|Industry||Motion Picture Production & Releasing|
|Founded||1971 (as 21st Century Distribution Corporation)|
April 1989 (as 21st Century Film Corporation)
|Defunct||March 24, 1996|
|Menahem Golan (CEO), Ami Artzi & Giancarlo Parretti|
Public (pink sheets)
21st Century Film Corporation was a theatrical distribution company formed sometime in 1971 as a production company and distributor. Menahem Golan has served as CEO of the company from 1989 to the company's bankruptcy.
It was formed sometime in 1971 as a production company and distributor as 21st Century Distribution Corporation.
In the late 1980s, while filing for bankruptcy, it was purchased by Giancarlo Parretti. Pathé had also recently purchased The Cannon Group, which was renamed Pathé Communications, and he eventually handed 21st Century Film Corporation and Spider-Man and Captain America film rights (held by Cannon) over to Israeli filmmaker Menahem Golan as part of Golan's severance package from Cannon.
Golan's goal was to release high-quality motion pictures to the American and worldwide film audiences, but 21st Century only enjoyed small-scale success releasing low-budget films like Bullseye!, art-house films like Eraserhead, as well as remakes of The Phantom of the Opera and Night of the Living Dead.
In April 1989, Twenty-first Century Film and Pathé Communications ended their film production contract. As part of the termination, 21st Century Film received rights to two feature-length movies: the completed Mack the Knife, in production Phantom of the Opera plus other projects and scripts rights. While Pathé would no longer have any financial obligations to 21st Century.
Captain America was filmed and was given only a limited theatrical release worldwide.
Looking for funding for the Spider-Man film was difficult; 21st Century sold the film's TV rights to Viacom, the home-video rights to Columbia and theatrical rights to Carolco. In 1993, Golan triggered a series of lawsuits for 21st Century over Spider-Man as he feared being pushed out. Bankruptcy followed within the year for the company. In 1995, the judge ruled that the Spider-Man film rights expired and reverted to Marvel. Meanwhile, all of 21st Century's film library and assets were acquired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (which had merged with Pathé/Cannon earlier and was a theatrical distributor of Carolco's films at the time), mostly due to a quitclaim deed by Carolco.
Currently, the majority of 21st Century Film Corporation's film catalog is owned by MGM Studios, with the exception of Night of the Living Dead and The Forbidden Dance, both which were distributed by Columbia Pictures and are currently owned by parent company Sony Pictures.