Hemdale Film Corporation
|Founded||1967 (as The Hemdale Company)|
London, United Kingdom|
Los Angeles, California, USA
|Slogan||"A major independent"|
Hemdale Film Corporation, known as Hemdale Communications after 1993, was an independent film production company and distributor founded in London in 1967 as the Hemdale Company by actor David Hemmings and his manager, John Daly. Hemdale began as a talent agency that helped launch the careers of such bands as Black Sabbath and Yes. However, after Hemmings left the company in 1971, Daly purchased the rest of the company and refocused Hemdale as a film studio. After producing and distributing British films throughout the 1970s, Hemdale relocated to Hollywood in 1980. Derek Gibson later joined the company.
Among its most well-known films are The Terminator, The Return of the Living Dead, Hoosiers, Salvador, River's Edge, Platoon, and The Last Emperor; the latter two were back-to-back recipients of the Academy Award for Best Picture. Despite these critical and commercial successes, Hemdale followed these films up with a series of box office bombs and the company eventually declared bankruptcy.
In 1991, Eric Parkinson joined Hemdale as president of the company, and established a publicly traded distribution division, Hemdale Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ) and Hemdale Home Video, Inc. These entities were immensely successful, and resulted in the overall debts of Hemdale being reduced from $110-mm to less than $42-mm in only four years. Hemdale Home Video enjoyed a record-setting run of 256 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Top 40 Video charts, with hits ranging from obvious successes such as "Terminator" to highly unlikely #1 best-sellers, such as the German-language animated film, "Pico and Columbus" which Parkinson redubbed into English and remarketed as "The Magic Voyage." In 1995, Parkinson was instrumental in administering the organization and sale of the main film library to Consortium de Realisation, a French holding company established by Credit Lyonais Bank to handle the rights to titles they acquired. The Hemdale library was rolled into a refinancing venture for Orion Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (for a total transaction value of $250-mm), after which time, the remaining Hemdale operating divisions were closed in June, 1996.
As part of a management restructuring prior to the library sale, Daly and Gibson left Hemdale in early 1995.
The Hemdale Home Video and Hemdale Communications, Inc. film libraries were sold in 1996, with all but a few titles from the Hemdale Film Corporation library being incorporated into Consortium de Realisation and later into the Orion Pictures output now owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, after MGM acquired the Consortium de Realisation library from PolyGram. One key exception is The Last Emperor, a Hemdale production originally issued by Columbia Pictures, but whose rights are now held by its producer, Jeremy Thomas. Most of the foreign productions Hemdale distributed have subsequently returned to their original owners (such as Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, which producer Tokyo Movie Shinsha now controls worldwide).
Hemdale Home Video, Inc. is often credited with pioneering the "sell-through" home video industry. In 1994, Parkinson was the keynote speaker at the Video Software Dealer's Association convention in Las Vegas, at which time he advocated a major reduction in pricing of videos to $19.95 suggested retail (previously, the industry standard was $89.95 suggested retail, which Parkinson argued, impeded the affordability of home collections). The first two titles released by Hemdale under this aggressive new pricing model were "The Magic Voyage" and "Savage Land" (both produced by Parkinson). The new sell-through pricing model was embraced by key retailers, driving unit sales of "The Magic Voyage" to more than 1.1-million videos, and "Savage Land" to over 500,000 videos. Both titles were listed in the year-end summary of "most profitable video releases" by Video Store Magazine (now Home Media Retailer). In 1995, the video rights to some of Hemdale's higher-profile titles were licensed to LIVE Entertainment (now Lionsgate).
The company's last new credit was for the Virgin Games video game adaptation of The Terminator, which showed up on the game's start up screen as "Hemdale's The Terminator" in text on the scrolling logo, despite all box art calling it "The Terminator".
|April 24, 1981||Cattle Annie and Little Britches||distributed by Universal Pictures|
|October 16, 1981||Strange Behavior||distributed by World Northal|
|June 24, 1983||Yellowbeard||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|October 1983||Escape from the Bronx|
|April 1984||Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr|
|June 1984||A Breed Apart||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|September 28, 1984||Irreconcilable Differences||co-production with Warner Bros.|
|October 26, 1984||The Terminator||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|November 16, 1984||Special Effects||distributed by New Line Cinema|
|November 1984||Perfect Strangers|
|January 25, 1985||The Falcon and the Snowman||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|February 9, 1986||A Killing Affair|
|August 16, 1985||The Return of the Living Dead||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|January 1986||Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf|
|April 18, 1986||At Close Range||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|April 23, 1986||Salvador|
|November 1, 1986||Inside Out|
|November 14, 1986||Hoosiers||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|November 21, 1986||Body Slam||distributed by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group|
|November 21, 1986||Defense of the Realm|
|December 19, 1986||Platoon||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|May 8, 1987||River's Edge||distributed by Island Pictures|
|May 15, 1987||Made in U.S.A.||distributed by TriStar Pictures|
|May 1987||My Little Girl|
|June 12, 1987||Burke & Wills|
|July 10, 1987||The Whistle Blower|
|July 30, 1987||High Tide||distributed by TriStar Pictures|
|August 1, 1987||Love at Stake||distributed by TriStar Pictures|
|September 18, 1987||Hotel Colonial||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|September 25, 1987||Best Seller||distributed by Orion Pictures|
|November 1987||Slate, Wyn & Me|
|1988||Scenes from the Goldmine|
|February 5, 1988||The Supergrass|
|March 25, 1988||High Season|
|April 15, 1988||The Last Emperor|
|May 25, 1988||The Tale of Ruby Rose|
|November 23, 1988||Buster|
|December 23, 1988||The Boost|
|January 13, 1989||Ha-Holmim|
|January 21, 1989||Cheap Shots|
|January 27, 1989||Cohen and Tate|
|March 3, 1989||Out Cold|
|April 28, 1989||Criminal Law|
|May 19, 1989||Miracle Mile|
|June 2, 1989||Vampire's Kiss|
|July 21, 1989||Shag|
|August 18, 1989||Blood Red|
|September 22, 1989||The Time Guardian|
|September 29, 1989||War Party|
|October 6, 1989||The Everlasting Secret Family|
|November 10, 1989||Staying Together|
|January 26, 1990||Incident at Raven's Gate|
|April 20, 1990||Chattahoochee|
|May 6, 1990||The Belly of an Architect|
|??, 1992||Merlin - The True Story of Magic|
|August 21, 1992||Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland|
|June 3, 1994||The Princess and the Goblin|
- "Release date not set for movie shot in S.C." Associated Press (November 6, 1988). Retrieved on April 1, 2011.
- http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800311381/bio John Daly biography - Yahoo Movies[dead link]
- Thomas, Bob. "Independent filmmakers may produce over half of releases." Associated Press (October 23, 1986). Retrieved on April 1, 2011.
- Lambie, Ryan (7 April 2015). "The Rise and Fall of Hemdale". Den of Geek.
- Hemdale Communications Inc. files a voluntary petition for bankruptcy[dead link]
- http://www.allbusiness.com/company-activities-management/company-structures-ownership/7105716-1.html Hemdale Communications Inc. announces resignation of chairman John Daly and president Derek Gibson; March 6, 1995[dead link]
- Hemdale Film Corporation at the Internet Movie Database (as Hemdale)
- Hemdale Film Corporation at the Internet Movie Database (as Hemdale Film Distribution)
- Hemdale Film Corporation at the Internet Movie Database (under full name)