Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures, doing business as Warner Bros. Pictures Group, is an American film production and distribution company owned by the WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group through its subsidiary Warner Bros. Entertainment. Headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California, it is the flagship label of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which is part of AT&T's WarnerMedia.
|Warner Bros. Pictures Group|
|Formerly||Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. (1923–1967)|
Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, Inc. (1967–1970)
Warner Bros. Inc. (1970–1992)
|Predecessor||Warner Features Company|
|Founded||April 4, 1923|
|Headquarters||4000 Warner Boulevard,,|
|Revenue||US$13.866 billion (2017)|
|US$1.761 billion (2017)|
|Owner||WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Group|
(WarnerMedia a subsidiary of AT&T)
(spin-out into independent entity pending, to be merged with Discovery, Inc.)
Number of employees
|Est. 8,000 (2014)|
|Parent||Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.|
Founded in 1923 by brothers Harry Warner, Albert Warner, Sam Warner, and Jack L. Warner, in addition to producing its own films, it handles filmmaking operations, theatrical distribution, marketing and promotion for films produced and released by other Warner Bros. labels, including Warner Animation Group, New Line Cinema, DC Films, and Castle Rock Entertainment, as well as various third-party producers.
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In 1927, Warner Bros. Pictures revolutionized the film industry when the American-Jewish Warner brothers released their first pictures "talkie" The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson. However, founding member Sam Warner died prior to the premiere of the film. From 1923 to 1967, Warner Bros. was known as Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. as their main focus was entirely on the motion picture industry. When the company diversified over the years, it was eventually rebranded to its current umbrella name, but Warner Bros. Pictures continued to be used as the name of the film production arm of the company.
Warner Bros. PicturesEdit
The division was incorporated as Warner Bros. Pictures on March 3, 2003 to diversify film subjects and expand audiences for their film releases. The company became part of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, which was established in 2008, and Jeff Robinov was appointed the first president of the company. In 2017, longtime New Line executive Toby Emmerich joined as president. In January 2018, he was elevated to chairman. On October 23, 2018 it was announced Lynne Frank, President of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, would be leaving the company to pursue new opportunities. In June 2019, Warner Bros. Pictures signed an agreement with SF Studios to have their films distributed in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.
As with most other film distributors, Warner Bros. Pictures struggled with releasing films during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic due to restrictions on theater openings. After pushing several films planned for 2020 into 2021, WB announced in December 2020 that they would take the unusual approach of having their entire slate of 2021 films planned for both theatrical release as well as having a simultaneous one-month period of availability on the HBO Max streaming service, in a similar manner for how they were releasing Wonder Woman 1984 that month. After one month, such films would still be available in theaters and would then later be available via home media under typical release schedules. The move to include streaming was criticized by production companies, directors, and actors as Warner Bros. Pictures had not informed anyone about the plan ahead of the announcement, as well of concerns of lower payouts due to the streaming options, leading Warner Bros. Pictures to alter its compensation rates for the affected films by January 2021 to provide larger payouts to casts and crews of these films.
In March 2021 Warner Bros. announced that for 2022 they will discontinue their same-day HBO Max and theatrical release model in favor of a 45-day theatrical exclusivity window. This is part of an agreement the studio reached with Cineworld (who operates Regal Cinemas), and the failure of simultaneous release in theaters and on HBO Max for almost all 2021 films.
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Mergers and acquisitions have helped Warner Bros. accumulate a diverse collection of films, cartoons and television programs. As of 2019, Warner Bros. owned more than 100,000 hours of programming, including 8,600 feature films and 5,000 television programs comprising tens of thousands of individual episodes.
In the aftermath of the 1948 antitrust suit, uncertain times led Warner Bros. in 1956 to sell most of its pre-1950 films and cartoons to Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.). In addition, a.a.p. also obtained the Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios Popeye cartoons, originally from Paramount Pictures. Two years later, a.a.p. was sold to United Artists, which owned the company until 1981, when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired United Artists
In 1986, Turner Broadcasting System acquired Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Finding itself in debt, Turner kept the pre-May 1986 MGM film and television libraries and a small portion of the United Artists library (including the a.a.p. library and North American rights to the RKO Radio Pictures library) while spinning off the rest of MGM.
In 1989, Warner Communications acquired Lorimar-Telepictures Corporation. Lorimar's catalogue included the post-1974 library of Rankin/Bass Productions, and the post-1947 library of Monogram Pictures/Allied Artists Pictures Corporation.
In 1991, Turner Broadcasting System acquired animation studio Hanna-Barbera and the Ruby-Spears library from Great American Broadcasting, and years later, Turner Broadcasting System acquired Castle Rock Entertainment on December 22, 1993 and New Line Cinema on January 28, 1994. On October 10, 1996, Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting System, thus bringing Warner Bros.' pre-1950 library back home. In addition, Warner Bros. only owns Castle Rock Entertainment's post-1994 library.
In 2008, Time Warner integrated New Line to Warner Bros.
In June 2016, it created the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development Team to oversee its ownership of the Harry Potter franchise worldwide (including the Wizarding World trademark).
- Warner Bros
- Warner Bros Pictures library (post-1950, 1950–present)
- Warner Bros. Television Studios library (1955–present)
- Warner Animation Group library (2013–present)
- Warner Bros. Feature Animation library (1990–2004)
- Warner Bros Animation library (1980–present)
- Cartoon Network Studios library (1996–present)
- Adult Swim/Williams Street library (1994–present)
- New Line Cinema library (1982–present)
- New Line Television library (1988–2008)
- Castle Rock Entertainment films library (post-1994, 1994–present)
- Castle Rock Entertainment television library (post-1994, 1994–present)
- DC Films (2016–present)
- HBO Films libraries, co-owned by HBO (1983–present)
- Home video distribution rights of Cannon Films libraries (post-1991)
- Turner Entertainment
- MGM film library (pre-May 1986)
- United Artists/Associated Artists Productions libraries:
- RKO Pictures live action library's US, Canadian, UK, Australian, German and Italian distribution rights (pre-1960)
- Brut Productions library (1973–1982)
The studio's first live-action film was My Four Years in Germany (1918), their first animated film was Gay Purr-ee (1962). Animated films produced by Warner Bros. Animation, and the Warner Animation Group are also released by Warner Bros. Pictures. The studio has released twenty-five films that have received an Academy Award for Best Picture nomination: Disraeli (1929), I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), 42nd Street (1933), Here Comes the Navy (1934), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), Anthony Adverse (1936), The Life of Emile Zola (1937), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Four Daughters (1938), Jezebel (1938), Dark Victory (1939), to name a few.
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- D'Alessandro, Anthony; Tartaglione, Nancy (March 23, 2021). "Regal Cinemas To Reopen In April; Parent Cineworld & Warner Bros Reach Multi-Year Deal To Show WB Films In U.S. & UK". Deadline. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
Cineworld and Warner Bros have also hatched a multi-year agreement that will see the No. 2 global exhibitor show the studio’s 2021 theatrical and HBO Max day-and-date titles in the U.S. as of their theatrical release. Then, beginning in 2022, Warner Bros theatrical films will have a 45-day window of theatrical exclusivity at Cineworld’s Regal chain.
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- Schickel & Perry 2008, p. 255 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFSchickelPerry2008 (help)
- WB retained a pair of features from 1949 that they merely distributed, and all short subjects released on or after September 1, 1948; in addition to all cartoons released in August 1948
- "Media History Digital Library". archive.org. Archived from the original on March 25, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
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- "Crash Landing Merv Adelson—TV mogul, multimillionaire, and friend of the famous—lived a show-business fantasy. His bankruptcy has shocked Hollywood. – November 10, 2003". cnn.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
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- "Turner Broadcasting Company Report". sec.gov. Securities and Exchange Commission. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
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- "New Line Cinema". ethicalbusinessbureau.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
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