). The 1972 sequel Beware! The Blob was financed and released independently by Jack H. Harris productions, and released to home video by Image Entertainment and Kino Lorber. The 1988 remake was released by TriStar Pictures, and is now owned by Sony. Twilight Time released a limited edition Blu-ray before Scream Factory licensed the film.
  • The Prom Night franchise. The original four films were all produced by Peter Simpson's Simcom Productions/Norstar Releasing, but have been handled by numerous companies. The original 1980 film was picked up for distribution by AVCO Embassey, and later released to video by MCA/Universal (LaserDisc), New Line and Virgin Video (VHS) and Anchor Bay (DVD). The in-name-only sequel was picked up by The Samuel Goldwyn Company, and later ended up with MGM with home video by Virgin Video (VHS) and 20th Century Fox (DVD). That film's sequel and the fourth entry were released direct-to-video by Live! Entertainment (LaserDisc by Image), and later released to DVD by Artisan (later bought by Lionsgate). The 2008 reboot was released by Sony Pictures under their Screen Gems label. The rights to the original four films later reverted to Alliance Atlantis (who owns Peter Simpson's catalog), with home video by Echo Bridge. Synapse later licensed the first film for Blu-ray. Entertainment One later purchased Alliance, and sold some of their catalog (including the original Prom Night films) to FilmRise. The rights to the third film aren't quite certain, as it is completely unavailable on DVD or streaming, unlike the others. Some are worried that the rights may have reverted to the same hands as the notorious Fright Night Part 2, which had the same producer.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (1986) was distributed by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group in its original release. The unrelated 2017 movie, meanwhile, was released by Lionsgatenote . After that film did mediocre box office business, Hasbro decided to make the next film a Continuity Reboot, to be released in 2021 and co-produced and released by Paramount as part of their production pact with Hasbro.
  • The original Scarface was produced by Howard Hughes and distributed by United Artists. After Hughes' death, the rights to the movie along with several of Hughes' works were bought by Universal, who would go on to produce the more notable 1983 remake.
  • Titanic (1997) started out as a 20th Century Fox production entirely. As the production budget soared, however, Fox decided to sell the domestic rights to Paramount to hold off potential losses (they still released the movie internationally).
  • In a similar vein, The Prestige was initially just a Warner Bros. production before WB agreed to sell the US/Canada rights to Touchstone Pictures/Disney to avoid cost overruns (WB still released the movie internationally).
  • A twofer involving co-productions with Warner Bros. and Paramount: Watchmen and Interstellar were solely Paramount productions initially, but both ended up under Warner's wing as well (WB handled Watchmen domestically, Interstellar internationally). The former was a result of Paramount placing it in turnaround whilst keeping a stake in the film rights, while the latter was due to Warner Bros. wanting to be involved in the film so much that they gave up their portion of the South Park movie rights and the Friday the 13th franchise just to get Paramount to relent (though the latter rights ended up going back to WB years later).
  • The 1978-1987 Superman films with Christopher Reeve is a rather convoluted case. Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the character via DC Comics, did not produce these films. Instead, DC sold the film rights to Alexander and Ilya Salkind; they produced the first three films and contracted WB to distribute the films in North America, and in the case of the first two, domestic TV rights and most foreign rights. The Salkinds later sold the Superman rights to The Cannon Group, which produced Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. WB had recently bailed out the financially-struggling Cannon and bought the domestic theatrical/video rights to that film as part of that plan. Supergirl was originally going to be a WB release but the studio and the Salkinds disagreed over the intended release date and TriStar Pictures took over distribution. In 2006, WB managed to acquire all rights to these films (with the exception of some foreign distribution contracts still in effect).
  • The two film adaptations of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" both involved members of the Goldwyn family, but were produced by different studios.
    • The 1947 adaptation was produced by Samuel Goldwyn's production studio and distributed by RKO Pictures theatrically. It's now owned by his estate, with Warner Bros. currently licensed to distribute on home video and Miramax on digital distribution, respectively.
    • The 2013 adaptation started out as a Samuel Goldwyn Jr./New Line co-production, but Creative Differences between Goldwyn Jr. and New Line resulted in the latter parting ways with him. After an unsuccessful pitch to Paramount, Goldwyn Jr. eventually sold the rights to 20th Century Fox, who gave both New Line and Goldwyn Jr. credit in the final product.
  • The Grindhouse franchise has a bit of a messy history. The original double feature of Planet Terror and Death Proof were produced by Troublemaker Studios and distributed theatrically by Dimension Films, and on video by the Weinstein Company (separate extended cuts) and Vivendi Entertainment (as a double feature). The spinoff film Machete was distributed by 20th Century Fox in the United States and Sony internationally, and its sequel Machete Kills was theatrically distributed by Open Road Films and on video by Universal. Both were still produced by Troublemaker. The other spinoff film, Hobo With A Shot Gun, was produced in Canada by Rhombus Media and distributed by Alliance Films in Canada and Magnet Releasing in the United States.
  • The live-action Super Mario Bros. movie was produced by Cinergi Productions and Allied Filmmakers, and released by Disney via Hollywood Pictures. When Nintendo decided to give the franchise a second go in movies, they contracted Illumination Entertainment to produce an all-CGI Continuity Reboot, to be released by Universal.
  • Thumbelina and A Troll in Central Park were produced by Don Bluth's studio and released by Warner Bros. When 20th Century Fox hired him to run their now-defunct feature animation division, both movies were part of the deal and thus transferred to Fox a few years later.
  • The Swan Princess was originally pitched by Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1992. When Disney was unable to reach Richard Rich for the project, it ended up being pitched to NEST and New Line Cinema. The home video rights to it, and its many sequels, would end up in the hands of Sony Pictures after the fact.
  • Laika had their first four movies released through Universal's Focus Features unit. For Missing Link, they broke off with Universal/Focus and sold the US distribution rights to Annapurna Pictures (who, in turn, transferred them to MGM's United Artists unit when they set up a distribution joint venture with them) and the international rights to Lionsgate.
  • The merger of 20th Century Fox with Disney led to many projects in early development at the time being cancelled, brought over to other Disney labels, or in these cases switched studios:
    • The film adaptation for The Hate U Give was produced and distributed by Fox. Its follow-up, On the Come Up, is being handled by Paramount due to Fox's then-new owner Disney shutting down Fox 2000, which produced the former film.
    • News of the World, co-produced by and starring Tom Hanks, moved to Universal after Fox 2000's shuttering. (Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, international rights were later sold to Netflix.)
    • The film adaptation of Mouse Guard which was shut down by the new owners just two weeks before production was to begin. The producers were allowed to shop it elsewhere, but no one was willing to take it up, resulting in its outright cancellation.
    • Richard Jewell, produced by Clint Eastwood, was almost given the thumbs-up to go ahead before Eastwood and Disney agreed the project was better off at Warner Bros., who was a frequent Eastwood collaborator by then, than with Fox.
    • A film adaptation of Magic: The Gathering, which had been shelved for quite some time, was scrapped, and the rights ended up reverting back to Hasbro. The toy company then partnered with Netflix for an animated series, with The Russo Brothers producing.
    • Zig-zagged with a Fox 2000 holdover, Children of Blood and Bone. It ended up staying at Disney after the label's shuttering, but Disney-owned Lucasfilm ended up joining as a production partner after it caught the attention of Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.
    • The Woman in the Window would've been distributed by Disney...had negative test screenings, lack of faith from studio executives and the COVID-19 pandemic not affect its release date. In August 2020, Disney sold the rights to Netflix just to clean their hands of the movie and finally finish off the Fox 2000 slate.
    • The Fear Street film trilogy was supposed to be released by Disney theatrically, but they instead handed the movies over to Netflix when studio Chernin Entertainment's production deal with Fox lapsed. Other Chernin projects such as the live-action Mega Man movie moved to Netflix as well.
    • A proposed film adaptation of Spamalot languished in development hell at Fox for years, and was ultimately shelved when Disney took over. Thankfully, Disney allowed Eric Idle to shop the film elsewhere, and it ended up at Paramount, in large part because that studio was run by the same executive who picked it up at Fox.
  • The James Bond series is one of the few examples where the same company (Eon Productions) has been involved since the very beginning. That being said, they always have to partner with bigger studios to co-finance and distribute the films, and changes happened on this side.
    • The series was originally handled by United Artists, and continued to be released under the label even after MGM bought the studio. Starting with The World Is Not Enough, MGM distributed the series under their name after the unit was retooled as an indie division for a short time, before other changes.
    • Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre were all co-produced and released by Columbia Pictures in partnership with MGM and EON Productions. For No Time to Die, MGM and EON partnered with Universal, who will handle distribution internationally while MGM handles distribution stateside via the above-mentioned United Artists unit.
    • Two films that aren't part of the official Bond chronology, Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again, were distributed by different studios (Columbia for the former; Warner Bros. for the latter) originally, but both ended up under MGM's ownership in the late '90s through different means (for the former, MGM got the rights to Casino Royale from Sony as part of a trade that saw Sony get the Spider-Man Trilogy movie rights, while the latter was bought from producer Jack Schwartzman's estate).
  • In a case of a film series switching sister studios, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum went from Summit to Lionsgate proper (although Summit still retains a production credit), and switched some international territories as well - the first two films were distributed by Warner Bros. in the UK and Ireland, for example.
  • Lake Placid was a production of 20th Century Fox originally. In 2006, Fox sold the Lake Placid IP to the film's co-producers Phoenix Pictures, who then partnered up with Sony Pictures to produce the television film sequel with Fox the following year. All subsequent films released since then are exclusively from Sony, though Fox owner Disney still owns the prior two films (and currently licenses the digital rights to Sony as of 2018).
  • As with John Wick above, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was released by Columbia Pictures (as was its sequel), an upgrade within Sony from TriStar's release of the first film.
    • This isn't the first time Sony "upgraded" labels for sequels. The Mask of Zorro was released through TriStar, while its sequel seven years later, The Legend of Zorro, was released through Columbia.
  • The 1961 film version of West Side Story was co-produced between Mirisch Films and Seven Arts Productions and released through United Artists (now with MGM). The 2020 adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg, is produced through his company and 20th Century Studios, and released by 20th owner Disney.
  • Every film in the Fallen film series has been produced by Millennium Films, but they've all gone out through different distributors. Olympus Has Fallen was released by FilmDistrict before their shutdown, and released to home video by Sony Pictures. London Has Fallen was released by Comcast-owned Focus Features (who absorbed FilmDistrict), with home video by Universal. Angel Has Fallen was released by Lionsgate.
  • Every version of Black Christmas has been released by a different studio. The original 1974 Canadian film was released in its native country by Ambassador Film Distributors, and in the US by Warner Bros. It's now owned by Sommerville House, with home video formerly by Anchor Bay (Canada) and Critical Mass (US) and now by Shout! Factory. The 2006 remake was produced by The Weinstein Company's Dimension Films label, and released to theaters by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and on home video by Genius Products. It's now owned by Lantern Entertainment, who absorbed Weintein's assetts. The 2019 remake was produced by Blumhouse and released by Universal.
  • Daddy Day Care was released by Columbia, while its sequel Daddy Day Camp was released by Tristar. Due to a deal with Universal and Revolution Studios, the third installment Grand Daddy Day-Care was released by Universal. Similarly, Benchwarmers was released by Columbia, while Benchwarmers 2 was released by Universal.
  • Throughout its history, Morgan Creek jumped from 20th Century Fox, to Warner Bros., to Universal for distribution, while retaining the copyright to their library. Recently, their titles were acquired by Revolution Studios, with Sony Pictures and Shout! Factory currently handling home video distribution for the majority of these films.
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was released by Lionsgate on behalf of CBS Films. Due to the merger between Viacom and CBS, its sequel will be released by Paramount.

  • Impatient about Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment putting off making a sequel to Casper, franchise owners Harvey Comics made a deal with Saban Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment to produce Direct to Video follow-ups Casper: A Spirited Beginning and Casper Meets Wendy. The reason they went straight-to-video was thanks to Loophole Abuse: Harvey sold the film rights to Universal, as in theatrical films; movies produced for video didn't count. Funnily enough, through a series of acquisitions, the Casper character would become outright owned by Universal, including the rights to some of the DTV films, and they released a DVD set including the 1995 film and A Spirited Beginning in 2019. Casper Meets Wendy appears to have been retained by Fox and Saban's successor, Disney, however.
  • Denis Villeneuve's Dune was originally supposed to be distributed by Universal like the 1984 film, but due to producer Legendary Pictures switching allegiances in mid-2018 it will now be distributed by Warner Bros.. Ironically, Universal will co-distribute the home media release as part of a joint venture with Warner.
  • The Butterfly Effect and its sequel was distributed by New Line. The third installment was distributed by Lionsgate.
  • Van Wilder was distributed by Artisan Entertainment, now owned by Lionsgate. Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj was distributed by MGM. Van Wilder: Freshman Year was distributed by Paramount under its Paramount Famous Productions banner.
  • Poltergeist: To an extent. MGM produced the trilogy and the remake. However, the first movie is currently owned by Warner Bros., due to Turner Entertainment's ownership of MGM's pre-May 1986 library, and WB's ownership of Turner Entertainment. The sequels remained with MGM, and for a while, were handled on home video by 20th Century Fox, who also distributed the remake. WB took over distribution duties of MGM's post-1986 library from Fox in 2020, giving them rights to the whole trilogy. Later, ShoutFactory got the rights to release deluxe editions of the second and third films as well.
  • The VeggieTales movies. Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie was originally released by Artisan Pictures via the film unit of Family Home Entertainment, before Artisan was bought by Lionsgate. The follow-up film six years later, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie, was released by Universal Pictures, Big Idea's future parent company. Universal would subsequently get the rights to Jonah once Lionsgate's 15-year contract expired.
  • The Phantasm franchise. First film: AVCO Embassy Pictures. Second film: Universal. Third film: Starway International Inc. Fourth film: Orion Pictures. Fifth film: Well Go Entertainment.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion: From Klork Worx for the first and second movie to Toei Company for the third and fourth films. The fourth movie adds Toho as a distributor.
  • Tales from the Hood was released by independent film company Savoy Pictures, with its sequels Tales from the Hood 2 and Tales from the Hood 3 distributed by Universal due to that company acquiring the rights to the first film through their subsidiary Focus Features' acquisition of Savoy Pictures' film library after Savoy Pictures went defunct.
  • The Heartbreak Kid (1972) was released by Fox, the 2007 remake by Paramount.
  • Taft Entertainment's library (which includes Stephen King's Cujo and The Running Man) was sold to Worldvision after the former went defunct. Warner Bros. distributed Cujo while TriStar handled The Running Man and The Monster Squad. Worldvision folded under Viacom, which already owns Paramount Pictures and thus Taft's library fell under Paramount's library under the Republic label, who then licensed the home video rights to Lionsgate and then Olive Films.
  • Watership Down has gone from Embassy Pictures to Warner Bros and now Janus Films with a release from their sister company The Criterion Collection.

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