Cinergi Pictures Entertainment Inc. was a small independent production company that was formed in 1992 by Andrew G. Vajna. Vajna had previously sold his interest in his first production company, Carolco International Pictures in 1989, which he had started with his partner Mario F. Kassar in 1975.

Cinergi BiographyEdit

Andrew G. Vajna, a Hungarian native, launched his career in the entertainment industry with his purchase of motion picture theaters in the Far East. Later, he founded Panasia Films Limited in Hong Kong before forming Carolco with Mario Kassar in 1976. In less than four years, Carolco became one of the top three foreign sales organizations in motion pictures.

In 1982 Vajna and Kassar made their film production debut with the highly successful First Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone. Rambo: First Blood Part II was released in 1985, generating more than $300 million worldwide, making it one of the most profitable films in the history of filmmaking.

Vajna and Kassar were executive producers on such films as Alan Parker's Angel Heart, Rambo III, and Johnny Handsome. Other projects included Music Box, Total Recall, Air America, Mountains of the Moon, Narrow Margin, and Jacob's Ladder.

Vajna's strategy was to develop long-term relationships with certain talent and to produce a steady supply of two to four event motion pictures per year. Upon forming Cinergi, Vajna established an alliance with The Walt Disney Company and Lionsgate for distribution of Cinergi motion pictures in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

Cinergi's first production, Medicine Man, starring Oscar-winner Sean Connery, was followed by Tombstone and Renaissance Man, starring Danny DeVito. In 1995 Cinergi released the smash hit Die Hard With a Vengeance, starring Bruce Willis, Jeremy Irons, and Samuel L. Jackson. To date, the film has grossed over $300 million worldwide.

Judge Dredd, starring Sylvester Stallone, and The Scarlet Letter, with Demi Moore, were followed by the release of Oliver Stone's epic Nixon, starring Anthony Hopkins.

Cinergi's Shadow Conspiracy, starring Charlie Sheen, Donald Sutherland, and Linda Hamilton was relased in 1997. The last released was the film An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn.


MASS.ILLUSION, a subsidiary of Cinergi, is a state-of-the-art visual effects facility located in Lenox, Massachusetts, a picturesque resort area in the Berkshire hills.

This full-service studio has complete effects direction and previsualization capabilities. A full time staff provides art and design, computer graphics, digital compositing, character animation, modelmaking, physical effects, and motion control and live action photography.

MASS.ILLUSION employs some of the finest visual-effects artists and technicians in the industry and serves clientele in the feature film, commercial, and special venue fields.

In 1995, during its first year of business, MASS.ILLUSION completed the effects for Die Hard With a Vengeance and Judge Dredd. Recent productions include the exciting aerial sequence forEraser, as well as visual effects production and consultation onThe First Wives Club,The Evening Star, Evita, Shadow Conspiracy, Event Horizon, Starship Troopers, and Great Expectations.

The company's founder and visual effects director is Academy Award-winner Joel Hynek. His extensive film credits include, in addition to the above, Zelig, Lethal Weapon, Commando, Ladyhawke, Weird Science, New York Stories, The World According to Garp, Predator, (for which he received an Academy Award nomination) and its sequel, Predator 2. Hynek has been the recipient of numerous awards, including two Clio citations, an Academy Award for Scientific and Engineering Design, and a British Academy Award for Special Effects.

Cinergi's closingEdit

The box office and budgets for their films began to fall in late 1996, and Cinergi Pictures eventually closed in 1998. The multiyear distribution agreement with Disney was canceled in April 1997 (though Disney would soon become involved with the company again), and Disney acquired most of films rights[1].

Three years earlier, Kassar's Carolco Pictures had also collapsed and Vajna and Kassar eventually became partners again, to form C2 Pictures, with Cinergi revived as a joint venture between C2 and Disney. Upon revival, Cinergi signed a deal with IMAX Corporation to release all of its future films in IMAX.

In 2003, Vajna bought a videogame company, Games Unlimited and renamed it Cinergi Interactive, which ran until 2006.

Many of its films were distributed by the Walt Disney Company through Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures. Outside of the U.S., Lionsgate distributed the films. This excluded Die Hard With a Vengeance, a co-production with 20th Century Fox. Except for Die Hard With a Vengeance, Disney still owns North American rights to Cinergi's films.


Note: The 1990s movies are distributed by: Entertainment Film Distributors




External linkEdit


  1. Disney A to Z : The updated official Encyclopedia, Dave Smith p 104-105