Kinowelt Medien AG was founded in 1984 by Rainer and Michael Kölmel. The company specialized in distributing relatively unknown films for German arthouse cinemas. By 1999, it had a market value of over 1 billion euros. After a bidding dispute with RTL Group however, in which television rights for 70 Warner Bros. films were sold, Kinowelt started to decline and filed for bankruptcy in December 2001 with a debt of 500 million euros. However, the Kölmel brothers managed to retain the old name for their newly founded Kinowelt GmbH in 2003, thanks to private investments. In January 2008, Kinowelt was sold to French film distributor StudioCanal and was renamed to StudioCanal GmbH in September 2011.
|1st Logo (Mid 90s-1998?)
|2nd Logo (1998-July 12, 2007)
|3rd Logo (1999-2003)
|4th Logo (2003-2007)
|5th Logo (September 26, 2007-2011)
1st Logo (Mid 90s-1998?)
Visuals: It starts out with a view of the Earth in space. Then, a banner flies and slashes to the screen, as it spins around the Earth and positions in front of it, reading "KINOWELT". "FILMVERLEIH" then zooms below.
Audio: A synthesized basketball-like rhythm with a couple synthesized slash-like effects at the start.
Availability: Seen on old German prints.
2nd Logo (1998-July 12, 2007)
Visuals: On a black background, a light slowly reveals the Kinowelt logo, but without the glass banner around "KINOWELT" and centered as well. After it is fully revealed, the background lights up to a dark blue color.
- Sometimes, the words "FILMVERLEIH" or "INTERNATIONAL" will appear below, alongside a Kinowelt Medien AG byline (which is in German for the former version and English for the latter).
- When the company was relaunched as Kinowelt GmbH, the logo became bylineless.
Technique: 2D animation.
Audio: A majestic orchestral fanfare with warbling flutes and a choir at the end.
Availability: Used for theatrical prints of some movies. Probably also seen on the company's early German videotapes and DVDs from the time. It was last used on the trailer of Gucha.
Legacy: For over a decade (since around 2006), the theme was once claimed to have been an alternate theme for New Line Cinema until it was confirmed to have been the work of a pair of fan-videos that, due to the music syncing surprisingly well with New Line's logo, fooled people, leading to one of the biggest logo hoaxes around.
3rd Logo (1999-2003)
Visuals: Zooming to the Earth, there is a TV-faced robot standing on the North Pole, jumping once and catching a flagstaff with the Kinowelt logo on it. A DVD flies out of nowhere and the robot takes it with his other hand. The logo zooms into a blue starry space through the screen of the robot. The white word "KINOWELT" is wiped over it, surrounded by an Earth-like shape, which shines. There are other words below: "HOME ENTERTAINMENT" and "EN UNTERNEHMEN DER KINOWELT MEDIEN AG".
Variant: There is an alternate version used on VHS releases where we pan past Earth and the robot doesn't appear. After the Earth zooms out of the picture, there is a comet fly to the Sun, causing an explosion of blue colors. The rest of the animation continues as normal.
- DVD version: It begins with dramatic space music turning into a techno beat once we go in the screen.
- VHS version: The music starts like the DVD variant, but the techno beat is longer and includes a piano tune. The ending has the same dramatic music heard before.
Availability: Seen on old German video releases by the company. In 2000, DVDs are usually preceded with the StudioCanal logo. It was known to appear on the Ultimate Edition UK DVD of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Maximum Overdrive and on Stargate.
4th Logo (2003-2007)
Visuals: There is the Earth figure zooming and rotating over a blue starry background. The word "KINOWELT" zooms in letter-by-letter and places itself upon the planet. The light from below changes name colors to white, then the motion freezes.
Audio: The same fanfare from the last logo, with additional whooshes at the beginning.
Availability: It was seen on German-released DVDs like Murder by Decree. Cannot be found outside said country. This ident was created, presumably for the company's relaunch as Kinowelt GmbH in 2003.
5th Logo (September 26, 2007-2011)
Visuals: There is a few light effects playing on a series of crystal rings with a hole inside. The rings slowly move with the light beaming through them. The word "KINOWELT" zooms onto the rings, which become two arcs, similar to the planet seen in the previous logos.
Trivia: The logo was first unveiled in April 2007 on Kinowelt's YouTube channel (now StudioCanal Germany).
Variant: A short version with the logo only revealing itself was used on trailers.
Audio: A majestic synth fanfare.
Availability: Only available in Germany on Kinowelt's final DVDs and all Blu-rays. It was also seen on film trailers, the one for Free Rainer being the logo's first on-screen appearance. Since September 2011, the Kinowelt brand has been retired and now has the StudioCanal logo on German releases.