Legendary Pictures is an American film production and mass media company based in Burbank, California, founded by Thomas Tull in 2000 after raising $500 million from private equity firms. It was one of the first companies of its kind to pair major motion picture production with major Wall Street private equity and hedge fund investors.
In 2005, the studio signed an agreement with Warner Bros. Pictures to co-produce and co-finance up to 40 films over seven years. In July 2013, Legendary reached an agreement with Universal Pictures in which it would market, co-finance, and distribute the studio's films for five years starting the following year, after their similar agreement with Warner Bros. expired. On January 11, 2016, Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group announced that it had concluded an agreement with shareholders to acquire the studio for $3.5 billion, making it the largest acquisition of an American media company by a Chinese firm.
On August 13, 2018, following the box office failure for many of their recent films, the distribution deal between Legendary and Universal ended the following year (although the two companies would later collaborate on the short-lived Debris through their television divisions in 2021) and a new agreement was reached to return to Warner Bros. Pictures later on. On August 30, 2022, Legendary's deal with Warner again expired, and in November 2022, the company signed a multiyear deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
|1st Logo (November 17, 2005-February? 2006)||2nd Logo (June 28, 2006-October 16, 2009)||3rd Logo (April 2, 2010-March 7, 2014)||4th Logo (April 24, 2014-April 12, 2019)||5th Logo (April 22, 2019- )|
1st Logo (November 17, 2005-February? 2006)
Logo: We see a forest above a lake, all obscured by clouds. As the camera zooms in, a sword fades in with the words "LEGENDARY PICTURES", in a majestic font, in front of it. The clouds disappear as the logo fades in.
- Sometimes, the logo is still.
- Early trailers for Superman Returns have a black background.
- Early trailers for Lady in the Water have water with the sky reflecting off of it in the background.
Technique: Simple zooming and fading animation.
Music/Sounds: The sound of wind followed by a majestic fanfare, or the trailer's opening theme. Composed by Musikvergnuegen.
- This was only seen on the first trailers for Superman Returns, Lady in the Water, and The Ant Bully.
- Despite the logo being fully animated, it was pulled almost immediately and replaced with the next logo before usage on any of their films. However, this does appear in print form on promotional material for Batman Begins, their first film.
2nd Logo (June 28, 2006-October 16, 2009)
Logo: Against a black background, we see an extreme close-up of a flame shooting downward. As the flame passes by the camera, it briefly leaves behind a cloud of smoke that obscures the screen. The camera pans back, and several more flames shoot across, eventually revealing a series of intertwining lines (resembling a Celtic knot) and the words "LEGENDARY PICTURES" below it. As this all happens, the intertwining lines glow brightly with a white-red color, much like a heated branding iron, before "cooling down" to an orange color. A spotlight faintly shines over the finished product.
Technique: CGI animation designed by Picturemill.
Music/Sounds: The sounds of fire accompanied by a violin/piano-like sound composed by Walter Werzowa.
Availability: Common. Can be seen on the earliest films produced by the company such as Superman Returns, The Ant Bully, and 300. The last film to use this logo was Where the Wild Things Are.
Legacy: This logo is well remembered for its unique concept.
3rd Logo (April 2, 2010-March 7, 2014)
Logo: An enhanced version of the previous logo, which now has a much grungier appearance. The appearance of the first flame is now accompanied by a lens flare, the initial cloud of smoke has been removed, and particle effects from the flames, such as sparks, are visible throughout. The "branding iron" glow on the intertwining lines are now have a pulsating appearance, and have a slower, more gradual cooldown. The text now flies in from the lower-right corner of the screen word-by-word; and the finished logo, after zooming out, slowly rotates from right to left.
Variant: On later films from the studio starting with Wrath of the Titans, the word "PICTURES" is removed.
Technique: CGI animation done by yU+co in association with Picturemill.
Music/Sounds: A triumphant fanfare, composed by Hans Zimmer, accompanied with the same sounds of flames from the previous logo (albeit more subdued in volume).
Music/Sounds Variant: On Picturemill's official upload, the last logo's fanfare is heard.
Availability: First seen on Clash of the Titans. Also seen on Jonah Hex, Inception, The Town, Due Date, The Hangover II and III, The Dark Knight Rises, Jack the Giant Slayer, 42, Pacific Rim and 300: Rise of an Empire.
4th Logo (April 24, 2014-April 12, 2019)
Logo: Same concept as the previous two logos; but the "branding iron/fire" properties, as well as the previous logo's grungy aesthetic, have now been discarded. A blue streak of light now illuminates the logo, which along with the text has been redone in a pristine, shiny silver color. The logo is also now set against a black-blue space background, and the view moves 180-degrees clockwise.
Technique: Entirely done in CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: The same Hans Zimmer theme from the previous logo, but with the ending note extended to fit with the length of the logo. The fire sound effects have also been changed.
Music/Sounds Variant: Starting in 2018 with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, it uses a different triumphant theme composed by Frank Ilfman, with the full version getting eventually released on YouTube by Ilfman himself, which can be heard here.
Availability: First seen on the trailer for As Above, So Below. The fully animated version debuted on Godzilla and last appeared on Little.
5th Logo (April 22, 2019-)
Logo: Similar to the last logo, but the light streaks on the Celtic knot are now orange, and the knot itself has visible paint textures on it (as opposed to the polished look from the previous logo). During the logo's rotation, we also see a trail of infinite identical Celtic knots underneath the logo, which fade into in a distant but bright white light; the trail of knots and light all fade to black as the logo zooms out to its normal position. The logo retains its silver color from before, now with a gold trim, while the name is in a metallic sans-serif font. The background has also been changed from a space one to a plain and darker blue one.
Trivia: The endless Celtic knots represents the concept of infinite possibilities.
Technique: Entirely done in CGI from yU+co, who solely designed it here. A behind-the-scenes featurette can be seen on their website.
Music/Sounds: The same Frank Ilfman theme as the last logo, with another new set of flame sound effects.
Availability: Current and common.
- It first appeared on a trailer for Pokémon Detective Pikachu, called "What a Pikachu World" and later debuted on said film.
- Also seen on films such as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Enola Holmes, Dune and at the end of Fresh.