Trivia

Hard

The First Major U.S. Film Studio To Stop Distributing Movies On Film Was?

20th Century Fox
Warner Bros.
Paramount
Universal Pictures
The movie poster for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
Paramount Pictures/ViacomCBS Inc.

Answer: Paramount

In 2014, Paramount became the first major U.S. studio to announce that they would no longer be distributing movies on film. While the move, to a modern reader, might not seem so dramatic, it certainly sent ripples through the industry. Studios had been working for around a decade to slowly introduce digital projection systems across the country, but definitely halting the release of actual film distribution was a concrete step many thought was still years away.

The last of their films sent off to theaters on good-old-fashioned 35mm film was Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues in December of 2013, but the end had been foreshadowed earlier in the year by The Wolf of Wall Street—another Paramount film and the first major studio film to be released all digitally.

Today, the majority of movies are distributed digitally, with some films released to very limited audiences in major cities using film as part of an artistic push by some directors interested in preserving the aesthetic and experience of real film.

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