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Creator / Thorn EMI Video

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Thorn EMI Video was a British home video company, owned by the music/electronics conglomerate, that also released its product in North America and Australia. It started life in 1979 as EMI Videogram before taking on its more well-known name in 1981, expanding to the United States later that year with 14 titles, including three music titles and one of two licensed videos of the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana (the other being released by The BBC). Thorn EMI later evolved into a mini-major in the North American video business, with such titles as The Burning, The Bushido Blade, and First Blood. They also distributed product from Thames Television and some early New Line Cinema titles.

In November 1984, Thorn EMI Video entered into a joint venture with HBO, which boosted its mini-major status. At least in North America, the company was now called Thorn EMI-HBO Video, gaining access to HBO product and becoming the exclusive distributor for many unreleased Orion Pictures films between the establishment of the joint venture and the foundation of Orion's video division (prior to the Thorn EMI/HBO joint venture, Vestron Video and Embassy Home Entertainment both released a bunch of films from Orion). Following The Cannon Group's purchase of the Thorn EMI library in 1986, the company became Cannon Video in the UK and HBO/Cannon Video in North America. However, Cannon was soon forced to sell Thorn EMI's library to producer Jerry Weintraub thanks to financial issues, and the company became simply HBO Video in 1987. Orion dropped out soon after that to setup their own video label, though some Orion films (including ¡Three Amigos!— a co-production of Orion and HBO) continued to be distributed by HBO Video. HBO also distributed Weintraub's Thorn EMI product in North America for the time he owned it, while Warner Home Video distributed it in the UK. HBO Video continued releasing product from a variety of firms (including Miramax Films, Thames, De Laurentiis, Hemdale, and Samuel Goldwyn, among others) through the late 80s and into the 90s, but gradually began concentrating on HBO-produced material as these companies shut down or found other distributors, and was renamed as HBO Home Entertainment in 2010 (its operations have also been streamlined with sister firm Warner Home Entertainment).


Today, Thorn EMI's titles are handled by the likes of Studio Canal, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Warner Bros., among others.

Titles distributed by Thorn EMI


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