×

CBS Films Being Folded Into CBS Entertainment Group, Focus Shifting to Streaming (EXCLUSIVE)

CBS Films will be folded into CBS Entertainment Group over the next 12 months, Variety has learned.

Before that change takes place, the company is committed to releasing its next four scheduled films in theaters. They include “Five Feet Apart,” “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” “Pavarotti,” and “Lexi.” Several of these movies are being distributed through the company’s partnership with Lionsgate.

After the last of these films debuts in cinemas, CBS Films’ mandate will shift towards finding content for the company’s streaming services. These platforms will likely include CBS All Access, the media conglomerate’s major entry into the streaming space, but details are still being worked out. CBS Films President Terry Press is expected to continue to lead the division. CBS Films’ name will continue on CBS Films releases.

“As part of our ongoing optimization of CBS operations, CBS Films will be folded into the larger CBS Entertainment Group over the course of 2019,” said a statement from CBS corporation. “This will allow the company to further focus its entertainment resources on its television, digital and streaming businesses…We are grateful for the continued leadership of Terry Press and the passionate efforts of everyone at CBS Films.”

The move comes as the theatrical market for mid-budget movies and arthouse releases is constricting and moving more towards the digital arena. With major studios increasingly focused on big-budget superhero movies and franchises, players like Netflix and Amazon have been filling the void by backing dramas, thrillers, romantic comedies, and other genres that are no longer appearing as regularly in cinemas.

Popular on Variety

CBS Films also lost a prominent supporter after Leslie Moonves was ousted from the company last summer in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. Joseph Ianniello has replaced Moonves as acting CEO.

CBS Films has just over 30 staffers, with some layoffs expected beginning in mid-March. Its major releases include the Oscar-nominated “Hell or High Water,” the horror film “Winchester,” and the acclaimed new Vincent van Gogh biopic “At Eternity’s Gate.” Its next release, the romantic drama “Five Feet Apart,” opens in March.

More Film

  • Mika Ronkainen and Merja Aakko

    ‘All the Sins’ Producers to Broaden Spanish-Language Ties (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden: “All the Sins”’ Finnish co-writers and creators Mika Ronkainen and Merja Aakko, winners of last year’s Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for outstanding Nordic screenplay, are developing for MRK Matila Röhr Productions an adoption drama set between Finland and Guatemala. Based on a true story, the six-part series “Act of Telling” (a [...]

  • A still from Vivos by Ai

    'Vivos': Film Review

    To the individual enduring it, sorrow seems a lonely, defenseless emotion, one from which others are too quick to look away. Shared and felt en masse, however, it can become something different: a galvanizing force, a wall, not diminished in pain but not diminished by it either. Ai Weiwei’s stirring new documentary “Vivos” runs on [...]

  • Jumbo

    'Jumbo': Film Review

    Tall, dark and handsome? The crush that Noémie Merlant’s character, Jeanne, explores in “Jumbo” is one out of three: a 25-foot-tall carnival ride who seduces the amusement park janitor as she spit-cleans his bulbs. During the night shift, Jumbo literally lights up Jeanne’s life, and while he’s not handsome in the traditional sense — especially [...]

  • Ironbark

    'Ironbark': Film Review

    Movie spies typically fall into one of two categories. There are the butterflies — flamboyant secret agents like James Bond or “Atomic Blonde” who behave as conspicuously as possible. And then there are the moth-like kind, who do their best to blend in. The character Benedict Cumberbatch plays in “Ironbark” belongs to the latter variety, [...]

  • Miss Juneteenth review

    'Miss Juneteenth': Film Review

    “Miss Juneteenth” richly captures the slow pace of ebbing small-town Texas life, even if you might wish there were a bit more narrative momentum to pick up the slack in writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples’ first feature. She’s got a very relatable heroine in Nicole Beharie’s Turquoise, an erstwhile local beauty queen whose crown proved the [...]

  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    'Never Rarely Sometimes Always': Film Review

    The basic plot of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is easy enough to describe. A 17-year-old girl named Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) winds up pregnant in a small Pennsylvania town. Prevented from seeking an abortion by the state’s parental consent laws, she takes off for New York City with her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), where what they’d [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content