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Amblin Entertainment, Inc. is an American film production company founded by director and producer Steven Spielberg, and film producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall in 1981. The company's headquarters are located in Bungalow 477 of the Universal Studios backlot in Universal City, California. The company distributes all of the films from Amblin Partners under the Amblin Entertainment banner.
Amblin is named after Spielberg's first commercially released film, Amblin' (1968), a short independent film about a man and woman hitchhiking through the desert. The film, which cost $15,000 to produce, was shown for Universal Studios and won Spielberg more directing roles. Although Amblin is an independent production company, Universal distributes many Amblin productions, and Amblin operates out of a building on the Universal lot.
Its logo features the silhouette of E.T. riding in the basket on Elliott's bicycle flying in front of the moon from the 1982 movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The company dates back to 1969, and it was properly incorporated in 1970. On July 14, 1975, Spielberg signed a four-picture agreement with Universal Pictures to produce its feature films through its Amblin label, to built upon the success of its first two theatrical pictures The Sugarland Express and Jaws.
Amblin first produced its film Continental Divide in 1981, with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. Founding partners Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall of Amblin caught the attention of film producer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1982, of which they both produced Poltergeist, which was directed by filmmaker Tobe Hooper. The following week, Kathleen Kennedy, another founding partner of Amblin produced the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which ended up being the highest-grossing film of the year.
In 1983, one of the founding partners produced Twilight Zone: The Movie. Amblin went on to produce the most successful films, like Gremlins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the Back to the Future trilogy.
In 1985, Spielberg and Don Bluth started a partnership to produce animated feature films. The only two films that were made from the Spielberg-Bluth deal were An American Tail (1986) and The Land Before Time (1988).
In 1989, a dispute over film-making budgets caused Spielberg and Bluth to part ways, and Amblin's animation department was rebranded to Amblimation, which was headquartered in London. The only three films that were released under the Amblimation banner were An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991), We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story (1993) and Balto (1995). A fourth film, an animated film adaptation of Cats, was in development, but it was cancelled following the studio's closure in 1997.
In 1992, Amblin launched a visual effects studio Amblin Imaging, headed by visual effects pioneer John Gross. It was later shut down in 1995.
On June 21, 2021, it was announced that Amblin Entertainment signed a deal with Netflix to release multiple new feature films for the streaming service. Under the deal, Amblin is expected to produce at least two films a year for Netflix for an unspecified number of years. It is possible that Spielberg may even direct some of the projects.
Theme park attractions
While Amblin has never had its own theme park, theme parks have made rides based on Amblin films and co-productions.
- Back to the Future: The Ride, a simulator ride at Universal Studios Japan. Also existed at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood.
- Gremlins Invasion, a ride at Warner Bros. Movie World and Warner Bros. Movie World Germany.
- Jurassic Park: The Ride, a water ride at Universal Studios Hollywood.
- Men in Black: Alien Attack, a dark ride at Universal Studios Florida.
- Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, a dark ride in Mickey's Toontown, a land at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.
- Twister...Ride it Out, a simulator ride at Universal Studios Florida.
- E.T. Adventure, a dark ride at Universal Studios Florida. Also existed at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan.
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