The Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group was launched in 1998 as the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, as a current division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, owned by Sony. It also has many of Sony Pictures's current motion picture divisions as part of it. Its divisions at that time were Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Triumph Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and Sony Pictures Releasing. On December 8, 1998, SPE resurrected its former animation and television division Screen Gems as a film division of Sony Pictures Entertainment's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group that has served several different purposes for its parent companies over the decades since its incorporation. In 2002, Columbia TriStar Television was renamed as Sony Pictures Television. The last three remaining companies, with the "Columbia TriStar" brand in its name, were Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, and Columbia TriStar Marketing Group. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment and Columbia TriStar Film Distributors became Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Sony Pictures Releasing International in 2004 and 2005 and Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group became the second-to-last subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment to use the "Columbia TriStar" brand name in its name. In 2013, TriStar Productions was launched, as a joint venture of Sony Pictures Entertainment and former 20th Century Fox chairman Thomas Rothman. In October 2013, Sony Pictures renamed its motion picture group as the "Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group". Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks were moved from Sony Pictures Digital to its motion picture group. On June 2, 2016, Doug Belgrad had announced he was to step down as president of the SPMPG and would transition his role to producer at the studio. Belgrad was promoted as president of the SPMPG back in 2014. On July 15, 2019, former Fox 2000 Pictures president Elizabeth Gabler and the entire Fox 2000 staff joined Sony Pictures Entertainment and formed 3000 Pictures with the motion picture group. HarperCollins would be funding half of the division's overhead and development. 3000 Pictures would also pursue projects for TV and streaming.
Sony Pictures Releasing
Sony Pictures Releasing is an American film distributor owned by Sony. Established in 1994 as a successor to Triumph Releasing Corporation, the company handles theatrical distribution, marketing and promotion for films produced and released by Sony Pictures Entertainment, including Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, Affirm Films, Destination Films, and Triumph Films. It is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group. It also has an international division called Sony Pictures Releasing International, which from 1991 until 2005 was known as Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International.
From 1971 until the end of 1987, Columbia's international distribution operations were a joint venture with Warner Bros., and in some countries, this joint venture also distributed films from other companies. The venture was dissolved in 1988. On February 6, 2014, Columbia TriStar Warner Filmes de Portugal Ltda., a joint venture with Warner Bros. which distributed films from both companies in Portugal, announced that they will close their offices on March 31. Sony Pictures' films are distributed in Portugal by Big Picture Films since then, while NOS Audiovisuais took over the distribution duties for Warner Bros. films in the country. The distribution of Sony Pictures' films in Italy is still handled by Warner Bros.. Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Studios formed a film distribution joint venture in Southeast Asia in 1997. By December 2006, 14 joint distribution ventures between Sony Pictures Releasing International and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures were formed and exist in countries including Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. In January 2007, their 15th such partnership began operations in Russia and CIS. In February 2017, Sony starting leaving the Southeast Asia venture with the Philippines. In August 2017, Sony terminated the joint venture agreement for their own operations. On January 31, 2019, in anticipation of Disney's then-pending acquisition of the most 21st Century Fox assets, it was agreed that Disney would sell its stake in the Mexican joint venture named Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing de México to Sony Pictures Releasing, it also followed in some countries, such as, Ukraine and Russia.