In 1994, the military science fiction feature film Stargate was released; directed by Roland Emmerich and co-written by Dean Devlin. The film lays the foundation for all the Stargate productions that come after it, by explaining the notion, function, and history of the Stargate.
In addition to film and television, the Stargate franchise has expanded into other media, including books, video games, and comic books. These supplements to the film and television series have resulted in significant development of the show's fictional universe and mythology. In 2008, the films Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Continuum were released direct-to-DVD, which in total grossed over $21 million in the United States. In 2002, the franchise's first animated series, Stargate Infinity, was released as an introduction to the Expanded Universe. In 2004, the TV series Stargate Atlantis was released as a spin off from Stargate SG-1 and a second series Stargate Universe premiered on October 2, 2009.
Stargate Atlantis has won several awards for its actors, visual effects and directors, including a WorldFest Platinum Award for David Winning's direction of an early Season 1 episode. Atlantis proved to be equally as successful as SG-1, with Nielsen ratings and viewership. The Stargate franchise in 2009 won a Constellation Award in the category of Outstanding Canadian Contribution to Science Fiction Film or Television in 2008, the average viewership to Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis was around 10 million a week worldwide.