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Creator Killer / Film Studios and Production Companies

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  • The failure of the 1956 "John Wayne as Genghis Khan" epic The Conqueror is often said to have been The Last Straw in the demise of RKO Pictures, one of the "Big Five" major studios of The Golden Age of Hollywood. Its previous owner Howard Hughes didn't know what he was doing, leading to it getting sold to a tire company (!), and while they made an effort to turn things around, The Conqueror (produced under Hughes' management) failing to recoup its bloated budget just pushed it over the edge. RKO made a few films in the 1980s, and now, it exists mostly to sanction remakes of its films (occasionally, original productions are made by the company, such as A Late Quartet and Barely Lethal). Because the movie was also filmed downwind from an above-ground nuclear test site (with Hughes even reportedly shipping back some of the sand from the filming area for studio shoots), some believe it to have been a literal career killer, responsible for the cancer deaths of a number of people involved in the shoot, Wayne included, and the suicide of another who had been diagnosed.
  • 20th Century Fox's genre film label Fox Atomic never really took off in its first two years of existence and the failure of The Comebacks prompted them to scale down productions and close their marketing divisions. The combined failures of Miss March and 12 Rounds proved to be the straws that finally broke the camel's back as the label was folded outright and their later projects were sent to other Fox labels.
  • Universal's animation unit, Universal Animation Studios (formerly Universal Cartoon Studios, which was built from the foundations of Walter Lantz Productions) decided to take a shot at getting into theatrical films with Curious George (2006), after over a decade of producing Direct to Video fare (mostly endless The Land Before Time sequels) and various successful animated shows, such as Back to the Future, Exosquad, Earthworm Jim and The New Woody Woodpecker Show. Unfortunately, the film received mediocre box office returns (despite decent reviews), which combined with poor video sales of The Adventures of Brer Rabbit resulted into UAS entirely ending any further in-house productions, choosing to outsource its animated properties to other animation studios instead. The success of Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me displaced UAS as Universal's main animation arm, and the DreamWorks Animation acquisition effectively sealed the studio's fate; with its television animation operations being merged into those of DreamWorks and existing as an In Name Only unit of Universal for properties not under the Illumination or DreamWorks banner. Compounding it was the recent announcement that a Fast and the Furious animated series was being produced by DWA for Netflix, with more series based on Universal properties in the pipeline.
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation hasn't done another movie or TV series after the critical failures of The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue and Tom Sawyer (2000). An adaption of the children's book Punk Farm was announced in 2011, but nothing has come out of the project ever since.
  • Marvel Knights was a branch created by Marvel Comics to distribute some more mature comic materials. The subsidiary eventually went into film production, but only two films were released under the brand; the first, Punisher: War Zone, bombed at the box office and led to rights reverting to Marvel proper. This led to a hiatus of several years before the next film to use the brand, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The same thing happened again, and the brand was put in indefinite lockup immediately afterwards.
  • Acquired by Disney in 2011, UTV Motion Pictures served as the company's film production and distribution label for Indian films. UTV was successful with Bollywood blockbusters such as PK and Chennai Express, and Disney began developing Indian films under the Disney label. Unfortunately, UTV couldn't keep up their momentum, and in 2016 they released Mohenjo Daro. Despite boasting stars such as Hrithik Roshan and the director of Lagaan, Mohenjo Daro garnered negative word-of-mouth for the multiple problems it faced during production. When the film proved to be a financial and critical failure upon its eventual release, Disney decided to pull out of Bollywood film production, placing UTV Motion Pictures on the chopping block. Disney wouldn't try to get back to the Bollywood market until it acquired Star India as part of its takeover of 21st Century Fox, giving Disney a much stronger presence in the market and a perfect opportunity to take a second crack at it.
  • Disney purchased effects company Dream Quest Images (Oscar winners for both The Abyss and Total Recall) in 1996, which was later renamed The Secret Lab, and also given a shot at feature animation with Dinosaur. Unfortunately, while making back its budget the box office of Dinosaur wasn't enough to offset high marketing costs and the studio was shut down, only being allowed to finish off their already started effects work, such as Reign of Fire and Kangaroo Jack.
  • DreamWorks Animation entered an agreement to merge itself with NBCUniversal after a string of box office failures in the early 2010s, namely Rise of the Guardians, Turbo, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and Penguins of Madagascar. The latter two caused a loss of $106 million in box office gross ($57 million for Peabody, $49 million for Penguins), making it unviable for the animation studio to operate without a major studio backing. They also caused Pacific Data Images, who helped produce both films and the studio's famed Shrek series, to shut down as part of a restructuring of the company.
  • New Line Cinema ended its independence under Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) following the high-profile box office bomb of The Golden Compass, which was actually the final nail in the coffin after a series of flops during the Turn of the Millennium. The company was inherited by Time Warner as a result of its merger with Turner Broadcasting, which had purchased it back in 1994, but was allowed to operate independently from Warner Bros. The aforementioned box office bomb resulted in New Line being folded into the major studio, and now it exists as a subsidiary.

  • Some have suggested that Can't Stop the Music ended up killing music label EMI's film studio, but Honky Tonk Freeway, released just a year later, was in reality the bigger perpetrator. The film's scathing reviews from critics for its stereotyping of American culture, combined with revelations that the film was financed by executive producer Roy Tucker through tax dodging schemes with assistance from a banking cartel (which prompted EMI to sell the film rights to investors to clean their hands of the matter), led to audiences staying away from the movie in theaters and was taken out of the screens after only a week. The film flopped instantly as a result and EMI Films spent its final five years producing or financing a string of moderately to poorly successful films, before EMI sold the studio to businessman Alan Bond (who would end up becoming the target of press controversy for scandals that same decade), who in turn sold the remaining assets to The Cannon Group. Its film catalog was sold a year later to film producer Jerry Weintraub through his Weintraub Entertainment Group (which was also ill-fated), and are now in the hands of StudioCanal.
    • Meanwhile, Lord Lew Grade, head of Britain's ITC and producer of many Gerry Anderson series plus The Muppet Show, had film aspirations, which led him to team up with EMI (which was headed at the time by Grade's brother, Bernard Delfont) for the American joint venture Associated Film Distribution. At first it seemed like good things were in store, with The Muppet Movie performing very well. But then, Raise the Titanic! staggered into theaters. Having a Troubled Production beyond belief, it couldn't make back its $40 million budget — Grade himself commented "it would've been cheaper to lower the Atlantic". Then Can't Stop the Music happened. Grade realized that this wasn't working and cut a deal with Universal to release the remaining ITC/AFD backlog. Another blow against him occurred with one of the ITC/AFD films he sold, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, caused controversy when ITC tried to force classic Lone Ranger actor Clayton Moore to stop making public appearances as the character as he had been doing for decades. This caused extremely negative publicity for the film and the studio, particularly in the United States, where Moore was considered to be a national treasure. The general public overwhelmingly took Moore's side and stayed away from the movie; As a result, it significantly underperformed at the box office. ITC never really recovered from this, and thanks to the loss of their sister ATV in 1982 (which had been semi-replaced in the ITV network by Central) and Grade selling the company that same year, they went into freefall, trying to get by producing TV movies for American television (through their Marble Arch division) and signing questionable distribution deals (they distributed the 1990 version of Tic Tac Dough, which only lasted one season). They were sold to PolyGram in the mid-1990s, and Grade himself (after having left in the early 80s) was brought back as an advisor, but it wasn't enough. ITC was essentially closed and kept on as a distribution label within PolyGram until the whole company was purchased by Seagram and broken up in 1998; since then, the library has passed between multiple owners, eventually landing at ITV Studiosnote . Lord Grade died in December 1998, just months after ITC and PolyGram were sold. Ironically, many of the films AFD sold to Universal ended up being hits and/or cult classics, including The Great Muppet Caper, The Dark Crystal, On Golden Pond and Sophie's Choice.
  • Vestron Pictures had a huge success in 1987 courtesy of Dirty Dancing, a film they had originally planned to release in theatres for only a weekend, and then send straight to home video, since they had originally been in the video distribution business long before entering film production. Unfortunately, instead of capitalizing on the film's success with more mainstream films, they instead continued with their normal brand of B-movies, a good chunk of which flopped. One of these was Earth Girls Are Easy, which massively underperformed at the box office despite mixed-to-positive reviews. These flops, coupled with the fact that many of their former clients were now forming their own home video divisions and thus no longer needed their services, caused Vestron's titular parent company to go bankrupt in 1990.
  • The critical and box office disaster of the 1979 disaster movie Meteor led to the rapid downfall of American International Pictures (AIP). Their new owners, Filmways, folded them over merely a year later after a few more forgettable movies (Mad Max being the lone exception). Of course, Filmways themselves got hit by box office duds and financial issues and the only way they escaped bankruptcy was by selling some of their assets. They were then bought by Orion Pictures in 1982 and everything was good, until...
  • Executives at Orion Pictures declared bankruptcy in 1991, blaming their destruction on UHF, the wacky comedy starring "Weird Al" Yankovic which they considered the fork in the road for the studio. The film tested so well that they let the success get to their heads to the point of pitting it against a murderer's row of blockbuster franchises, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Licence to Kill, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Ghostbusters II, Lethal Weapon 2 and Batman (1989). While UHF would later be Vindicated by Cable and become a cult classic, the loss of money (as well as the loss of critical favor which they had been building throughout the 80s) seemed to mentally break the studio's already-disheveled management: aside from Dances with Wolves and The Silence of the Lambs, the entirety of Orion's post-UHF releases were one poorly-thought-out disaster after another. How things could have turned out differently if UHF had been released during a different season is debated to this day.note 
    • MGM, who acquired the studio after exiting bankruptcy in 1997, revived Orion as a genre unit in 2013 with their first release being Grace Unplugged. In 2020, MGM revived AIP as well.
  • The Cannon Group. By the mid-'80s, the heads of CG - Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus - decided to go big and establish Cannon as a major studio. They purchased rights to several different franchises: Superman, Masters of the Universe, Spider-Man and Captain America, along with several other projects, and released a total of 43 movies in 1986 alone. Most of them flopped heavily, but it was the failures of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (which had budget cut severely to a meager 17 million and still bombed heavily), The Barbarians (released in 1987 when the brief frenzy caused by the Conan movies faded completely) and Masters of the Universe (which brought a small profit only when Mattel Inc. was conned on the copyright issues) that completely ruined the attempt by Cannon Group to become a legitimate film studio. Not too surprisingly, Cannon closed up shop by the dawn of the 1990s.
  • Overture Films didn't make the splash parent company Starz was hoping for as it was beset with flops like Pandorum and Capitalism: A Love Story. Even more successful titles like Law Abiding Citizen were not enough to diminish a potential sale. What really did Overture in was when Relativity Media took over their distribution and marketing operations and intentionally sabotaged the advertising for Let Me In. In spite of rave reviews, it bombed hard at the box office and Overture was sent to their grave by the end of 2010. Their final film was Stone, which also flopped.
  • Atlantic Releasing Corporation was one of the bigger indie film studios in the 70s and 80s, and while the company didn't pull out massive hits, the company did score success with films like Valley Girl, Night of the Comet and Teen Wolf. Unfortunately, things came crashing down when the company decided to distribute The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. Costing anywhere from $1 to $30 million to make, the film only raked in $1 million at the box office and is considered one of the worst, if not the worst, movies of all time. Parents complained about the film's rather adult content for a kids' film, and wound up successfully pulling the film from theaters only a week after its premiere. Director Rod Amateau never took helm of another major project after this film. After this film came a truly amazing streak of flops; with the exception of Teen Wolf Too (which even then was critically panned), nearly every movie released by Atlantic after Garbage Pail Kids flopped at the box office. The amount of losses from the film and other Box Office Bombs released during the time caused the company to sell themselves to Island Pictures, and the Atlantic library later went to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer through a long series of acquisitions.
  • Ted Turner Pictures was unable to produce another movie after the critical and commercial calamity that was Gods and Generals, which also killed prospects of a third Civil War film that began with Gettysburg. This was an ignominious end to Turner's media career, having ended any involvement with the networks he founded a decade before the film's release amongst the wreckage of the AOL Time Warner deal; he has been focused on philanthropy and his chain of bison restaurants ever since.
  • Founded by Wall Street billionaires Daniel and Gabriel Hammond in 2014, Broad Green Pictures was poised to be the next mini-major in Hollywood. Unfortunately, their image became nebulous as they kept changing their focus when they got hit by a bomb. At first, they specialized in acquisitions but after the failure of The Infiltrator, Broad Green switched their gears to in-house productions. While they had many projects in development, the films they were able to produce like Bad Santa 2 and the bungled documentary Buena Vista Social Club: Adios also didn't fare well at the box office. After their horror hopeful Wish Upon underperformed financially and became widely mocked by both critics and audiences for being a So Bad, It's Good horror movie that completely failed to be scary, Broad Green shut down their production division, sending over 50 projects in turnaround, and laying off 15 employees. They tried to pull a new leaf by seeking acquisitions at film festivals, but that amounted to nothing. With two shelved films being sold to Netflix, they only had one film to potentially turn their fortunes around. The critical and commercial disaster of Just Getting Started was ultimately the straw that broke the camel's back. Broad Green has since ceased operations and their headquarters were taken over by workspace operator Serendipity Labs.
  • Even before The Weinstein Company was taken down by Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment scandal, they had a bad track record of divisions getting shut down:
    • Our Stories Films was a joint venture between the Weinsteins and Robert L. Johnson to produce films for African American audiences. They only made one film together, the critical and commercial disaster Who's Your Caddy?. The division was consequently spun-off as an independent company and made one more film, Jumping the Broom (which actually did well at the box office and got okay reviews). In 2012, Johnson purchased Image Entertainment and transformed it into RLJ Entertainment, effectively rendering Our Stories Films dormant.
    • Dimension EXTREME Films was an offshoot of the genre label to release foreign and indie horror films straight to video. It was never heard from again after the extremely negative responses to its Ash Can Copy sequels, Children of the Corn: Genesis and Hellraiser: Revelations.
    • Third Rail Releasing was a joint venture between TWC and Genius Products (their DVD distributor at the time) for theatrical distribution of lower-budgeted fare. It only lasted for a year and was quietly deactivated after the commercial failure of Outlander (which was not a low budget production).
    • The Weinstein Company's Kaleidoscope-TWC label was killed off a total of two times. First, it was originally formed to distribute direct-to-video family films. Unfortunately for them, the poor sales of the 2008 CGI version of The Nutty Professor led to the label being shelved for a couple of years, with further family releases (like Unstable Fables and Hoodwinked Too!: Hood vs. Evil) being released under the company's normal name. Then, in 2013, it was relaunched and released its first theatrical film, Escape from Planet Earth. Its negative critical reception and mediocre box office take-ins proved that it would be its last. The company's next family release, Paddington, was instead released under the TWC-Dimension banner, and it looked unlikely that Kaleidoscope-TWC would be releasing another film soon... until 2016 when the oft-delayed Underdogs finally made its way to Netflix and DVD.

  • In 1968, failed aviator Edward L. Montoro founded Film Ventures International (FVI), an independent studio specializing in B-movies, usually in the horror genre. They were notorious throughout The '70s for releasing films derivative of the big studios' blockbusters, making them The Asylum of their time. Still, these films racked up huge profits keeping them afloat. All this success was not to last. In 1982, FVI churned out Great White: a blatantly obvious Jaws knock-off from Italy. When Universal got wind of this, they sued FVI for plagiarism and won, screwing the film out of release. This was a huge blow on FVI's part as they spent $4 million to promote the film and the withdrawal of Great White snowballed into major financial issues. The studio hoped that Mutant would turn over their fortunes, but it ended up being a Box Office Bomb. The last straw came when Montoro nabbed a million dollars from FVI to bail out of his divorce and flee the US, forcing the company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. INI Corporations, a TV syndication company, acquired the now defunct FVI studio in 1985 and revamped them into an even lower-budgeted distribution firm. Their output consisted of questionable rereleased/retitled films with new, yet cheap, title sequences, often incorporating clips from other movies! FVI's "films" wound up on Mystery Science Theater 3000 where their opening titles became a prime source of mockery. The studio was laughed out into oblivion by the end of The '90s. Around 2011, FVI resurrected themselves and attempted a comeback of their glory days, but their website was seized two years later, so it's safe to say that they're gone for good.
  • RCR Media went into distribution with the Ed Harris / David Duchovny flop Phantom. Is it any wonder that this is their only release?note 
  • German studio Senator Entertainment tried their hands at making American films with The Informers not only being their first US production but also their first foray into distribution. The film had a disastrous premiere at Sundance, but Senator went ahead with the release anyways. That turned out to be more ruinous as it tanked with a $300,000 opening weekend against an $18 million budget and it was pulled from theaters after only a week. The failure of The Informers was so great, Senator had to cancel the releases of Splice and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, effectively spoiling their ambitions. Their distribution arm shut down and the company as a whole filed for bankruptcy.
  • National Lampoon's Gold Diggers had the dubious honor of killing two companies after its spectacular box office bust in addition to further tarnishing the brand's reputation. It spoiled financer Delfino Entertainment's film ambitions as they failed to obtain additional investments for future projects. The film's distributor P&A Releasing was also never heard from again thanks to the embarrassingly low numbers that came in.
  • Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius was a biopic centering on the titular golf player as played by Jim Caviezel. Producer Rick Eldridge not only raised the money through private investors, but he also released the movie himself through his new distribution company Film Foundry Releasing. They had high hopes that Bobby Jones would hit a hole in one at the box office and gave it a big marketing push. Unfortunately, audiences ignored the film resulting in atrocious box office numbers. To make matters worse, sponsors hit Eldridge and his team with lawsuits up the ass over unpaid advertising costs. All these suits and loss of money rest assured that Film Foundry would never release another film again.
  • The initial commercial failure of The Last Unicorn was a major blow to independent distributor Jensen Farley Pictures. After other subsequent flops, they fell into bankruptcy and ceased operations by the end of 1983.

    Production Companies 
  • The failure of Astro Boy at the box office resulted in Imagi Animation Studios going dormant, including the production of a Science Ninja Team Gatchaman film in the works, as well as an Astro Boy sequel.
  • Battlefield Earth was such a terrible film that Franchise Pictures lost huge amounts of money. However, the final nail in the coffin was when Franchise was hit by a lawsuit from investors who accused the company of deliberately inflating the film's budget to pad their coffers. Franchise Pictures lost the lawsuit and declared bankruptcy. John Travolta's reputation got enough of a bad rap due to this movie that he has never been able to fully write off the stain it left on his career. Battlefield Earth also killed moviegoers' chances of taking any L. Ron Hubbard or Scientology film seriously.
  • Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return had the unfortunate effect of killing off Summertime Entertainment, who shut down a year after the film was released. The company planned on giving the film two sequels and a TV adaptation, all of which have gone into limbo.
  • Although the magazine was suffering from slumping sales by the late 1980s, it has been argued that the film Vegas Vacation was this to what remained of the original National Lampoon magazine. After reaching high marks with film adaptations such as Animal House and the first film in the Vacation series, the magazine's humor started dying off and so did the humor of their film adaptations by 1986, when the magazine ended up getting issued six times a year instead of every month. Once Vegas Vacation was released, it was widely mauled by critics and fans of the Vacation series, mostly for its bland, aging humor, poor writing and its lack of punchlines, and was especially noted for featuring no involvement from John Hughes, who wrote the screenplay for the first three movies and produced the third one. It's been said that National Lampoon disliked the film so much that they demanded that their label not be placed in it. While the film itself was a moderate box office success, it became the lowest-grossing film of the Vacation series and wasn't enough to convince J2 Communications, owner of the magazine since 1991, to continue the once-treasured publication that defined American humor when it first started in 1970. Its final issue was published in November 1998.
  • The British film company Goldcrest never really recovered from the one-two punch of 1985's Revolution (a massively expensive movie about the American Revolution with the singular casting of Al Pacino and Nastassja Kinski - which may explain why it was 15 years until there was another one) and 1986's Absolute Beginners (a hugely expensive musical set in the 1950s which derailed star Eddie O'Connell's career (his IMDb page is very skimpy after the film, and he has nothing after 2003), and served as a speed bump for Patsy Kensit's). See the book My Indecision Is Final for the whole sordid story.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within killed Square Pictures and nearly killed the merger between Squaresoft and Enix (the companies did eventually merge into Square Enix in 2003), and pressured Hironobu Sakaguchi, the guy who came up with the idea for Final Fantasy (probably saving Squaresoft from shutting down entirely back in the 1980s) into resigning from the companynote , since the film was his 100-million-dollar-losing project. To put this into perspective, this was during the Turn of the Millennium, a time when Squaresoft was one of the most successful and dominant video game companies. Square has had many success stories in the years that followed, but it still has never completely reversed the backslide it suffered from the failure of Spirits Within. Whereas at the turn of the century Square was seen as the single greatest RPG maker in the entire industry of gaming, and they still have enough Cash Cow Franchises that they're not going anywhere anytime soon, their position of complete dominance brought about by groundbreaking games such as Final Fantasy VII has long since faded.
  • Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart is often compared to Heaven's Gate as a great financial disaster. A small art film that went seriously overbudget, it led to the demise of Coppola's revolutionary and state-of-the-art Zoetrope Studios, which he put up for auction not long after the film lost money. Coppola's career didn't take a major hit as Heaven's Gate director Michael Cimino did, but he ended up spending the next two decades directing more commercial fare and less artistic ones to pay off the massive debt this film had caused.
  • A bad fall followed by a fast recovery: Alan Ladd, Jr. was perhaps one of the top, if not the top, Hollywood executives during his tenure at 20th Century Fox, having overseen the production of Star Wars and Aliennote , but after the latter was released he left the studio to start his own company, and while it did produce some blockbuster hits, like Police Academy, and Chariots of Fire for Warner Bros. (plus Blade Runner, which wasn't a smash upon release, but did well enough), he could not really survive on his own and ended up producing three high-profile flops in 1983-1984, The Right Stuff, Twice Upon a Time, and Once Upon a Time in America (such a shame too, since these films have since been recognized as classics). After these flops Ladd shuttered his studio and was left unheard of for a while, before going to MGM in 1985 and bouncing back to the top. After his tenure with that company, he re-established his studio in 1993 and again went alone, with moderate to high success. He stayed there until his death in 2022, with Ben Affleck's film adaptation of Gone Baby Gone being the last film Ladd was involved with.
  • Up until 2015, the Terminator franchise had bad luck with this, with the first four films in the series having the involvement of production companies (Hemdale (as well as Orion), Carolco, C2, and The Halcyon Company) that ended up being dead or dormant.
    • Hemdale Film Company, responsible for the first Terminator, ended up falling into a string of critical and commercial bombs, resulting in the company closing shop by the mid-1990s and assets being sold to PolyGram then later Orion Pictures, the distributor of this film. It holds a consolation prize of being lucky enough to hang around at the time Carolco's Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released. The fate of the original incarnation of Orion is described in the mini-majors folder above.
    • Carolco themselves later got torpedoed by the big disaster that was Cutthroat Island a mere few years later, which drove them into bankruptcy (more on that can be read back on the main page). Film producer Alex Bafer bought out the Carolco name and logo two decades later, under the intention of relaunching the brand with his own production company. Unfortunately, StudioCanal (the current owners of the original Carolco film library) eventually brought these plans down due to a legal dispute over the Carolco trade mark. In 2017, StudioCanal acquired the Carolco name, logo and the new company was renamed to Recall Studios. Earlier, the disappointing performance of Rambling Rose, resulted in Carolco breaking with New Line Cinema and terminating its Seven Arts Pictures division; its last film was the critically-panned Aces: Iron Eagle III.
    • C2 Productions, started by Carolco's co-founders, was intended to be a spiritual successor to Carolco (and Cinergi) and resurrect the Terminator series. C2 only got as far as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the first season of the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles before The Halcyon Company purchased the global rights to the Terminator series, rendering the company defunct, and the death of Andrew G. Vajna in 2019 ensured the company would not be coming back. It didn't help that their only two non-Terminator productions (an In Name Only film adaptation of I Spy and Basic Instinct 2) were both critically-savaged box-office flops.
    • The Halcyon Company attempted to pick up where C2 left off with the second season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Terminator Salvation, the latter of which was intended to start a new film trilogy. Despite making a good profit on Salvation (which received mixed-to-negative reviews and failed to break even), a lawsuit related to the film drove Halcyon into bankruptcy. They only escaped being killed outright by selling the film rights off to a hedge fund that invested in the company, and even then it took the company four years to produce another movie afterwards.
  • Cinergi Pictures, which was formed following Andrew G. Vajna's departure from Carolco, tried to rival the latter with films featuring big-name stars and a distribution agreement with Disney. Unfortunately, the triple-hit knockout of Shadow Conspiracy, Deep Rising and An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn sent the firm into financial meltdown quickly, eventually shutting down after the third film grossed a staggering $52,850 against a $10 million budget. The rights to all of Cinergi's films save for Die Hard with a Vengeance were sold to Disney following its closure as a condition of canceling the distribution agreement. Vajna would use the name on an intermittent basis on video games and Hungarian films over the next decade and spend the rest of his life as head of the Hungarian National Film Fund. At least the studio was lucky to have been hanging around several years longer than Carolco.
  • Caravan Pictures was intended to be a specialty division for Disney when it was formed by famous Hollywood producers Roger Birnbaum and Joe Roth in 1992. The label's first movies (The Three Musketeers, Angels in the Outfield, and A Low Down Dirty Shame to name a few) were moderate to large box office successes, but when Roth left the studio to become chairman of Walt Disney Pictures, a string of huge box office bombs followed and the few films that did turn up a large profit (While You Were Sleeping, G.I. Jane, and Six Days, Seven Nights) were not enough to convince Disney to repair the label's critically damaged reputation. This led to Birnbaum, who was placed in the chairman's seat following Roth's departure, leaving the studio to form his own company, Spyglass Entertainment, in 1998. Disney shut down Caravan in 1999 following the release of the commercially successful but critically thrashed Inspector Gadget Live-Action Adaptationnote . What remained of Caravan was absorbed into Birnbaum's then-new Spyglass Entertainment.
  • John Ford and Merian C. Cooper's Argosy Pictures suffered a unique case of a lingering death. Their initial collaboration was The Fugitive (1947), an adaptation of Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory that proved a colossal box office bomb. Though Ford made successful pictures like Fort Apache and 3 Godfathers under Argosy's banner afterwards, Argosy never made up the losses from its first feature, and the company merged with RKO in 1948 before being disbanded in 1953.
  • Igor was the only mainstream animated film made by Exodus Film Group. After the film bombed, it took another six years for them to make their next film, The Hero of Color City and, to add insult to injury, that movie was only released to a limited amount of theaters. It was also the only animated CGI film distributed by MGM until Sherlock Gnomes in 2018 (albeit with Paramount), although the financial troubles they were having at the time probably didn't help.
  • With Nicholas Sparks adaptations reaping in piles of cash throughout the 2000s, the author founded a self-titled production company in 2012 to not only continue turning his books into films but also develop TV projects. Unfortunately, these romance films slowly started to lose their click with audiences with unstable to diminishing returns for Safe Haven, The Best of Me and The Longest Ride. The underperformance of 2016’s The Choice proved to be the last straw and Nicholas Sparks Productions shut down later that year.
  • In 1995, The Jim Henson Company and Sony Pictures founded Jim Henson Pictures in order to produce a variety of family films, including several Muppet movies. They only made three films: Buddy, Muppets from Space and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland...and they all tanked at the box office. The back-to-back failures of the latter two films caused the two companies to end their partnership with the label being used in-name-only for whatever films Henson managed to produce; the Jim Henson Pictures name was finally retired after the lackluster performance of Good Boy.
  • Dualstar Entertainment, the production company of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, found itself in an unstable situation following the failure of New York Minute (which also had the side effect of being the Olsen twins' last theatrical outing and last film period showing them together), ultimately going dormant in 2007. The company was revived in 2013 but they've shifted gears to fashion instead and have seen better success in that field.
  • The English language remake of Funny Games was the most expensive project for Tartan Films and due to the film's poor box office gross, the company had to shut down.
  • Austrian crystal jewelry company Swarovski decided to go into film production with their first feature being the 2013 version of Romeo and Juliet with Hailee Steinfeld. Showing how serious they were with their ambitious plans, Swarovski Entertainment commissioned Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero to design jewelry for the film that would later be sold around release and handled almost all aspects of marketing (Relativity Media served as a rent-a-distributor). The film was critically panned for diverting too much from Shakespeare's words and tanked at the box office, causing Swarovski to have second thoughts on their film division.
  • The spectacular failure of Mannequin 2: On the Move took down Gladden Entertainment, resulting in a messy lawsuit between them and 20th Century Fox over losses. Gladden was soon forced into bankruptcy due to unpaid residuals and its founder, David Begelman, committed suicide in 1995 as a result of his company's ruination.
  • PentAmerica was done in by the dual failures of Man Trouble and Folks, costing them most of their $60 million investment. Their parent company, Penta, shut them down before the release of their last film, Dangerous Game, which was dumped by MGM.
  • MGM hoped that their Bill Murray vehicle, Larger Than Life, would be a box office splash, but the exact opposite occurred. The company responsible for financing the film, Majestic Films, crumbled and their library was sold off a year later.
  • Kodiak Films bankrolled the Cold War pic The Fourth War, which dated itself immediately upon release in 1990 as communism had already collapsed in the USSR a year prior. It predictably bombed at the box office and Kodiak only made one more film, the Mad Max knockoff Neon City that went Direct to Video, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • Worldview Entertainment was already unstable thanks to general mismanagement and financial shenanigans that not only led to some messy lawsuits but prevented them from investing in further films (their output were mostly duds). The triple whammy of Triple 9, Rules Don't Apply and Tulip Fever was the straw that broke the camel's back. The company has since gone defunct.
  • Codex Pictures shut down pretty much immediately following the failure of Ultramarines, and took any chance that Warhammer 40,000 might become a movie franchise in the near future with them.
  • The unfortunate failure of the 2004 animated Christmas film The Littlest Light on the Christmas Tree has mostly killed the production company Abrams/Gentile Entertainment, since they haven't made anything since then, aside from the second season of Pinky Dinky Doo (which was also animated by the same animation studio as the former). It also shuttered Little Light Productions, as they also haven't made anything else since.
  • Universum Film AG (now known as UFA) nearly went bankrupt over Metropolis which (depending on which way you figure in inflation) may just be the most expensive German movie ever made by a private company. Director Fritz Lang doing stuff like letting extras stand in cold water for hours did nothing to curb the budget woes. The movie had mixed reviews initially and did so-so in cinemas which led to (later much panned) re-cut which for almost a century would be all that was left from the movie making it a (partial) Lost Film. However, a (nearly) complete print of the film was later found in Argentina giving it a new premier in the 21st century. UFA's financial woes would ultimately lead to German far right publishing magnate Alfred Hugenberg buying them up and as Hugenberg entered the first Hitler cabinet as a minister, his movie and publishing empire were put to use as a Propaganda Machine for the Nazis.