The studio, originally founded in 1918 as "Cohn-Brandt-Cohn Film Sales" by brothers Jack and Harry Cohn and Jack's best friend Joe Brandt, released its first feature film in August 1922. It adopted the Columbia Pictures name in 1924 and went public two years later. The name is derived from "Columbia", a national personification of the United States, which is used as the studio's logo.
In its early years a minor player in Hollywood, Columbia began to grow in the late 1920s, spurred by a successful association with director Frank Capra. It's the world's fifth largest major film studio.
With Capra and others, Columbia became one of the primary homes of the screwball comedy. In the 1930s, Columbia's major contract stars were Jean Arthur and Cary Grant (who was shared with RKO Pictures). In the 1940s, Rita Hayworth became the studio's premier star and propelled their fortunes into the late 1950s. Rosalind Russell, Glenn Ford, and William Holden also became major stars at the studio.
In 1982, the studio was purchased by Coca-Cola; that same year it launched TriStar Pictures as a joint venture with HBO and CBS. Five years later, Coca-Cola spun off Columbia, which was sold to Tri-Star as the latter became Columbia Pictures Entertainment. After a brief period of independence with Coca-Cola maintaining a financial interest, the combined studio was acquired by Japanese company Sony in 1989.
Against a daylight sky backdrop filled with cumulonimbus and cumulous clouds, the camera zooms out from a shining light from a renaissance-style torch to reveal a woman in a white toga dress with a blue drape who is holding it. After the camera reached its position, the company name "COLUMBIA" appears behind her, and the parent company byline appears below.
- Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! (1964) (Distribution only, produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions; Rights now belong to Warner Bros.)
- The Man Called Flintstone (1966) (Distribution only, produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions; Rights now belong to Warner Bros.)
- Bobby Deerfield (1977) (U.S. distribution only; co-production with Warner Bros. and First Artists)
- Ashanti (1979) (International distribution only; co-production with Warner Bros.)
- Thirteen Ghosts (2001) (Co-production with Warner Bros. and Dark Castle Entertainment, international distributor)
- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) (International distributor ; co-production with Warner Bros., Intermedia Films, Wonderland Sound and Vision, C2 Pictures and The Halcyon Company)
- Gothika (2003) (Co-production with Warner Bros. and Dark Castle Entertainment, international distributor)
- Something's Gotta Give (2003) (Co-production with Warner Bros. and Waverly Films, U.S. distributor; Released under the Warner Bros. international banner, Columbia owns the North American rights)
- Terminator Salvation (2009) (International distributor, co-production with The Halcyon Company and Wonderland Sound and Vision, released in the United States by Warner Bros Pictures)
- Blade Runner 2049 (2017) (Co-production with Warner Bros., Alcon Entertainment, Thunderbird Entertainment and Scott Free Productions; Released under the Columbia Pictures/Sony international banner, Warner Bros. owns the North American rights)