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Styhon Entertainment Partners, Inc. (trading as Styhon Entertainment) is a Finnish-owned American vertically integrated media and entertainment company based in Los Angeles. Founded by Howard Styhon in 1993 and sold to Kasperi Salovaara (of Styhon Battersea) in January 2021, it focuses on foreign and independent films and has produced and distributed various commercially successful films.

It is one of the largest international sales and film distribution companies by library and availability. They're also a leading international broadcaster and leading producer of children's entertainment and factual content worldwide.

Under the Styhon Media Networks division, it also operates a group of digital cable and satellite channels, which broadcast a mix of original programs and the company's syndicated content.

Before the sale to Salovaara, the company's majority stake was split between Access Industries and Howard Styhon.

They distribute Brittania Pictures's movies internationally, while Brittania distributes their films in Portugal and the UK.

Company overview

Styhon Entertainment is a vertically integrated content powerhouse, filled to the brim with established creators worldwide and high quality IPs, including but not limited to Ace Ventura, Mythbusters, Hereditary, The Dark Crystal and Adventure Time. It also houses a wide distribution network for films and television; two film festivals (Sundance and Tribeca); as well as three leading MCNs: Styhon Digital Studios, Scalelab and Studio71. It was founded by Howard Styhon in 1993 with backing from Warner Bros. Pictures. Since then, he has built a large library of thousands of movies through acquisitions and critically acclaimed productions, which have allowed the company to expand beyond film production.

Styhon Content Group includes Styhon International, PalmStar, Constantin Film, FilmNation Entertainment, The Jim Henson Company and IFC Films. It also includes one of the most infamous anime licensors in North America - Sentai Filmworks -, one of the largest young adult and kids books publishers in the world - Scholastic - and one of the world's largest movie library and rights holding companies - Revolution Studios. Styhon Filmed Entertainment Group also owns several cinema chains, over a dozen studios worldwide; such as Styhon Studios Mol, Styhon Studios Iskandar and Styhon Studios Prague; as well as visual effects companies Method Studios and BUF, audio company Dolby and equipment manufacturing and rental giant Panavision, to service independent films and also international screenings of blockbuster films. Through Styhon Television Studios, they also own Morgan Creek Television, and Sailor Media Group, responsible for such formats as The Farm, Married at First Sight, Say Yes to the Dress, Orphan Black, Big Comfy Couch, Lip Sync Battle, Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares.

Styhon Broadcasting Group - the radio, TV and internet division - is home to AMC, Univision, Discovery, Frederator Studios, Teletoon, ProSieben, M6, Westwood One and also numerous internet companies such as Styhon Digital Studios and German's top Internet ecommerce website wow.de. They also own stakes in Funny or Die and netzine company Group Nine Media.

Styhon Ventures is Styhon's investments division and an incubator for future utilities such as new technologies, new frameworks and new media. They own Participant - a company dedicated to content which has impact in our popular culture and society as a whole, Creative Artists Agency - one of the leading talent agencies in the world, and a minority stake in WWE - a world leader in wrestling entertainment.

Regency Enterprises is an American entertainment company formed by Arnon Milchan in 1982. They own a library of over 100 titles and distributes its films worldwide. In addition to being one of the co-heads of production at Styhon, Yariv Milchan also runs day-to-day operations in Regency. The company includes New Regency, established through an ongoing partnership with 20th Century Studios.

Viridian Group is Styhon's in-house advertising division and home to known advertising agencies such as TWBA, BBDO, CARAT, Mullenlowe, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and McCann. Their expertise and history crosses generations and borders; and has affected people's lifestyles positively - from having people sing on the top of the hill with Coke bottles in their hands to raising awareness about benefits of milk with quirky short films. They're one of four world-leading advertising companies, next to WPP, Havas and Publicis.

Our partners include A&E, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, A24, Channel 4, Sony Pictures, Cartoon Network, The Walt Disney Company, Nexstar Media Group, Vice Media, Buzzfeed, Google, Amazon Studios, Netflix, TF1, CBS, Coca-Cola and Lionsgate.

Sython Entertainment properties

History

Styhon Brothers Entertainment

In 1986, after the dissolution of Producers Sales Organization, brothers Howard and Ronald Styhon started a production company, Styhon Brothers Entertainment.

In 1988, Styhon Brothers Entertainment struck "slate financing" deals with New World Pictures and, in 1990, Cannon Group; they were one of, if not the first, of their kind; agreeing to finance a number of their original productions.

In 1992, Styhon Brothers ran into some financial difficulties, but quickly recovered.

Styhon Entertainment

In 1993, Howard Styhon left Styhon Brothers to found his own production company Styhon Entertainment, and immediately struck a production and distribution deal with Warner Bros. They also arranged pay television deals with HBO and Canal+.

In 1998, Styhon Entertainment, Warner Bros. and Canal+ helped Steven Reuther found his own production company Bel-Air Entertainment. It sadly went bankrupt around 2002 and it was integrated back into Styhon.

In 2018, Styhon Enterprises bought out The Weinstein Company/Lantern Entertainment's home entertainment operations and subsequently rebranded them into Styhon Home Entertainment, which soon became Styhon Home Entertainment Group in 2020.

In 2019, Styhon Entertainment expanded drastically after a merger with Morgan Creek Entertainment, Revolution Studios, Red Granite International, Lightyear Entertainment, HALO 8 Entertainment, The Film Arcade, Excel Entertainment Group, and Hannover House, and acquisition of most assets from Ultra V Holdings, owner of Relativity Media.

With these changes, Styhon Entertainment became the latest mini-major film studio, and a member of the Motion Picture Association. They also recruited Stephen J. Anderson, Mark Johnson, Jordan Kerner and Gavin Polone as part of their management board.

On November 30, 2019, Styhon Entertainment purchased a site in Syracuse, New York with intentions to build a facility known as the Central New York Film Hub.

In January 2020, Styhon Entertainment acquired distribution offices of Brittania Pictures in Africa (including South Africa and Egypt), Asia (including Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Russia and Hong Kong) and Latin America (including Brazil). The deal also included Afpak Films - its distribution arm in the Middle East - and majority-owned CX7 Entertainment - which was a spin-off of Brittania Pictures's distribution offices in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Moldovia, Ukraine and ex-Yugoslavia countries.

They also acquired Brittania Pictures's distribution offices in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Ireland; the first two were closed shortly afterwards, with the latter two being merged into Styhon's Fishfilm GmbH and newly-acquired Element Pictures respectively. They closed Brittania Pictures Japan, in favor of establishing a distribution deal with Longride; offices in Australia were merged into Australian Filmgroup, though select films are set to be co-distributed by Roadshow Films.

They also acquired Metropolitan Filmexport and Davis Films from the Hadida brothers, and Brittania Pictures France, and moved the two companies under Cinéa. Brittania France's distribution deals outside of Brittania, and "non-film import operations" of Metropolitan, will move to Cinéa. Brittania Pictures's Belgium and Luxembourg operations were merged into Cinéa Belux, which also moved under Cinéa.

November 2020 acquisitions

Led by Howard Styhon and his son Chance Styhon, who is also the current CEO of Styhon Entertainment, the acquisition spree was commenced, with the goal of all deals being them closing on the month of November 2020. They spent USD$1.5 trillion and expect to break even after these acquistions within 5-12 years. Their main motive was to take a lot of operations in-house and expand into other industries.

Styhon Entertainment purchased Omnicom, Interpublic Group of Companies and Dentsu (except for their Japanese operations), and merged them to form Viridian Group.

Styhon Entertainment acquired Groupe M6, Highlight Communications AG, ProSieben.Sat1 Group, AMC Networks, PalmStar Media, Andrew McMeel Universal, Ion Media, Cumulus Media, Weigel Broadcasting, Beyond International, Walden Media, Corus Entertainment, Blue Ant Media, Really Useful Group, Discovery Inc, Studio 100, FilmNation Entertainment, Scholastic, WildBrain, Madman Entertainment, mm2 Entertainment, Boat Rocker Media and Univision Communications to boost their publishing, international distribution, sports, live entertainment and television businesses. They also acquired the Asia Pacific and South American operations of Fremantle and ELAN Group's media and entertainment divisions. Gulf Film became part of Afpak Motion Pictures, while ELAN Media became part of Viridian Group.

They acquired Dolby, Panavision, NSR Scandinavia Group, Method Studios and Ymagis Group to boost their post-production and cinema services operations; and also acquired BroadbandTV, RTL Group's MCN operations, Deluxe Entertainment Services, Nordic Entertainment Group, rest of the former Defy Media's assets, Mixed Media Group, Wow Unlimited Media and former assets of The Outline to boost their digital media and licensing operations.

To increase their presence in live entertainment industries, Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Enterprises (with Tribeca Film Festival) were acquired, with Sundance Institute and Tribeca Film Institute becoming part of Styhon Golden Screen Ventures. They also acquired 50% of Live Nation Entertainment.

They also acquired numerous technology companies, including: ViewSonic, Compal Electronics, MSI, Zyxel, Kingston, Haier and Corsair to build up their hardware division for Styhon Web Services called PTG (Pegatron Technology Group) - despite the name, it is separate from Pegatron, which Styhon owns a majority stake in. Their acquisition of Haier surprised the public the most, especially the Chinese audience.

They also acquired Dark Horse Comics and game studios NCSoft, Games Workshop, Rebellion, Gaijin Entertainment, Klei Entertainment, Krafton Game Union, Yager Development, Plarium, Abstraction Games, BlitWorks, Wargaming, Miniclip, Glu Mobile, Jam City, Zen Studios and Pearl Abyss. They and Tencent merged the studios together to form Krafton Pearl Abyss.

Meanwhile, Revolution Studios acquired the Lumiere Film & Television, Paravision International, Carolco Pictures and Pueblo Film Licensing libraries from StudioCanal for €4.5 billion. They also acquired their holdings on the international home video rights to the Miramax library. Through this, they received trademarks of and all film rights to the library of Carolco Pictures.

Revolution Studios also acquired the pre-2016 DreamWorks Pictures libraries from Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Studios for €700 million. Revolution Studios will manage the library and owns its copyrights, while Amblin Partners has the "free reign over [the past films]".

Failed mergers

Cinedigm

TBA

Embracer Group

TBA

Entertainment Studios

Howard Styhon and Byron Allen proposed a merger between Styhon Entertainment and Entertainment Studios to create one of the largest African-American-led media companies in North America. The deal was called off in December 2020 by Chance Styhon, when new terms of the deal (following Styhon Entertainment's sudden expansion) caused conflicts with Entertainment Studios's management.

Brittania Pictures

While Styhon Entertainment owns Brittania's international operations (outside Iberia and the UK), Brittania Pictures turned down the offer to fully merge into Styhon Entertainment.

Debt controversy

In 2018, Styhon Television's international distribution arm Styhon International Television filed for bankruptcy, due to immense debt. The debt was actually inherited actively from other divisions within Styhon Entertainment. They were soon investigated by FTC, yet they weren't successful enough to sue Styhon for these practices.

Due to this and the acquisition spree in 2020, the group of companies had to be sold, to investors Robert Stainton, Edward Fowly and Kasperi Salovaara of Salovaara Ventures Group for $850 billion USD, including most of the forgiven debt. Commenting on the acquisition, Salovaara said "it would've cost almost a dollar, but [Styhon] didn't want it to wither into bankruptcy". Styhon Entertainment's Television, Studios and Ventures divisions as well as Styhon International have been profitable ever since.

Corporate identity

The logo starts off with a lake, as a rock appears, skipping over the water. The camera follows it through the river's curves as it pans up and then shows the creek in the form of the letter "S". After zooming out, it fades to the Styhon Entertainment logo made of silver.

For newer prints of Revolution and Jim Henson titles, the Morgan Creek theme was used.

The print logo and the motion logo seen in television shows and pre-2022 films include the Styhon Entertainment name, but since the release of the trailer for the American remake of I Saw the Devil (2022), the logo only features the Styhon S.

Corporate affairs

See also List of Styhon Entertainment assets

The Launchpad

Styhon Entertainment's group of companies follow a common ruleset, though modified to fit each company's corporate culture; however, most common between all companies is the "launchpad" motive; to kickstart careers in live entertainment, film and television. They have offered internships every season, offering training for upcoming workers and consulting for productions.

Charitable causes

Styhon Entertainment used to be affiliated with Autism Speaks; however, due to internal conflicts, they have since ended ties and Styhon now has a close relationship with ASAN. They also work closely with GLAAD.

These ties to organizations are what Howard Styhon regards as "representation research"; including how a demographic can be represented in a harmless way and in a way that would not disrupt films or series episodes. Their inclusion of minorities in their productions are praised for, among other reasons, subtlety and maturity in handling "taboo topics".

Ownership

Styhon Plus

Styhon Plus (codenamed Kangaroo) is a worldwide streaming service run by Styhon Entertainment through its division Styhon VOD & Archival Operations. It is available in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It works as a catch-up service, as well as a subscription streaming platform, utilizing Krake's streaming technology.

Styhon Plus was born out of a merger between Showmax, UMC, IFC Films Unlimited, SundanceNow, Discovery Kids Play, Joyn, Dplay, Player.pl, 6play, Spuul, iflix, icflix and Viaplay. They also absorbed Viafree, which gave birth to the ad-supported free version (though which much less access to their programming aside from "Styhon Plus Free Samples" branded programming).

Availiability

As Styhon Entertainment aims to focus on an international audience, Styhon Plus is not available in the continental United States, and its predecessors discontinued service within the US shortly after the service's reveal. Instead, in the United States, the original programming will be available through Netflix, where they're branded as Netflix Originals instead of Styhon Plus Originals.

Original programming

Styhon Plus has two types of content: Styhon Plus Originals, and Styhon Plus Free Samples. The former is only available with a subscription to the service, while the latter is available at all times, though watching the Free Samples programming without a subscription will run ads, as Free Samples are meant for the ad-supported version.

Styhon Entertainment intends to feature local content as well as content made by or aimed at minority groups. Kasperi Salovaara, the CEO of Styhon Entertainment, said "Styhon Plus will be the Netflix of [non-Americans]". Their original programming also include programming made by The Flama, a comedy group part of Styhon Digital Studios. Originally, they were working on an over-the-top network, until Styhon Entertainment acquired Univision in 2020. The inclusion of The Flama's programming is meant to attract the Latino diaspora.

Styhon Plus also absorbed GolfTV, which gave birth to a sub-brand run in collaboration with PGA Tour, "PGA Originals". Its programming is provided by KPA Sports as well as Styhon Media Networks and PGA Tour's media division. Their sports programming also includes ZSports, formerly part of iflix.

With Mubi's absorbtion into the service, "Selected Films by Mubi" was launched in the service with a rotating library of 30 films at a time, with a new film added every day which will stay for 30 days.

Styhon Plus Channels

They also operate partially as an aggregator, offering add-on channels "a la carte" style (like Apple TV Channels and Amazon Channels); their first partners include Showtime, CBS All Access, and Britbox (which Styhon owns a minority stake in).

Production and distribution deals

  • Relativity Media (2020-present)
  • GK Films (2020-present)
  • Centropolis Entertainment (2020-present)
  • Original Film (2020-present)
  • Plan B Entertainment (2020-present)
  • Neon Society Entertainment (2022-present)
    • The Nothing Company (2019-2022)
    • Easykey (2019-2022)
  • Vortex Drift (2020-present)
    • Jamie Shertick Productions (2019-2020)
    • Sandford Productions (2019-2020)
  • Marc Platt Productions (2021-present)
  • Busboy Productions (2021-present)
  • Worldwide Pants (2021-present)
  • Escape Artists (2020-present)
  • Blinding Edge Pictures (2020-present)
  • Appian Way Films (2020-present)
  • Jerry Bruckheimer Pictures (2020-present - non-Paramount/Disney projects)
  • Media Rights Capital (2020-present)
  • Electric Entertainment (2020-present)
  • Spartina Productions (2021-present)
  • Fuzzy Door Productions (2021-present)
  • Intrepid Pictures (2021-present)
  • Full Moon Features (2021-present)
  • 1492 Pictures (2021-present)
  • Fearless Media Group (2021-present)
  • Parkes + McDonald (2021-present)
  • K Period Media (2021-present)

Distributed by Styhon International

  • Brittania Pictures (2020-present)
  • Huayi Brothers (2020-present) - distribution outside Asia only
  • Bold Films (2020-present)
  • The Recorded Film Company (2020-present)
  • EuropaCorp (2020-present)
  • Studio Ghibli (2020-present)
  • Sierra/Affinity (2021-present)
  • A24 Films (2021-present)
  • TF1 International (2021-present)
  • MadRiver Pictures (2021-present)
  • StudioCanal (2021-present) - Latin America, Middle East and Africa only
  • DreamWorks Pictures (2021-present)
  • Nu Image/Millennium Media (2021-present)
  • United International Pictures (2021-present) - Latin America and Africa only
    • Universal Pictures
    • Paramount Pictures
  • Neon (2021-present)
  • Under Mister Smith Entertainment:
    • Red Granite Pictures (2020-present)
    • AMBI Group (2020-present)
    • Aviron Pictures (2021-present)
    • Highland Film Group (2021-present)
    • Myriad Pictures (2021-present)
    • Vertical Entertainment (2021-present)

Vertical Entertainment and AMBI Group's films are to be distributed outside North America and Europe, while films by Nu Image, A24, Sierra/Affinity, Highland Film Group and Neon are distributed only in non-English-speaking markets (with a slight exception on A24's films which will also be distributed within all of the Oceania territories, especially Australia and New Zealand).

Amblin Partners films would be covered by Styhon International in areas and countries where eOne or Universal Pictures don't have distribution operations. Styhon acquired all international sales rights to all Studio Ghibli works from Wild Bunch AG and StudioCanal in November 2020.

Brittania Pictures's films will be distributed by Styhon outside Canada, United States, Portugal and the UK; where, within the latter two countries, Brittania distributes Styhon films instead.

International distribution of Styhon's films

  • Columbia Pictures (the Philippines, 2020-present)
  • CJ Entertainment (South Korea, 2020-present)
  • Longride (Japan, 2020-present)
  • Sam Film (Iceland, 2020-present)
  • Monolith Films (Poland, 2020-present)
  • Brittania Pictures (UK, Spain and Portugal, 2021-present)
  • Svensk Filmindustri (Nordic countries, 2021-present) - co-distribution deal
  • Eagle Pictures (Italy, 2021-present) - co-distribution deal

List of films

Main article: List of Styhon Entertainment films

Upcoming

Release Date Film Reception Notes
February 2021 Untitled Racing Video Games Industry Documentary TBA Theatrical distribution only; co-production with Channel Four Television Corporation, SMG Studios London and Sailor Docs & Factual
May 5, 2022 I Saw The Devil TBA International distribution only; co-production with CJ Entertainment, Annapurna Pictures, Heyday Films, The Nothing Company and Easykey (An Easykey/Nothing Production).
TBA Dimensia 2: The Job TBA International distribution; co-production with OCS Originals, Corus Entertainment, Vortex Drift, Greenyworld Studios and Orion Pictures
TBA Slackers TBA Co-production with Original Film, PalmStar Studios, Constantin Film and Bona Film Group

In development

Styhon Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Pathé announced the development of an American remake of 99 Francs, with the working title of "The Burnout", set to start pre-production in March 2021. Styhon Entertainment is also developing a remake of the 1970 British film Performance.

In return of film libraries acquired from the latter, Revolution Studios and StudioCanal announced to sign a four-picture "slate co-financing" deal, with a "virtually unlimited budget" and StudioCanal getting all rights to the films, as well as distribution rights in Europe and Australia, while Revolution Studios has the rest of the international rights, with Styhon International becoming the international distributor.

MGM, Toho and Styhon Entertainment are developing a reboot of What's Up, Tiger Lily. MGM and Styhon are also developing the film adaptation of The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me.

Upcoming films with Styhon International attached include: Wild Wild Wind, Cocoa the Cat, The Early Mighty, Foundations and Earth, Women First, The Arabian Earth, Speed Mad, The Dreyfus Case, Man and Elephant, 12 days of Christmas, His Girl Friday, Too Many Husbands, Mr. District Attorney, Footsteps in the Fog, Summertree, Webby in the Board and Noses in Poses.

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