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Logo Joke / Columbia Pictures

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To open their films, Columbia Pictures, as a proud American studionote , uses a statue of Columbia, the Spirit of America, as its logo, standing on a pedestal while holding up a shining torch.

However, the studio is no stranger to using logo jokes, in which the Torch Lady either winds up becoming a Butt-Monkey, dressing in something different than her robes, or moving from her spot.

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    Films - Animation 
  • The Man Called Flintstone: Wilma Flintstone takes the place of the Torch Lady, seen here. This variant was removed from the DVD release by Warner Bros. and replaced with a montage of quick shots from later in the film.
  • Eight Crazy Nights: Eleanor (Whitey's sister) is on the pedestal dressed up as the Torch Lady, then transforms via a melt effect into the real Torch Lady.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: A giant banana falls on the Torch Lady, unceremoniously knocking her off-screen. A cloud storm then passes by, transitioning to the Sony Pictures Animation logo.
    • In the sequel, the banana turns out to be a Bananostrich ridden by Barry the Strawberry, whose torch overtakes the screen to transition to the SPA logo.
  • In the first two Hotel Transylvania films, the Torch Lady morphs into a bat, which flies around the screen until finally pulling the company logo off the screen. Logo 1 seen here, logo 2 seen here.
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village: The statue is tipped over like a wooden stand to reveal Smurfette, who proceeds to hold up a mushroom in a similar manner. Seen here.
  • The Emoji Movie: The logo plays as normal, until we see Alex's phone pop up, take a picture of the torch lady, place the sunglasses emoji over her face, and insert the image into a message. Seen here.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: The logo, affected by the film's Super Collider device, shifts between different versions of itself, seen here. These include direct references to previously mentioned logo jokes such as that from Cat Ballou and a Freeze-Frame Bonus of the one from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines: Katie Mitchell's doodles (dubbed "Katie-Vision" by the filmmakers) are overlaid across the Columbia Pictures logo, and a cartoon version of the Torch Lady replaces the normal one at the end. Seen here.
  • Vivo: The 1936-1976 Columbia logo is used, but it is animated similarly to the 1993 one. Then the cloud background is pulled back on stage curtains to reveal a nocturnal city backdrop, and the Torch Lady walks off her pedestal playing a flute. Seen here.

    Films - Live-Action 
  • 13 Ghosts: The ident is in black-and-white, and is accompanied by grinding and mechanical sounds in the background. North American prints use the Warner Bros. logo instead but with the same variation effects.
  • 2012 has a bright orange glow that grows to overtake the logo, transitioning directly into the movie - though a review said it'd be better if the statue was in ruins, to fit the movie.
  • All the Pretty Horses: The 2000 film adaptation uses the 1940s logo, in keeping with the film's time period.
  • In Ali, the logo runs backwards, zooming on in the Torch Lady’s torch into black right before the opening credits.
    • The backwards logo is also done for Big Fish before transitioning to a shot of a sea.
  • In a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, the ident for Aloha has the 1968 Columbia logo — with a lei that appears on the Torch Lady's neck for a brief moment before cutting away.
  • Cat Ballou: The Torch lady changes her gown to Cat Ballou's cowboy outfit and fires her guns several times, seen here.
  • Charlie's Angels (2000): The movie begins with the usual Columbia Torch Lady logo. Then the logo zooms toward the right, as the movie starts off in the sky on a plane.
  • Django Unchained (co-produced by The Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures) begins with an early '70s variant of the logo but with slightly distorted colors and a "A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company" byline in an era-appropriate typeface, which comes after The Weinstein Co. logo.
  • Fantasy Island (2020): The logo plays a muted/distorted version of the original TV series' theme song, since the film is a Darker and Edgier take on the series' concept.
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife: The logo is accompanied by spooky sounds.
  • Ghost Rider: A What Could Have Been instance: the crew wanted the Torch Lady to get a Ghost Rider transformation alongside the Marvel logo, but they were denied.
  • The Green Hornet: The torch has a green glow instead of a yellow glow.
  • The Grudge 2: The Torch Lady in the Columbia Pictures logo gets possessed by Kayako, causing the logo to flicker (during which the film title briefly appears) and go dark.
  • Men in Black: The logo dissolves into the night sky, where the opening credits begin.
    • In the second movie, the Torch Lady's torch flashes like a neuralizer.
      • The trailers also had her wearing sunglasses.
    • Men in Black: International has the lady don a set of MIB sunglasses, with her torch shining brighter as a transition into the film. This was undoubtedly referencing the neuralyser.
  • Michael Jackson's This Is It: The film's trailer features the Torch Lady under a spotlight, copying one of Michael Jackson's famous stage appearances.
  • The Mouse That Roared: The Torch Lady looks down, sees a mouse at her feet on the pedestal, and runs off-screen, leaving her torch behind. At the end of the film is a title-card sequence where she runs back up the stairs of the pedestal and grabs her torch, via running this opening sequence backward.
  • The Night Before: The '80s version of the logo is used with the "A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company" byline.
  • Peter Rabbit: A flock of birds flies past the logo.
  • Pineapple Express: The '60s widescreen version of the logo turns up, with "A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company" at the bottom.
  • The Smurfs 2: The Torch Lady's robes are colored blue and white, and a Smurf hat blows through the window to transition to the Sony Pictures Animation logo.
    • The Smurfs 2, the white and blue hues (the traditional Smurf colors) of the Columbia Torch Lady's dress are brighter. A Smurf hat flies by her then lands on the title logo of Sony Pictures Animation.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home: The logo match cuts to a statue in Mexico.
  • Strait Jacket: At the end, we see that the lady has been decapitated and her head is placed just below her feet.
  • Superbad: The 70's variant of the logo is shown, but with new text inserted at the bottom of the screen reading "A Sony Pictures Entertainment Company". When the Torch Burst symbol appears, the background becomes yellow instead of black, and then colorful silhouettes of Evan flash across the screen.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: The teaser trailer for the film (which was internationally distributed by Columbia) has the Torch Lady and company name melt into a pile of liquid metal, which drops to the ground and reforms itself in the shape of the (early) T3 logo.
  • Thank God It's Friday: The Torch Lady's toga transforms into a disco-themed outfit and she does a dance, seen here.
  • The Trouble with Angels: An animated Mary Clancy, bearing angel wings and halo, appears from behind the A and flies around briefly, then blows out the torch, seen here.
  • In the The Wackness, the film opens up with the Sony Pictures Classics logo as normal, before the word 'classics' getting painted over in blue, and gets tagged with the word "classics" in a graffiti style.
  • What Planet Are You From?: Annette Bening, co-star of the film, takes her long-rumored place as the face of the post-1994 Torch Lady (a composite is actually used for every other Columbia film of this era).
  • Wolf has dark clouds in the background, and then another cloud covers the logo.
  • Zombieland: Double Tap: The logo becomes invaded by two zombies, and the Torch Lady bludgeons each of them with her torch and spraying a bit of blood on the C.
  • Zotz: As the Torch Lady opens the film, in the bottom right-hand corner is the familiar William Castle director chair. In close-up, Castle points to her and says, "Zotz!" Back in wide shot, the Lady looks down at Castle and speaks, "Zotz? What's Zotz?"
    • At the end, the Torch Lady smiles and speaks, "Zotz all!" Seen here.

  • Beakman's World: A toy rocket flies around the Torch Lady, seen here.
  • An episode of the satire anime Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei used the Columbia Pictures logo as a title card, with the protagonist Nozomu Itoshiki in place of the Torch Lady.
  • In Christmas 1991 there was a TV bumper that featured the logo with snowfall and the Torch lady having a Santa hat.
  • During the late 1990s to the early 2000s, the Cartoon Network had weekend "Cartoon Theater" broadcasts of animated films, with animated introductions and bumper sequences that spoofed studio logos. One Columbia-stlyed intro/bumper had the Torch Lady presented doing Percussive Maintenance on her torch to get it working, and just when she holds it up, the Marilyn Maneuver happens to her. It can be seen here.

Alternative Title(s): Sony Columbia Pictures


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