Background: Prior to Orion Pictures Corporation distributing its own films on video in 1987, it had licensing deals with Vestron Video and HBO Video (and HBO's predecessor labels). HBO continued to hold some rights to Orion films on VHS and Laserdisc after the formation of Orion Home Video, such as The Terminator and ¡Three Amigos! (since they only had theatrical distribution rights). After MGM acquired Orion in 1997, the label was still active, adding video rights to TV movies from its new parent company. Orion Home Video ultimately folded into MGM Home Entertainment. Most distribution rights to the Orion library, except all 1979-1982 releases and some post-1982 releases such as¡Three Amigos!, are held by MGM with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment handling home video distribution.
1st Logo (1987-1990, occasionally through early 1990s)
Nicknames: "The Constellation", "Starry Sky", "Orion in Space"
Logo: On the Orion star background, a comet streaks by, forming the familiar Orion logo (albeit chrome), with "H O M E---V I D E O" below it. The logo shines.
Variants:*On videos that did not have the Orion Pictures logo, the logo abruptly ends at this point. On videos that did have an Orion Pictures logo, the beginning of that logo would form, and the Orion Home Video logo would shrink into the top star. The Orion Pictures logo continued as normal.
- On 1988 tapes from this company, there is simply a still version of the logo. The above variant appears after the FBI warning.
- Sometimes, when previews of upcoming releases were shown, the words "COMING FROM" would be superimposed above the logo.
FX/SFX: Nice star effects, though nowhere near as good as the next effort... Music/Sounds: Most releases use an extended version of the fanfare that surges into the standard Orion Pictures logo. Sometimes,a shortened version of the fanfare was used. In rare cases, it is silent or has the films opening music over it.
Availability: Extremely rare. Most of the back catalog's been reissued by MGM Home Entertainment; check your video store's backstock. Titles with this logo include Robocop, Akira, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, UHF, Frog, Mac and Me, and State of Grace, among others. The still variant can be found on the 1988 tapes of Throw Momma from the Train and Married to the Mob. The short and silent version also made a surprise appearance on the early 1990s Goodtimes Home Video releases of Breaker! Breaker!, Class, Back to School, and Lone Wolf McQuade (the latter using this one in place of standard Orion Pictures logo). This may have been to inform people that these were Orion movies licensed to Goodtimes, or alternately they may have co-distributed these tapes.
Scare Factor: None.
2nd Logo (1990-1998)
Nicknames: "Enhanced Constellation", "Enhanced Starry Sky", "The Constellation II", "Starry Sky II", "Orion in Space II"
Logo: On a star background, the five stars fade into view. Instead of moving to form the "O", they break formation and swirl around, forming an outline of the Orion logo that quickly fills with chrome silver. "H O M E---V I D E O" then moves from the bottom of the screen to join the Orion logo, and they both shine.The stars from the beginning then return, swirling around the logo, causing it to disappear.
- "Sold Exclusively By" would appear above on various special (non movie/anime) releases. This was not used as a HV-Picture logo combo.
- On most releases such as The Silence of the Lambs, a screen freeze of this logo is found at the very beginning of the tape. This practice was similar to what MGM/UA Home Video did in the 90s.
- A variant exists with "Coming Soon From" above.
- Closing Segments: At this point, one of three endings would appear:
- The ending mentioned above, with the stars making the logo disappear. This was also used at the beginning of some tapes and early DVD releases distributed by Image Entertainment.
- The beginning of the Orion Pictures logo begins behind the Orion Home Video logo, as the stars return again to swirl around the logo. "HOME VIDEO" shimmers out, and "ORION" shrinks to the top star, playing the Orion Pictures logo from on out.
- Robocop 2 did not have the above version. The home video logo faded to black and then the movie played as normal.
FX/SFX: Outstanding animation. Many people prefer this to the movie logo, and the transition from this to the movie logo is just the icing on the cake.
Cheesy Factor: The "Sold Exclusively By" and "Coming Soon From" texts for the promo variants looks like they were just cheaply chyroned in. Otherwise, it exhibits stellar animation and visuals for the time.
Music/Sounds: The Orion fanfare, but modified with ticking-type sounds, whooshes, various minor sound effects, and chimes when the Orion logo shines. For movies that have the Orion logo with the fanfare, the modified music is extended to cover both logos.
Availability: Somewhat more common than the first logo, as this was used for a longer time and appears on more popular releases. Seen on video releases from the era, such as The Silence of the Lambs, the Lou Ferrigno film Cage, and Robocop 3, among others. This can also be found on DVDs distributed by Image Entertainment, such as Robocop 1 & 2, Silence of the Lambs, Dancing with Wolves, No Way Out, Bull Durham, and Mississippi Burning, among others. Surprisingly, on the original DVD of the latter, the regular Orion logo is seen after the Home Video/Picture combo variant (this Is due to the fact that the former was in full screen while the latter was in widescreen due to the film being presented in that format). The "Sold Exclusively By" variant is rare, but was seen on a VHS of Pinstripe Destiny.
Scare Factor: Low, because anyone who hasn't seen this logo before might be caught off-guard by the star animation changing into "ORION", as it is very fast-paced. However, it is a favorite of many.