Paramount/Universal Modified Screens

From Audiovisual Identity Database

(May 11, 1994- )

Bumper: On a black background, we see the text

This film has been modified from its
original version. It has been formatted
to fit this screen.

in a Times New Roman font.

Trivia: This modified screen was also used by DreamWorks Home Entertainment around this time. It exists in a filmed variant and a videotaped variant. The latter has a smooth fade in and fade out. Strangely enough, it also appeared on some Sony tapes (from 1994-95 and 2002-05), a few Fox DVDs, and newer Universal Pictures films when shown on airlines until around 2018.


  • On the 1994 VHS releases of Addams Family Values (the first tape to use this screen), Searching for Bobby Fischer, Intersection, and The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, the text is in a bold, sans-serif typeface. A version with horizontally spaced-out text can be seen on the 1994 VHS release of Lassie and the original 1995 VHS release of Clear and Present Danger.
  • Beginning with the 1999 VHS release of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, many Paramount VHS tapes and DVDs have the text in a bolder, spaced-out Times New Roman font.
  • On the 2003 DVD release of Rugrats Go Wild, the above variant is stretched. The VHS release has the normal version.
  • On the 2000 VHS releases of Erin Brockovich, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, U-571, and The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, the screen is squeezed.
  • On Spanish VHS editions of Universal films, the text is translated into Spanish, in all-caps and a different font, and appears over a blue background.
  • On all French Canadian VHS releases, especially those after Malofilm Video stopped distributing Paramount titles, the text is translated into French.
  • On unrated DVDs and Blu-rays such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, American Gangster, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall (but on the latter format, it only appears if you select "Go to Extended Version" on the main menu and hit "Play"), the text reads "This film has been modified from its original version to include additional material not in the original release." in a bolded Arial font. This appears just before the films' unrated versions. On TV airings of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), additional text reads "It has been formatted to fit the screen."
  • On the last Paramount VHS tapes released between 2004-06, “ this screen.” is changed to “ your TV screen.”
  • A couple of the earliest MGM/UA DVDs have the text displayed in a different, bolder serif font.
  • On TV airings of Paramount and/or Paramount-distributed films since the early 2010s, as well as newer movies by various companies when shown as in-flight movies, the modified text is written in Lucida Sans. The text may be revised to mention editions for aspect ratio, content and/or time constraints.
  • On a 20th Television syndicated print of Black Widow (1987) as seen on WSFL The WB 39 in July 2001, the text is in a Bold Times New Roman font.
  • On PSP UMD Movie releases from Universal, the "It has been formatted to fit this screen" text was removed.

Technique: Usually none, though certain variants have it fade in and out.

Music/Sounds: None.

Music/Sounds Variants: On audio description tapes with this format screen, a DVS narrator reads out the complete text. Examples are Rena Baskin on Apollo 13, Kria Sakakeeny on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Pat Lince on Meet the Parents, Chloe Leamon on Shrek, and Miles Neff on Seabiscuit and Ray.

Availability: Ultra common.

  • Seen on fullscreen Paramount and (MCA/)Universal VHS releases from 1994 (with the standard variant first appearing on Paramount's VHS release of Wayne's World 2) until the format's end in late 2008, with the screener tape of Paramount's Ghost Town. It also appears on fullscreen DVD releases, such as The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Barnyard.
  • It also appeared on DreamWorks DVD releases formatted in fullscreen, as well as some VHS tapes.
  • Strangely, it does not appear on the full-frame DVD releases of Dreamgirls, Norbit, and Blades of Glory, which use 20th Century Fox's modified screen instead, and the VHS release of Enemy at the Gates, which uses Sony's modified screen.
  • On the other hand, this also appeared on the 1995 VHS release of The Pagemaster and the 1997 VHS release of The Verdict, both from 20th Century Fox.
  • This was also used on colorized releases of black and white films from MCA/Universal.
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