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Yoram Globus

(1941 – )

Yoram Globus is an Israeli movie producer who founded and ran the international production company, the Cannon Group, with his cousin,Menachem Golan.

Globus was born in Tiberias on September 7, 1943, to Jewish parents who immigrated from Poland.  At the age of 3 he moved with his family to the northern city of Kiryat Motzkin. His father, Shmuel, built a cinema which was unique at that time. When the cinema opened Globus was 5 years old and very interested in all aspects of the cinema. He would help with whatever his father needed from hanging posters, being a cashier, to promoting movies and at the age of 10 Yoram becoming the projectionist. During high school he moved to Tel Aviv where his parents opened another cinema.

Globus graduated business school. He then enlisted to the Israel Defense Forces, served as a combat soldier and officer, and retired as a lieutenant.

In 1963, he partnered up with Golan, who was already a well-known stage and film director in Israel. Together, they were instrumental in creating the film industry in Israel. 

In 1978, Globus and Golan moved to Hollywood and acquired The Cannon Group, Inc. for $500,000, which was traded on NASDQ for 25 cents a share. They went to the Cannes Film Festival that year and licensed Cannon’s movies for approximately $2.5M. After acquiring 51% of the company's shares they used the money to start making low budget action movies.

In the beginning of the 1980s, Yoram and Menahem recognized that video was the next big thing and signed Chuck Norris for a 7 years exclusive deal, Charles Bronson for a multiple picture deal, discovered Jean-Claude Van Damme and signed him for many pictures. From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, they produced hundreds of low-brow movies of all kinds, specializing in action films such as The Delta Force (1986) with Norris, Death Wish II (1982) starring Bronson, and Blood Sport (1988) with Van Damme.

Golan and Globus’ willingness to wheel and deal earned them the nickname the Go-Go boys. The company elevated the production slate and apart of the action movies they started to produce movies such as Sahara, The Championship Season, Wicked Lady (1983), and King Solomon's Mine (1985). Globus balanced box-office hits with the occasional art-house drama and produced such films as Jean-Luc Godard's King Lear (1987) and Robert Altman’s Fool for Love (1985). 

Among Globus’ Israeli credits are the popular Eskimo Limon (1978) comedy and its sequels, as well as such classics as the 1974 musical Kazablan and Operation Thunderbolt (1977), the story of the IDF’s hostage rescue at Entebbe, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

The Cannon Group stock was moved to the NY stock exchange and climbed up from 25 cents in the late 1970s to $48 in 1984. By the mid-1980s, Cannon was producing an average of 40 films per year and had become the largest independent movie production company in the world.

With Cannon’s success, Yoram expanded the group’s operations into additional territories. Cannon acquired approximately 1,600 cinemas across Europe and the United States, studios, an extensive film library and other acquisitions that widened the activities of Cannon and established the company as a leading conglomerate in the global film industry. 

During 1984, Cannon purchased Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment and their movie library for £175 million. Cannon then sold the EMI British Film Library to Weintraub Entertainment Group for approximately $85 million. In 1989, Pathé Communications, a holding company controlled by Italian businessman Giancarlo Parretti, purchased 39.4% of Cannon for $250 million. During that same year, Golan, citing differences with both Parretti and Globus, resigned from his position, leaving Cannon and Globus to launch his 21st Century Film Corporation. In 1990, Globus and Parietti merged Pathé with the American film company "MGM" at which time Globus became MGM president.

In 1993, having produced over 300 films, Globus returned to Israel to focus on his home company, Globus Group, which includes a private Globus arm with a large film and television studio in Neve Ilan, Israel. Globus is responsible for a significant part of the Israeli film distribution industry and owns and operates numerous theaters in Israel.

During 2014, two documentary films were made about Golan/Globus. The American film was Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films and the Israeli take was The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films.

In 2015, Globus sold Globus Max and returned to Hollywood to launch a new film production company, Rebel Way Entertainment.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.
Yoram Globus, Wikipedia.

Photo: Ori Globus, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license via Wikimedia.