History / Information
Paramount Home Entertainment (formerly Paramount Home Video and Paramount Video) is the division of Paramount Pictures (a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc.) dealing with home video founded in late 1975.
PHE distributes most of the programming assets owned by Viacom parent National Amusements. This not only includes films by Paramount Pictures themselves, but also the back catalog of DreamWorks (including releases made prior to the Viacom acquisition, and those distributed by Paramount, among other acquisitions), shows from MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and BET Networks, and, through CBS Home Entertainment, most of the holdings of Viacom sister company CBS Corporation – this includes the libraries of CBS Television Studios, CBS Theatrical Films (and predecessor companies like Cinema Center Films), and Showtime Entertainment.
PHE also has agreements with DreamWorks Animation, PBS, and Hasbro for DVD/Blu-ray distribution of various programs that the former aired, and several films and TV series based on franchises owned by the latter. By-products of the latter deal are the series of films based on the Transformers toy line, and the 2009 film based on the G.I. Joe toy line, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (which is set to have a sequel).
Films from Republic Pictures, Paramount's other subsidiary, are not distributed on video and DVD by PHE (with some exceptions), but are distributed on video and DVD by Lionsgate Home Entertainment, which was acquired from previous rights holder Artisan Entertainment (which merged with Lionsgate in 2003). This deal later expanded to include some of Paramount's own post-1949 films, typically lesser-known or lesser-performing titles. Also, as a result of this deal, Lionsgate has released in 2007 "triple features" of their own library of films on DVD using the package design originated by Paramount.
PHE have developed a well-known trademark by giving their Special Edition/Director's Cut editions different names rather than the usual "Special Edition," or "Director's Edition". Paramount Home Entertainment gives them different names such as Grease: The Rockin' Rydell Edition, Beavis & Butthead Do America: The Edition That Doesn't Suck and Airplane!: The "Don't Call Me Shirley" Edition.
Internationally, PHE holds the DVD rights to several shows on HBO. PHE also distributes in Germany the DVD releases of films distributed theatrically by Prokino Filmverleih.
As Paramount Home Video, the company once distributed several Miramax releases on video – the video rights to some of these films (such as Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth) are still owned by Paramount.
In 2008, PHE launched a direct-to-video label, Paramount Famous Productions (with the "Famous" part of the name a throwback to the days when the company was called Famous Players).
It released Wallace and Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures on DVD in the mid-2000s featuring A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers, and A Close Shave. This distributor released Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Very First Alvin Show on DVD September 8, 2009 featuring A Chipmunk Reunion and Rockin' Through the Decades.
In the UK, the Paramount Pictures film library were released by CIC Video alongside Universal Studios until 1999 when CIC Video folded into Paramount Home Entertainment.
In October 2012, Paramount Home Media Distribution and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group signed a distribution deal. This will allow Warner Home Video to gain U.S. and Canadian DVD, Blu-ray, UltraViolet, Flixster, and DVD-manufacturing-on-demand distribution rights to over 600 Paramount titles. The deal will come into effect on January 1, 2013.