De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
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De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) was an entertainment production company and distribution unit founded by Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. The company is notable for producing Manhunter, Blue Velvet, the horror films Near Dark and Evil Dead II, King Kong Lives (the sequel to De Laurentiis' remake of King Kong), and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, as well as distributing The Transformers: The Movie.
|Fate||studio acquired by Carolco Pictures, film assets acquired by Paravision International|
|Predecessor||Embassy Films Associates|
|Founder||Dino De Laurentiis|
|Headquarters||Wilmington, North Carolina|
|Dino De Laurentiis|
The company's main studios were located in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is now EUE/Screen Gems Studios. The studio's first releases were in 1986. It went bankrupt two years later after Million Dollar Mystery, among other films, failed at the box office. Carolco Pictures acquired DEG in 1989.
In 1983, Dino De Laurentiis produced Firestarter in Wilmington. The governor of North Carolina, Jim Hunt, claimed that the filming increased economic activity in the state. Hunt used incentives and loans to allow De Laurentiis to buy a local warehouse to convert into a studio. In early 1984, De Laurentiis founded the North Carolina Film Corporation, with Martha Schumacher as president.
In 1985, DEG acquired Embassy Pictures from The Coca-Cola Company, allowing for North American distribution of De Laurentiis' new product. Dino De Laurentiis continued to pre-sell his films for overseas distribution, as he had done in the past. In May 1986, De Laurentiis took DEG public, raising $240 million in the process. The following month, DEG's first slate of films were released. In 1986, De Laurentiis formed an Australian subsidiary, De Laurentiis Entertainment Limited (DEL), which built a studio on the Gold Coast. Although De Laurentiis asserted that the company would make films on par with the major studios, most of DEG's slate consisted of films budgeted at $10 million or less, below the industry standard of $14-16 million, with the notable exceptions of King Kong Lives and Tai-Pan, the only studio-level films DEG financed.
By August 1987, DEG was $16.5 million in debt, citing the box-office failures and/or disappointments of its product. Dino De Laurentiis refused offers to sell the company because he wanted to retain controlling interest. Around the same time, De Laurentiis' daughter Raffaella exited her role as DEG's president of production.
The De Laurentiis library is currently owned by StudioCanal via its acquisition of the Paravision International library. North American home video rights to much of their films currently lie with MGM Home Entertainment because of the acquisition of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment's pre-March 31, 1996 library which included Nelson Entertainment and its back catalog which consisted of DEG and former Embassy Pictures titles, while like with Embassy, some of their films are distributed on home video by Lionsgate Films in conjunction with StudioCanal.
|June 6, 1986||Raw Deal|
|June 20, 1986||My Little Pony: The Movie|
|July 25, 1986||Maximum Overdrive|
|August 8, 1986||The Transformers: The Movie|
|August 15, 1986||Manhunter|
|September 19, 1986||Blue Velvet|
|October 24, 1986||Trick or Treat|
|November 7, 1986||Tai-Pan|
|November 21, 1986||Body Slam|
|December 12, 1986||Crimes of the Heart|
|December 19, 1986||King Kong Lives|
|January 30, 1987||The Bedroom Window|
|February 6, 1987||From the Hip|
|March 13, 1987||Evil Dead II||released through shell company Rosebud Releasing Corporation to bypass MPAA regulations|
|June 12, 1987||Million Dollar Mystery|
|October 2, 1987||Near Dark|
|October 16, 1987||Weeds|
|November 6, 1987||Hiding Out|
|November 20, 1987||Date with an Angel|
|December 4, 1987||The Trouble with Spies||distributed only; produced by HBO Pictures. Currently distributed by HBO in USA and worldwide|
|December 11, 1987||Cobra Verde||direct-to-video in U.S.|
|May 6, 1988||Shakedown||released by Universal Pictures in U.S.|
|May 13, 1988||Illegally Yours||released by United Artists in U.S.|
|August 17, 1988||Traxx||direct-to-video in U.S.|
|October 14, 1988||Pumpkinhead||released by United Artists in U.S., although DEG did distribute the film outside of North America.|
|October 21, 1988||Tapeheads||released by Avenue Pictures in U.S.|
|October 1988||Dracula's Widow||direct-to-video in U.S.|
|February 17, 1989||Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure||released by Orion Pictures in U.S.|
|May 12, 1989||Earth Girls Are Easy||released by Vestron Pictures in U.S|
|April 1992||Collision Course||direct-to-video in U.S.|
|October 30, 1992||Rampage||released by Miramax Films in U.S.|
Canadian distribution of DEG releases were done by Paramount Pictures.
DEG had an early version of Total Recall in pre-production with Patrick Swayze as Quaid and Bruce Beresford to direct (David Cronenberg had also been approached), where it was to have been shot in Australia. After DEG's bankruptcy, the film went in turnaround to Carolco Pictures.
- Adelson, Andrea; Times, Special To the New York (1988-08-17). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; De Laurentiis Entertainment Seeks Chapter 11 Protection". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
- "Carolco Signs Deal for DEG: Carolco Pictures signed a..." Los Angeles Times. 1989-04-21. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
- Goldsmith, Ben; Ward, Susan; O'Regan, Tom (2010-08-30). Local Hollywood: Global Film Production and the Gold Coast. Univ. of Queensland Press. ISBN 9780702246395.
- Friendly, David T. (16 November 1985). "De Laurentiis Rejoins The Ranks--at Embassy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- Jr, WILLIAM K. KNOEDELSEDER (1987-08-30). "De Laurentiis : PRODUCER'S PICTURE DARKENS". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- Hammer, Joshua (8 March 1992). "Total Free Fall". Newsweek. Retrieved 24 April 2015.