Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. Founded in 1912, It is the World's oldest running American movie studio in Hollywood, beating Universal Studios by a month. Paramount is owned by media conglomerate, Viacom.
Paramount Pictures can trace its beginnings to the creation in May, 1912, of the Famous Players Film Company. Founder Hungary|Hungarian-born Adolph Zukor, who had been an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed mainly to working-class immigrants. With partners Daniel Frohman and Charles Frohman he planned to offer feature-length films that would appeal to the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical players of the time (leading to the slogan "famous players in famous plays"). By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, and Zukor was on his way to success.
That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature Play Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish, later known as Samuel Goldwyn. The Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with virtually no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable location site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first film, The Squaw Man.
Beginning in 1914, both Lasky and Famous Players released their films through a start-up company, Paramount Pictures Corporation, organized early that year by a Utah theatre owner, W. W. Hodkinson, who had bought and merged several smaller firms. Paramount was the first successful nation-wide distributor; until this time, films were sold on a state-wide or regional basis. Not only was this inefficient, but it had proved costly to film producers.
Soon the ambitious Zukor, unused to taking a secondary role, began courting Hodkinson and Lasky. In 1916, Zukor maneuvered a three-way merger of his Famous Players, the Lasky Company, and Paramount. The new company, Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, grew quickly, with Lasky and his partners Goldfish and DeMille running the production side, Hiram Abrams in charge of distribution, and Zukor making great plans. With only the exhibitor-owned First National as a rival, Famous Players-Lasky and its "Paramount Pictures" soon dominated the business.
Filmmakers decided to create a teaser trailer that would be a surprise in the light of commonplace media saturation, which they put together during the preparation stage of the production process. The teaser was then used as a basis for the film itself. Paramount Pictures encouraged the teaser to be released without a title attached, and the Motion Picture Association of America approved the move. As Transformers showed high tracking numbers before its release in July 2007, the studio attached the teaser trailer for Cloverfield that showed the release date of January 18, 2008 but not the title. A second trailer was released on November 16, 2007 which was attached to Beowulf confirming the title.
The studio had kept knowledge of the project secret from the online community, a cited rarity due to the presence of scoopers that follow upcoming films. The controlled release of information on the film has been observed as a risky strategy, which could succeed like The Blair Witch Project (1999) or disappoint like Snakes on a Plane (2006), the latter of which had generated online hype but failed to attract large audiences. Chad Hartigan of Exhibitor Relations Co. saw several issues with the potential of the film, including a lack of major stars, the underwhelming performance of Godzilla-style films in America, and the film's slated release in January, considered a "dumping ground for bad films".
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