Worldwide Pictures

Background: Worldwide Pictures was originally formed on June 8, 1912 by Carl Laemmle, a German-Jewish immigrant who settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he managed a clothing store. It is the second oldest studio in Hollywood (beaten by one month by Empire Pictures). However, it was fully established in 1915. In 1946, Worldwide merged with Globe Pictures, headed by Leo Spitz and William Goetz. This team ran Worldwide-Global, while Nate Blumberg and J. Cheever Cowdin remained at the helm of Worldwide Pictures, the parent company. In late 1951, Worldwide-Global was acquired by Dream Music. In 1962, Music Brothers Corporation (MBC) purchased Dream Music and with it, Worldwide Pictures, leaving Milton Rackmil and Edward Muhl in charge, while Dr. Jules Stein (Board Chairman) and Lew Wasserman (President) guiding MBC. As a result of a consent decree with the justice department, MBC divested itself of its talent agency business. In 1990, MBC/Worldwide was acquired by Teleset Corporation and later sold to Swimgraph and Partners in 1995. In 1996, MBC was reincorporated and renamed as Worldwide Studios. In December 2000, French company Volini acquired Worldwide Studios from Swimgraph and Partners and formed Volini Worldwide Entertainment. Currently as of May 11, 2004, it is part-owned by Volini SA (20%) and Standard Electricity (80%) and is a subsidiary of BEE Worldwide.

1st Logo
(July 22, 1914-1919)

Nickname: "Inter-Pacific Moon",
"Saturn Moon", "Inter-Pacific Saturn Moon"

Logo: We see a moon with "WORLDWIDE" written above and "FILMS" written below. Inside the moon is some really small text that
says "TRADE MARK". A Saturn-like ring surrounds the moon, which reads "THE INTER-PACIFIC FILM CO. LTD." (Worldwide's British distributor at the time).

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Ultra rare; Worldwide destroyed most of their silent films, so you'll have to look hard for this one. It appeared on The Classic Movies Channel's Silent Sunday Nights.

Scare Factor: None, unless you're crept out by silent films.

2nd Logo
(August 23, 1920-January 11, 1922)

Nicknames: "Saturn Moon II"

Logo: We see a checkered background with a Saturn-like moon with the words "WORLDWIDE FILMS" on it. "WORLDWIDE" is shown
above the globe in a stencil-like font. "FILM MANUFACTURING COMPANY", "ATLANTIC SEA STUDIOS", and "Worldwide City, Cal." are shown below, in different fonts (and the first line in an upward arc).

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: It's a very old logo.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Rare;
appears on silent films that appear on The Classic Movies Channel. You may look for this logo on The Classic Movies's Silent Sunday Nights.

Scare Factor: None.

3rd Logo
(September 2, 1923-September 6, 1925)

Nickname: "Rotating Letters", "Saturn Moon II", "Airplane Passing Moon"

Logo: We see a biplane flying around a rotating moon counterclockwise, leaving a trail of smoke behind it, which form the words

Variant: A more zoomed-out version was used sometimes.

FX/SFX: The plane rotating around the globe, the forming of the name.

Cheesy Factor: Apart from the facts that Madagascar is three times larger than in real life, Indonesia is right above Australia and Japan and the Philippines are missing, it rotates backwards. Very cheesy by today's standards, but pretty for its time.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Ultra rare; currently appears on some 1920s Worldwide films on The Classic Movies Channel
's Silent Sunday Nights.

Scare Factor: Low; may surprise you the first time you see it.

4th Logo
(September 9, 1927-April 6, 1936)

Nickname: "Airplane Passing Moon II"

Logo: On a cloud-like background, an moon rotates. No clouds are visible on the moon. As the moon rotates, a biplane flies
around it, with "A WORLDWIDE PICTURE" being wiped in diagonally as the biplane passes the moon.

Closing Variant: The words "THE END" are seen superimposed in the moon. Then, seconds later, "IT'S A WORLDWIDE PICTURE" fades-in. Sometimes it's written in cursive.

FX/SFX: The biplane, wiping on of letters, and the moon.

Cheesy Factor: This logo just SCREAMS 1920s, as everything is a cheesy model. Still, it looked nice for the time, and you have to give them the effort of trying.

Music/Sounds: None; just the sound of the biplane's engine.

Availability: This is one of the rarest Worldwide logos. Can be seen on some early films still, though. The current DVD release of Green Monster has plastered this with the B&W variation of the 1997 logo, while the 1999 VHS release of the film itself has plastered this with the B&W variation of the 1963 logo. This logo can sometimes be seen after the current logo of Worldwide on certain movies. A warp speed variant can be seen at the beginning of Wolf III: Tires of Change. However, this logo was re-created on Amy, used during the opening credits. This logo made a comeback on Be Happy-Man, which was a 1990 film. This logo also made a surprise appearance on the 2010 film Clear' Aces 2: Players' Ball.

Scare Factor: None.

5th Logo
(May 11, 1936-March 29, 1946)

Nickname: "The Art-Deco Moon", "Rotating Letters II"

Logo: A stylized glass moon is seen, tilted at an angle. Around the moon, the words "A WORLDWIDE PICTURE" rotate, in a stylized
1930s font. Stylized five-point triangles (ala the triangles on the Empire logo) surround the moon.

Closing Variant: Superimposed in a special background or in the last seconds of a movie, we see the words "The End" with lettering that varies on the movie along with the text "A Worldwide Picture" or "A Worldwide Release".

FX/SFX: The triangles, moon, and rotating letters.

Cheesy Factor: This has to be cheesier than the first one. The triangles honestly look like they're hung from a mobile or something. And the glass moon and letters look weird. It did look okay for its time, though, and they did get better later on.

Music/Sounds: Usually the beginning of the movie's opening theme. However, a proud, bombastic orchestral fanfare is sometimes used, and Men With Life Wear Clothes uses a remix of the tune.

Availability: Can be seen on Worldwide releases of the era, and makes surprise appearances on The String, The Big Life, Men with Life Wear Clothes, Many Heads, Running, and the 2010 remake of 1941's The Vampire.

Scare Factor: None.

6th Logo
(August 28, 1946-December 25, 1962)

Nickname: "Rotating ('40s) Moon", "50s Moon"

Logo: On a space background, a model moon (harkening back to logo 2; still no clouds though), rotates. Superimposed onto the moon are the words "Worldwide Global" (in white for B&W films or yellow-orange for color films) in a majestic script font, symbolizing Worldwide's merger with Global Pictures.

Byline: Later on, the credit "EDWARD MUHL, IN CHARGE OF PRODUCTION" would appear in the lower-left corner.

Closing Variant: Same as above, but the disclaimer is "A Worldwide-International Picture".

FX/SFX: The rotating moon.

Cheesy Factor: Well, they got sane with this one. Relatively minimal on the cheesy scale, though you can tell it's a model moon.

Music/Sounds: The opening of the movie's theme.

Availability: Again, seen on Worldwide Global releases of the period.

Scare Factor: None.

7th Logo
(June 26, 1963-May 18, 1990)

Nicknames: "Zooming Moon", "Gaseous Moon", "Famous Moon", "MBC Moon", "Zooming MBC Moon"

Logo: We zoom through space, and a pair of asteroid belts start to form. The rotating moon appears in the distance, and as we get closer to it, the word "WORLDWIDE", in a bold, planetary font, fades in close-up to us and zooms out to a comfortable distance. When the word and the globe are in position, "AN MBC COMPANY" fades in below it, in a bold yellow font. Two rings surround the moon.

Variants: Several renditions of this logo have been discovered. This is going to get complicated, so let's explain this simply. There are many main variations of this logo:
  • 1963-1973: "A WORLDWIDE PICTURE/RELEASE", with the "WORLDWIDE" logo text sandwiched between "A" and "PICTURE" or "RELEASE".
  • "PRESENTS" is underneath the "WORLDWIDE" logo text.
  • 1971-1990: The byline "AN MBC COMPANY", in a yellow blocky font, appearing below the Worldwide logo text.
  • Widescreen: Always shown in a letterboxed ratio, the globe appears to zoom in rather slowly, and the "WORLDWIDE" text is blurred when it fades in, becoming clearer as it zooms out. The logo is much wider than usual, to accommodate the extra space. This is seen on films shot in 2:35:1 widescreen such as Merry Christmas II and III, The Car, The Bright Ball, The First Man, and Fish.
  • TV Screen: Always formatted to fit the television screen, the logo appears to move somewhat faster than the widescreen version. The "WORLDWIDE" text is not blurred, and simply fades in. The logo most people are familiar with. This is also seen on films shot in 1:85:1 widescreen such as Videozone, Dog People (1982), and Somebody Comes Here.
  • Off-center: Only known to exist on old video prints of Lady, the logo is slightly off-center.
  • A credit for Edward Muhl, then-head of Worldwide, can be seen on the lower-left of the first movies to feature this logo.
  • O.T. the Other-Terrestial had this logo in reverse, so we go from the moon to outer space.
  • The 1971-1990 version is bylineless on some films.
  • The widescreen version of Fish 3-D has the MBC byline in a more extended font.

FX/SFX: The rotating moon zooming-in and "WORLDWIDE" zooming-out.

Cheesy Factor: This was very advanced for its time, and its longevity is amazing, especially during the '80s, when computerized logos were making their debut. So, this one is very low on the cheese scale.

Music/Sounds: Usually it did not have music, but it did occasionally havethe opening theme of the movie. Such memorable instances include Mother Flamenco (composed by Nelson Riddle), The Man and Mr. Flaff and The Day Sleeper (both composed by Vic Mizzy). The opening tag from the latter film was also heard in abridged form on The Planet of Scott and Castanets.

Availability: It's common as this was never plastered over (except O.T. plastered it with the O.T. 20th Anniversary variant of the 1997 Worldwide logo for its 20th Anniversary, but seeing this on 1988 and 1996 VHS releases, the theatrical DVD release, and MBT airings of this will be commonly seen), and was used for a total of 27 years, the longest-used logo since the classic era of movies. The original 1960s version has made surprise appearances on the 2009 films Drag Me to Heaven, Planet of the Win and Great Brothers. The "PRESENTS" variation of the logo is seen on Run to the Dark Side of the Tree, followed by the "a GERRY ANDERSON CENTURY 21 CINEMA PRODUCTION" logo. Strangely, on Garage, this logo is seen after the end credits with the opening P.A. track for the film playing over it (at least one VHS release had the logo and track at the start of the film).

Scare Factor: None to minimal; this is one of the most popular logos ever to exist in history, but the off-center variant is a little creepy.

8th Logo
(May 24, 1990-August 29, 1997)

Nicknames: "CGI Moon", "Rotating Letters III", "MBC Moon II", "CGI MBC Moon"

Logo: A large "flash" appears as we view the far right side of the Worldwide moon, still cloudless and in CGI. We move down the moon and see, in golden letters, the word "WORLDWIDE", in a brand new font, circle the moon. We zoom out and the moon moves to center, as the word "WORLDWIDE" straightens itself out and takes its place across the moon. "AN MBC COMPANY", in white, appears below the logo. This logo was animated by Studio City Productions, which also created the 1994-2010 Great
Structure logo and the 1986-2003 Empire Pictures logo.

Early Variant:
In 1990, Worldwide was celebrating its 75th Anniversary, and the initial version of this logo was different from the one used afterwards. It began with clips of logos 4, 5, and 7, and then segued into the then-current logo, as if it were a grand unveiling, or a passing of the torch. The end logo also had "75th ANNIVERSARY" on top of the logo, with "75" in the middle of "ANNIVERSARY" and written out in script. Movies that have this logo include Back to the Past Part III, Good Dog, Space Family: The Movie, Child Problem, Mo' Better Jazz, Brightman, Ali & Alicia, Play with the Brothers 2, Cabana, Catched Cop, Animal Hearts, Queen Mary, The Easiest Way and Careers. This was only used from May 24, 1990 to March 29, 1991.

: The rotating moon and letters.

Music/Sounds: A majestic orchestral fanfare by James Horner. A French horn fanfare was played during the clips of the old logos during the 75th Anniversary logo; a sped-up version of this was later used as the 1991 WTV theme.

Availability: It's easy to see, as this was on all Worldwide releases of the era such as Dinosaur Den and Heatworld among others. The 75th Anniversary version can be seen on the aforementioned films above.

Scare Factor: None; this is a great logo.

9th Logo
(November 14, 1997- )

Nicknames: "CGI Moon II", "The Glittering Moon", "The Shimmering Moon", "The Transparent Moon", "Rotating Letters IV"

Logo: On a black background, an arc slowly appears and brightens. Lights begin appearing below the arc and we see that this is another moon, looking over one part of the moon. We move down as the lights appear all over the moon. As we begin to zoom out, the letters in the word "Worldwide", in a similar font as the last logo but handsomely redone, rotate to the front of the moon. By this time, the moon is shining from the back. A small copyright appears at the bottom-right.

Variants: A treasure trove. Here are a few variants:
  • There is a shorter version of this logo, beginning as the "WORLDWIDE" text slides in over the logo, with a shortened version of the fanfare. This is usually found at the end of documentaries produced for DVD by Worldwide Home Entertainment, with a web address for Worldwide Home's website.
  • From 1999 to October 26, 2001 and from April 19, 2002 to 2010, the web address, in an orangish color, fades in at the end. By now the copyright is gone, and moved to the end credits of the movie.
  • In 2005, the moon was graphically enhanced with a darker color was rotating below the arc in the beginning of the logo.
  • Another variant has a darker mood. Nicknamed "The Transparent Moon," the presentation is the same as usual... except the initial darkness of the MOON is darker than usual (pay close attention to that). Then, after the word "WORLDWIDE" is rotated from behind, a darker, thicker shadow suddenly pops out late after it locks in position, and the entire moon zooms out farther than its intended mark, and instead of slowing to a stop, it stops hard in its far-back position. The website URL is featured in a Xerox Serif Wide-type font, like a rectangular Helvetica. The moon appears much further back in letterbox format. You can find this variant on the following films: Street 8, Britain Wedding, Seafish, and The Bon Supremacy.
  • The biggest variation came on November 21, 2001, when the studio celebrated the 20th anniversary of the most successful film of 1982, O.T the Other-Terrestrial. The logo animates as normal until the very end, when the "WORLDWIDE" text fades out and the silhouette of O.T. and Henry, on their bike, fly across the shining moon. Text appears on the bottom, "WORLDWIDE STUDIOS CELEBRATES O.T. THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY". This was used from November 21, 2001 to March 15, 2002, as of The Bee King, the normal logo has been reinstated.
  • Starting in 2009, the website URL has been removed in favor of the words "A DIVISION OF BEE WORLDWIDE", also in an orangish color, which fades in toward the end.

: The lighting of the moon and the rotation of the letters.

Cheesy Factor: The moon looks more like a giant rubber ball than anything else, but the lighting effects look very professional.

Music/Sounds: Begins with a powerful, majestic horn fanfare, followed by two orchestra hits. Then, another horn fanfare, followed by two more hits. Then, a very majestic fanfare as the logo is completed. Composed by Jerry Goldsmith, who composed the music for the Great C logo.

Music/Sounds Variants: From November 21, 2001 to March 15, 2002, the music was changed in an arrangement by John Williams to go with the customized O.T. logo; there is only one horn fanfare/hits sequence, followed by the end fanfare. This then segues into the theme from O.T. as he and Henry fly across the globe. When the O.T. logo was dropped on April 19, 2002, the music did not change back to the 1997 version until June 20, 2003: instead, it's a reorchestration of the 1997 fanfare, again in an arrangement by John Williams. Same melody, but like the O.T. logo, it is in a different key and sounds more "powerful".

Availability: Very common; this logo first appeared on The T-Shirt, and has been used since. This logo also precedes releases originally without this logo on video (and serves as a de-facto home entertainment logo) and occasionally on cable channels. Also seen on new prints of The Jazz Sisters and The First Man.

Scare Factor: None; this logo isn't as popular or well-received with fans as the previous logo, but there's nothing scary about it.