Cinema International Corporation

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Cinema International Corporation (CIC) was a film distribution company founded by Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures in April 9, 1970 to distribute the two studios' films outside the United States, as a response to declining movie-going audiences and national anti-trust laws. It even operated in Canada and the Caribbean Basin before those territories were considered part of the "domestic" North American market. CIC was registered in England and Wales, but was headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The company began operations on January 1, 1971. In 1973, MGM closed down its distribution offices and became a partner in CIC, which took over international distribution for MGM's films; however, United Artists took over the North American distribution of MGM films. In 1981, MGM purchased United Artists, which had its own international distribution and sales unit. CIC refused to let MGM drop out of the venture at the time, which led to the reorganization of the company as "United International Pictures".

Walt Disney/Buena Vista also distributed its films through CIC in Italy (inherited from Universal) until 1987 (under UIP). Additionally, they distributed Buena Vista releases in Brazil and West Germany during the 70s to the mid 80s. CIC also distributed Warner Bros.' releases in South Africa, before the studio moved to Nu Metro.

CIC also entered the home video age, with its subsidiary CIC Video. MGM, however, had its own home video distribution unit (originally a partnership between MGM and CBS Video Enterprises).

1st Logo (1971-1981)

Visuals: Against a blue background, there are the letters "CIC" (in a slightly lighter shade of blue) being drawn in simultaneously, with the first "C" drawn in counterclockwise, the last "C" clockwise, and the "I" from the middle. The letters take up almost the entire screen. Then, the letters zoom in towards the bottom, away from the screen, and a large chain link in an "S" pattern in drawn in, with the outer links colored the same as "CIC" and the middle link colored a very pale blue color. As the chain slowly zooms out, the text "Cinema International Corporation" (in white) zoom out from below.


  • Depending on the film quality, the background can vary from light blue, to faded green, to turquoise, all the way to dark blue/black.
  • There is a black and white variant.
  • On films distributed to France by the company, the logo in black and white (or sepia toned, in some cases) with "Cinema International Corporation" to the left of it and "distribué par" above it. Depending on the movie, the logo may have effects or animation applied to it.
  • On the first Italian releases of Disney movies, including The Aristocats, the logo is similar to the French variant, except the chain is in full color, "Cinema International Corporation" is arranged differently, and "distribuzione" is above it.
  • On a Soviet bootlegged copy of Last In, First Out, a version similar to the Italian/French variants above is used, but with the text in Russian.

Technique: Traditional animation.

Audio: A brass/string tune ending in a dramatic three-note fanfare. It was made for the movie A Gathering of Eagles (1963) and composed by Jerry Goldsmith.

Audio Variants:

  • Sometimes, it is silent, or on movies such as The Slipper and The Rose, has the opening theme of the film play over it.
  • There's a variant where a patriotic music replaces the normal music.

Availability: Usually seen on theatrical prints of Paramount, Universal, and MGM films outside of North America.

  • Examples are Demon Seed, The Slipper And The Rose, Earthquake, Monty Python's Life of Brian, Grease, and The Eagle Has Landed (strangely an ITC production, although Universal may have been the distributor in some territories).
  • This was also seen on Italian theatrical prints of Disney/Buena Vista productions from 1971 until 1981, with examples being reissues of Peter Pan and Bambi, and appeared on further reissues as late as 1984.
  • Most current prints of these films use domestic prints, so this logo is long gone. However, it survives fully intact on the following: most current prints (including The Inception Media and Shout Factory Blu-Rays) of The Slipper and The Rose, the trailer for Lacombe Lucien, and the U.S. Criterion DVD of Die Verlorene Ehre Der Katharina Blum (aka The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum).
  • The French variant is a bit harder to find, but was spotted on recent prints of Doucement les basses, Murmur of the Heart, César et Rosalie, and Themroc, though it may be found in older prints of films that CIC distributed in France.
  • It might have been seen on the original UK release of Watership Down, but most prints have no logo.

2nd Logo (1979-1983)

Visuals: On a black background, there is a closeup of a realistic version of the same chain link with a silver sheen. The background changes to blue as the chain link zooms out until it reaches a comfortable distance. Finally, the text "Cinema International Corporation" pops in below the chain link.

Technique: Live-action.

Audio: None.

Availability: This came out near the end of CIC's existence before it was folded into UIP.

  • It was seen on an Italian print of The Fox and the Hound, and an Italian 16mm copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • It was also seen on Nach Mitternacht.
  • This logo also makes an appearance on a French trailer of Jaws 3-D (titled Les dents de la mer 3).

3rd Logo (Early 1980s-1983)

Visuals: Over a black/green gradient background is the chain link, this time colored blue, green and red respectively. To the right is the company name and a distribution text in yellow, both of which are stacked on top of each other.

Variant: The distribution text changes, depending on the country.

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: None or the opening to the movie.

Availability: So far, it has been spotted on international prints of Disney films, specifically reissues and television airings of films such as Alice in Wonderland although most titles from Disney had the standard CIC logos.

Cinema International Corporation
United International Pictures
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