Paramount Home Media Distribution

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Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Video (1976–1982)
Paramount Video (1982–1987)
Paramount Home Entertainment (1987–2011)
IndustryHome video
Founded1976; 43 years ago (1976)
Area served
Key people
Hal Richardson (President)
(merger with CBS Corporation pending)
ParentParamount Pictures
DivisionsParamount Famous Productions
Fox-Paramount Home Entertainment (Nordic; joint venture with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
(Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment)

Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD); formerly Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Video and Paramount Video; is the home video distribution arm of Paramount Pictures, a subsidiary of Viacom and was founded in 1976.

PHMD distributes most of the programming assets owned by Viacom's parent National Amusements. This not only includes films by Paramount Pictures themselves, but also the back catalog of DreamWorks, shows from Viacom Media Networks, and the new Paramount Television. And, also through CBS Home Entertainment, most of the holdings of Viacom's sister company CBS Corporation – this includes the libraries of CBS Television Studios, CBS Theatrical Films, and Showtime Entertainment.


In 1993, Paramount launched a deal with fast food restaurant McDonald's to release several of its movies at participating restaurants. Charlotte's Web, Ghost, Wayne's World and The Addams Family were the films that were available.

The back catalog of DreamWorks Pictures has been released on video by PHMD. (except the 1998–2005 DreamWorks Animation library, and the North American distribution rights of Munich, The Cat in the Hat, A Beautiful Mind, Meet The Parents, Seabiscuit, and Meet The Fockers, all under the ownership of Universal Pictures, with Minority Report and Cast Away under 20th Century Fox)

Films from Republic Pictures, Paramount's other subsidiary, are not distributed on video and DVD by PHMD (with some exceptions), but are distributed on video and DVD by Olive Films. Prior to 2012, these films were distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment, which was acquired from previous rights holder Artisan Entertainment (which merged with Lionsgate in 2003). This deal later expanded to include some of Paramount's own post-1949 films, typically lesser-known or lesser-performing titles. Also, as a result of this deal, Lionsgate has released in 2007 "triple features" of their own library of films on DVD using the package design originated by Paramount. With Republic's folding, Lionsgate's duty has been transferred to Olive. Films from Rysher Entertainment are also distributed by PHMD due to a previous distribution deal from 1999.

PHMD have developed a trademark by giving their Special Edition/Director's Cut editions different names rather than the usual "Special Edition," or "Director's Edition". Paramount Home Entertainment gives them different names such as Grease: The Rockin' Rydell Edition, Beavis & Butthead Do America: The Edition That Doesn't Suck and Airplane!: The "Don't Call Me Shirley" Edition.

Internationally, PHMD holds the DVD rights to several shows on HBO. PHMD also distributes in Germany the DVD releases of films distributed theatrically by Prokino Filmverleih, as well as films from Gaumont in France.

As Paramount Home Video, the company once distributed several Miramax releases on video – the video rights to some of these films (such as Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth) are still owned by Paramount.[1]

PHMD also had agreements with DreamWorks Animation, PBS, BBC, Bagdasarian Productions and Hasbro for DVD/Blu-ray distribution of various programs that the former aired, and several films and television series based on franchises owned by the latter. By products of the latter deal are the series of films based on the Transformers toy line, and the 2009 film based on the G.I. Joe toy line, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (which has a sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation). Until early 2013, Alliance Films releases in Canada were distributed by PHMD.

In 2008, PHMD launched a direct-to-video label, Paramount Famous Productions (with the "Famous" part of the name a throwback to the days when the company was called Famous Players).

In the United Kingdom and Australia, the Paramount Pictures film library were released by CIC Video alongside Universal Pictures until 1999 before CIC turned into two separate units: Paramount Home Entertainment International and Universal Studios Home Entertainment International.

On May 27, 2010, IFC Films struck another home video distribution deal with Paramount Home Media Distribution.[2]

In October 2012, it was announced that PHMD and Warner Home Video had signed a distribution deal, allowing Warner to gain U.S. and Canadian DVD, Blu-ray, UltraViolet, Flixster, and DVD-manufacturing-on-demand distribution rights to over 600 Paramount titles. The deal came into effect as of January 1, 2013.[3] The deal however, has expired as of 2017 as evidenced by Paramount titles no longer appearing on Warner Home Video's web store. Distribution of the titles included in the Warner deal have since reverted to Paramount.

In February 2015, Paramount Home Media Distribution signed a distribution agreement with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, whereby the latter will distribute the former's titles overseas, particularly the territories where Paramount holds an office. The deal began on July 1, 2015 in the United Kingdom.[4] Paramount Home Media Distribution also has a joint venture of Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in the Australia.

In June 2016, Paramount started releasing Ultra HD Blu-rays.

HD DVD and Blu-ray support[edit]

Paramount brands the majority of its HD content under the label 'Paramount High Definition' which is seen both on the title box cover and as an in-movie opening. Films from Paramount subsidiaries such as Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films as well as from former sister studio DreamWorks use no special branding, Paramount Vantage (another subsidiary) releases only select titles under the Paramount High Definition banner such as Babel.

In October 2005, Paramount announced that it would be supporting the HD video format Blu-ray in addition to rival format HD DVD, becoming the first studio to release on both formats.[5] Its first four HD DVD releases came in July 2006,[6] and it released four titles on Blu-ray two months later.[7] In August 2007, Paramount (along with DreamWorks and DreamWorks Animation) announced their exclusive support for HD DVD.[8] However, when other studios eventually dropped HD DVD and players for the technology stopped being manufactured, Paramount switched to Blu-ray. In May 2008, it released three titles on Blu-ray and continues to release its high-definition discs in that format exclusively.[9] However, they are not a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Archived October 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "IFC Films Strikes Distribution Deal with Paramount Home Media Distribution". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ Warner Bros & Paramount Announce Home Media Distribution Deal Deadline Hollywood (October 4, 2012).
  4. ^ Lieberman, David (February 12, 2015). "Universal To Distribute Paramount's DVD & Blu-ray Discs Abroad". Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "Paramount says yes to both Blu-ray and HD DVD – Engadget". Engadget. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  6. ^ "Historical HD DVD Release Dates | High Def Digest". Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  7. ^ "Historical Blu-ray Release Dates | High Def Digest". Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  8. ^ Barnes, Brooks (August 21, 2007). "Two Studios to Support HD DVD Over Rival". New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
  9. ^ "Blu-ray releases on May 20, 2008 – Engadget HD". Engadget HD. Retrieved January 7, 2010.

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