Cinema International Corporation
Cinema International Corporation (CIC) was a film distribution company started by Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios on April 9, 1970 to distribute the two studios' films outside the United States, as a response to declining movie-going audiences and national anti-trust laws. It even operated in Canada and the Caribbean Basin before those territories were considered part of the "domestic" North American market. CIC was registered in England and Wales, but was headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The company began operations on January 1, 1971. In 1973, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer closed down its distribution offices and became a partner in CIC, which took over international distribution for MGM's films; however, United Artists took over the North American distribution of MGM films. In 1981, MGM purchased United Artists, which had its own international distribution unit. CIC refused to let MGM drop out of the venture at the time, which led to the reorganization of the company as "United International Pictures". In the mid '70s, CIC Australia merged its units with 20th Century Fox's Australian distribution arm to form a joint venture, known as CIC-Fox. Walt Disney/Buena Vista also made distribution deals with CIC in Italy (inherited from Universal) until 1987 (under UIP) and Australia through CIC-Fox (20th Century Fox) until 1986. CIC also entered the home video age, with its subsidiary CIC Video. MGM, however, had its own home video distribution unit (originally a partnership between MGM and CBS Video Enterprises).
1st Logo (Late 1960's-1981)
Nickname: "The CIC Chain"
Logo: Against a blue background, we see the letters "CIC" (in a slightly lighter shade of blue) being drawn in simultaneously, with the first "C" drawn in counterclockwise, the last "C" clockwise, and the "I" from the middle. The letters take up almost the entire screen. Then, the letters zoom in towards the bottom, away from the screen, and a large chain link in an "S" pattern in drawn in, with the outer links colored the same as "CIC" and the middle link colored a very pale blue color. As the chain slowly zooms out, the text "Cinema International Corporation" (in white) zoom out from below.
- There's a variant, where a patriotic music replaces the normal music.
- There's a silent version.
- Depending on the film quality, the background can vary from light blue, to faded green, all the way to dark blue/black.
- There is a black and white variant.
- On films distributed to France by the company, the logo in black and white (or sepia toned, in some cases) with "Cinema International Corporation" to the left of it and "distribué par" above it. Depending on the movie, the logo may have effects or animation applied to it.
- On the first Italian releases of Disney movies, including The Aristocats, the logo is similar to the French variant, except the chain is in full color, "Cinema International Corporation" is arranged differently, and "distribuzione" is above it.
FX/SFX: The drawing in of the letters and the chain. For the French variant, different animations or effects.
Music/Sounds: A brass/string tune ending in a dramatic three-note fanfare. It was made for the movie A Gathering of Eagles (1963) and composed by Jerry Goldsmith. Sometimes it is silent, or on movies such as The Slipper and The Rose, has the opening theme of the film play over it.
Availability: Very rare. It was seen on theatrical prints of Paramount, Universal, and MGM films outside of North America. Examples are Demon Seed, The Slipper And The Rose, Earthquake, Monty Python's Life of Brian, Grease, and The Eagle Has Landed (strangely an ITC production, as Universal may have been the distributor in other territories). Was seen on Australian prints of various 20th Century Fox films released in Australia under "CIC-Fox". This was also seen on Italian and Australian theatrical prints of Disney/Buena Vista productions from 1971-1981, with examples being reissues of Peter Pan and Bambi, and appeared on further reissues as late as 1984. Most current prints of these films use domestic prints, so this logo is long gone. However, it survives fully intact on the following: The Inception Media Blu-Ray of The Slipper and The Rose (along with a Shout! Factory streaming print and a TCM airing), and the U.S. Criterion DVD of Die Verlorene Ehre Der Katharina Blum (aka The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum). The French variant is a bit harder to find, but was spotted in a recent prints of César et Rosalie and Themroc, though it may be found in older prints of films that CIC distributed to France. It might have been seen on the original UK release of Watership Down but most prints have no logo.
Editor's Note: The animation is a little rough, but it more than makes up for it with its magnificent fanfare.
2nd Logo (1981-1982?)
Logo: On a black background, we see a closeup of the same chain link as before, only now it's in live-action and has a silver sheen. The background changes to blue as the chain link zooms out until it reaches a comfortable distance. Finally, the text "Cinema International Corporation" pops in below the chain link.
FX/SFX: The zooming, the background changing, the text. All in live-action.
Availability: Extremely rare, as this came out near the end of CIC's existence. It was seen on an Italian print of The Fox and the Hound, and a foreign copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Editor's Note: None.