Since its rise in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Carolco Pictures has seen quite a journey in film history. Home to many a blockbuster with with films like the Terminator and Rambo movies, anyone who ever owned a VHS tape of these never went without seeing the Carolco title logo after pressing play, and for this, fans of American cinema have a lot to say in thanks to its founders Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna.
Unfortunately, the studio itself floundered by 1996 until it was rebranded as C2 upon the release of Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines; I’m in the minority of having enjoyed it compared to a lot of criticism that particular title received. Needless to say, Carolco Pictures has seen all ends of the business spectrum and has stood the test of time, and we needn’t look further for proof than its most recent acquisition by film producer Alex Bafer as recently as last month, which is good news for Kassar whose officially announced return as COB as of Wednesday brings good news for its company.
There are already a few titles in development right now at Carolco so there’s more news to come without a doubt. Do keep your eyes peeled!
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Carolco Pictures, Inc. (OTCQB: CRCO) announced today that its co-creator and founder Mario Kassar has returned to become Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company namesake he started almost four decades ago. A major innovator in international motion picture productions, financing and distribution, Mario Kassar’s decades of experience as producer of worldwide blockbusters is often characterized like his movies as being action-packed. Kassar has released 36 of some of the world’s most memorable motion pictures, of which 16 have been nominated for Academy Awards. Kassar has served as Executive Producer of the Rambo films, Terminator 2: Judgement Day,Basic Instinct, Total Recall, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Cliffhanger and Stargate, among others. In total, his films have grossed more than $3 billion (today’s value) in worldwide theatrical box office.
Today’s announced agreement to become Chairman of the Board is effective immediately. For more information please see the Carolco’s most recent Form 8K found on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov.
Mario Kassar stated “One of my greatest joys in life was being the Chairman of Carolco Pictures, two decades ago. I am elated to return to that position, to produce the world’s greatest movies once again under the Carolco brand for my fans and people everywhere to enjoy. The major difference between now and then are the advances in technology and cinematography not previously available to Carolco Pictures 20 years ago. Combined with these advances know that the best movies I will ever produce are still yet to come.”
Alex Bafer, Carolco Pictures CEO, stated “Mario Kassar is hands down the world’s greatest producer of mega-hit films. We couldn’t be more excited than to have Mario return as the Chairman of the Board. Our goal now is to not only restore the Carolco brand back to its rightful place in Hollywood, but also to build an entirely new library of memorable films for today’s generation.”
Mario Kassar, as an independent filmmaker, began with a small-scale release film The Amateur followed by Victory a large-scale release. In 1976, Kassar co-founded Carolco with Andrew Vajna, which became a major force among independent production companies. Carolco’s first production venture made motion picture history when a new American hero, John Rambo, was introduced to audiences in First Blood. This Sylvester Stallone action adventure became an international success, grossing $120 million worldwide. Three years later, in 1985, the company released Rambo: First Blood Part II, which grossed $300 million worldwide. With Carolco, Kassar was executive producer on such films as Alan Parker’s Angel Heart, Rambo III, and Johnny Handsome. Other projects included “Music Box”, Mountains of the Moon, Total Recall, Air America, Narrow Margin, and Jacob’s Ladder.
In late 1989, Kassar became the sole shareholder and Chairman of Carolco Pictures. He subsequently produced such films as the critically acclaimed Rambling Rose (which received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress), The Doors, LA Story, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (which grossed over $500 million worldwide, was nominated for six 6 Academy Awards and won four), the erotic thriller Basic Instinct (which garnered two Oscar nominations for best editing and best original score), Universal Soldier, and Cliffhanger (1994, which earned three Oscar nominations).
The success of the sci-fi film Stargate established a cable series in 1997 entitled “Stargate SG-1”. Further, Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr. playing the life of legendary actor Charlie Chaplin, directed by Lord Richard Attenborough, was honored with three Academy Award nominations, including one for Robert Downey Jr. for Best Actor and three Golden Globe nominations.
In 1998, Kassar re-teamed with Andrew Vajna to form C-2 Pictures. They produced I-Spy (with Eddie Murphy) for Sony Pictures and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), which its release allowed a window for the franchise to gain new-life during (2008-2009): Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. More can be found on Mario Kassar at http://mariokassar.com/biography
Most recently, on February 10, 2015, Carolco Pictures, Inc. announced that it has begun pre-production on the Motion Picture “Audition”, a psychological horror-drama based on Ryu Murakami’s bestselling novel to be directed by Richard Gray.
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