HBO Home Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

In May 1987, amid financial issues, Cannon Films sold the assets of Thorn EMI and dropped out of its joint venture with HBO not long after. From that point on, HBO operated the video label on their own, renaming the label HBO Video (it was also known as HBO Home Video from 1993 to 2005). The label was renamed again in 2009, this time to HBO Home Entertainment. In 2020, HBO Home Entertainment was absorbed into Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Since then, newer home media releases of HBO material bear the WBHE name instead.


HBO (Home) Video

1st Logo (placeholder logo) (August 5, 1987-1988)

Visuals: On a blue background is the HBO logo, and the word "VIDEO" (in thin lettering) below. The logo is sandwiched in between two straight lines.

Variants:

  • Some previews have the the logo over a black background, with "COMING SOON FROM" above it. This is seen before the trailer plays.
  • At the end of a preview for Sports Illustrated: Get the Feeling: Power!, the logo appears on a black background, with “DISTRIBUTED BY” above it. Everything is in 3D, and the color purple.

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: This was a "placeholder" logo, used when the "primary" logo is not in use or not ready yet. Like its predecessors, HBO Video distributed TriStar, Thames, Hemdale, and Orion as well as HBO product, although Orion would shortly launch its own video label. Examples include Three Amigos! (its first appearance, and where this has been known to appear on prints made as late as 1999), Platoon (pre-injunction pressings), Hoosiers, Amazing Grace and Chuck, Making Mr. Right, How To Raise a Street Smart Child, and some reissues of Thorn EMI/HBO/Cannon releases.

2nd Logo (1988-1993)


Visuals: Over a black background, the logo starts with tons of red spheres, packed tightly together. As the camera zooms out, the spheres form a gold HBO logo, with a blue "VIDEO" (in that same font described above) below. When they move into place, purple bars move to their positions above and below the logo. When the logo is formed, a spotlight appears below the logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A warbly, bass-filled synth tune loosely based off the music in the "HBO Movie" intro used at the time.

Availability: Seen on video releases of Thames, TriStar Pictures, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, Kings Road, Hemdale Film Corporation, Miramax, Weintraub Entertainment, and Samuel Goldwyn material, but towards the end of its run, began to concentrate mainly on HBO-produced materials, including some Time-Life titles previously released by Vestron Video. Among the tapes where this appears are Platoon (post-injunction pressings), Rock-a-Doodle, No Way Out, and reprints of Can't Stop the Music, S.O.S. Titanic, First Blood, The Terminator, Highlander, and Raw Deal, among other new releases and re-releases (some of which may still use the Thorn EMI or other original logo on the packaging and/or labels) of the era. It also appears on the Promotional Concept Group release of Three Amigos!.

3rd Logo (1993-2005)


Visuals: Over a shimmering red curtain background, there are the words

F--E--A--T--U--R--E
PRESENTATION

in silver with spotlights shining across it. Then, a teal-colored ball with a white director's slate/clapperboard printed on it comes in from the left side of the screen, flying toward the "O" in "PRESENTATION". The camera pans toward the ball as it bounces on the right side of the "O" and passes through it. It then flies off to the bottom left of the screen, revealing a silver-colored HBO logo. As it zooms slowly toward the camera, "HOME VIDEO" in white fades in below.

Variant: See HBO Savoy Video to view the variant.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A dramatic synthesized horn/string fanfare.

Availability: Seen on HBO VHS releases of the period. HBO DVDs used their own logo (see below), although some early HBO DVDs, such as A Bronx Tale and Circle of Friends, used either this logo or the HBO Savoy Video logo. A few VHS releases included this logo well into 2005, such as Something the Lord Made, Everyday People and The Life & Death of Peter Sellers.

4th Logo (1998-2005)


Visuals: There is a DVD disc zooming out against a black background with purple rays, and releasing many white particles around it. The disc zooms away as the particles turn the background into a star-field. Then the word "HBO" zooms in, along with the words "HOME VIDEO", in blue. A few seconds later, "HOME VIDEO" changes to "D V D", in yellow. The finished product zooms out a little bit and then disappears in a flash.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A shortened version of the previous logo's fanfare. On some releases, a shining sound is heard when the flash appears.

Availability:

  • It appears on all HBO DVD releases from 1998 to 2005. These include much of HBO's original series and content (which the label now largely focused on), including the first season of Entourage, the first five seasons of The Sopranos, the first four seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, all seasons of Sex and the City, Band of Brothers, both volumes of the Best of the Chris Rock Show, and DVDs of HBO Family's I Spy.
  • Other releases where this can be found include 69*, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Gia, the original DVD releases of Rock-a-Doodle and Three Amigos, as well as Flashpoint, The Hitcher, No Escape, Lightning Jack, Out of Season, Serial Mom, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Gotti (1996), The Grifters, Tales from the Hood, The Cannonball Run, Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales, My Left Foot, Last of the Dogmen, Here and Now, Disappearing Acts, The Changeling, Pancho Villa, Shadowlands, Normal, Citizen Cohn, Twas the Night, Switch, Pumping Iron, Out of Season, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, and Good Guys Wear Black.

5th Logo (2003-2004)


Visuals: On a black background, the camera rotates around a 3-dimensional purple HBO logo. Then, the screen zooms out as the word "VIDEO" flips upward and the two lines and the registered trademark symbol appear. The logo sends off a purple glow, which then dies down, as fading to black.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: None.

Availability: This is the VHS counterpart of the previous logo. This was found on some VHS releases by HBO from the period, such as Undefeated, Consequence, Larceny, Point of Origin, The Photographer, and Elephant, as well as the 2004 I Spy VHS tapes A Thing That Flings and A Rockin' Bronco. However, a few VHS releases during this logo's usage used the 3rd logo.

6th Logo (2005-2009)


Visuals: Against a white background, there is a distant shot of a man from below walking in. As the camera pans backward, the man appears to pull out a remote and press a button. Then, an array of gray clouds and wavy gray lines shoot out towards the screen, revealing a gray, 2D HBO Video print logo (as seen in the 1st logo). A lens flare shines on the logo, which dies down as the camera pans upward. The logo slowly zooms in.

Technique: A mix of live-action and computer effects.

Audio: First, the sound of the man’s footsteps. Then a zapping sound plays when the man presses the remote button, followed shortly by a calm piano/synth fanfare.

Availability: Seen on many DVD releases by HBO from the period, such as Collision Course, Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure, For Richer or Poorer, season six of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the 20th Anniversary Edition of Whoopi: Back to Broadway.

HBO Home Entertainment

Logo (2009-2010s)


Visuals: On a black background, a pattern of circles fades in, and turns counter clockwise, and goes to the other side of the pattern of circles. Then, the HBO logo appears (the "O" is in the middle of pattern of circles). The logo zooms out, then the pattern of circles disappears turns into a light blue background, and the HBO logo turns blue. The text "HOME ENTERTAINMENT" (two lines are seen above and below "HOME ENTERTAINMENT"), also in blue, fades in. The logo slowly zooms out.

Technique: CGI by PIC Collective.

Audio: An ethereal synth tune.

Availability: Seen on pre-2020 HBO releases such as the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, all seasons of Boardwalk Empire, all seasons of True Detective, all seasons of True Blood, and a re-release of Three Amigos!.

HBO/Cannon Video
HBO Home Entertainment