TriStar Pictures, Inc. (spelled Tri-Star until 1991) is a film subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, itself a subdivision of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, which is owned by Sony Pictures. It was founded in 1982 as Nova Pictures.


The concept for TriStar came about in 1982 when Columbia Pictures (then a subsidiary of Coca-Cola), HBO, and CBS decided to pool resources to split the ever-growing costs of making movies, creating Nova Pictures as a joint venture.

Their first production, released in 1984, was The Natural, starring Robert Redford. During this venture, many of Tri-Star's releases were released on VHS by either RCA-Columbia Pictures Home Video (now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), CBS/FOX Video (now CBS Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), or HBO Video.

CBS dropped out of the venture in 1985,[1] though they still distributed some of TriStar's films on home video until at least 1992. In April 1987, Tri-Star entered into the television business as Tri-Star Television. In December 1987, HBO dropped out of the Tri-Star venture as well and Columbia Pictures bought their venture shares and merged Columbia and Tri-Star into Columbia Pictures Entertainment, also creating Columbia/Tri-Star. Both companies continued to produce and distribute films under their separate names.

In 1989, all of Coke's entertainment holdings were acquired by Sony Corporation of Japan, who merged Columbia and Tri-Star, but continued to use the separate brands.

Sony Pictures Entertainment later revived TriStar Television as a television production banner in 1991 and co-launched Columbia TriStar Television in 1994 with its sister television studio Columbia Pictures Television.

TriStar was the theatrical distributor for many films produced by Carolco Pictures from the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s (the rights to only one of those films, Cliffhanger, has been retained by TriStar).

Around summer 1998, Sony Pictures Entertainment merged Columbia and TriStar to form Columbia TriStar Pictures (or Columbia TriStar Entertainment, Inc. or the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group) but just like Columbia Pictures Entertainment, both divisions continued producing and distributing films under their own names.

TriStar was relaunched in 2004 as a marketing and acquisitions unit that will have a "particular emphasis on genre films."[2]


The company's logo of a Pegasus (either stationary or flying across the screen), introduced in 1984, has become something of a cultural icon. It has also spawned many parodies, including one on the Family Guy episode "Petergeist." The second logo was originally painted by Alan Reingold and debuted in 1993. This version, likely as Columbia Pictures has clouds. The background is nighttime blue. The clouds are orange. [3]

See alsoEdit


  1. Template:Citation/make link. The New York Times. 16 November 1985. 
  2. "Sony Pictures – Corporate Fact Sheet". Sony Pictures Entertainment. "The label will have a particular emphasis on genre films"
  3. "Art classes with Alan Reingold". Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.

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