Warner Bros. Pictures

by Michele Riley
Warner Bros. Logo courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Warner Bros. logo courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. is a global company leading in the creation, production, distribution, licensing, and marketing of all forms of film, television, and music entertainment.

Warner Bros. is a subsidiary of Time Warner. Its headquarters are located in Burbank, California and New York.

Subsidiaries of Warner Bros Entertainment, Inc. include: Warner Bros. Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Home Video, New Line Cinema, TheWB.com, DC Entertainment, and half of the CW Television Network.

Key People: 

Barry Meyer: Chairman and CEO

Jeff Robinov: President and COO

Edward A. Romano: Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Brief History/Overview

Warner brothers, Albert, Sam, Harry, and Jack, founded the Warner Bros. company on April 4, 1923. The company made an impression in the entertainment world by releasing the first ever synchronized-sound feature film “The Jazz Singer” in 1927. From then on, Warner Bros. became known as a leader in film and one of the top studios in Hollywood. In addition to being a leader in the creation of contemporary relevant films, the company introduced the first “four-legged star”, modernized the movie musical, and established the gangster-picture era. [1]

In 1937, “The Life of Emile Zola” won Warner Bros. their first Oscar for Best Picture, a huge accomplishment for the company. Throughout the 40s, 50s, and 60s Warner Bros. Pictures continued to create notable films. [2]

Warner Bros. has merged and changed owners many times throughout its years. In 1967, it was sold to Elliot and Ken Hyman and was renamed Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. Steve Ross and his Kinney Corporation purchased the company in 1969, renaming it Warner Communications, Inc. Not until the 1990s was the company merged with Time Inc. to become Time Warner Inc. The new company thrived in the 1990s. Its pictures broke records, was critically raved around the world, and was nominated for and won many Academy Awards. Barry Meyer and Alan Horn took over Warner Bros in 1999 beginning a new era of profitability for the Studio.[1]

For Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.’s full history click here

For a list of Warner Bros. Films click here

Recent News

The Warner Bros. lawsuit against the heirs of the co-creator of Superman has been settled as of October 2012. Warner Bros. has been in a court battle against the heirs of Joseph Shuster, co-creator of Superman, since 2003. In 1938 Shuster had assigned DC Comics “the exclusive right to the use of the [Superman] characters and story.” The heirs of Shuster presented Warner Bros. with a termination notice in 2003. In May 2010, Warner Bros. filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare the heirs’ termination notice invalid. They claimed that “the heirs had given up any termination rights as the result of a 1992 contract they signed with DC Comics.” [3]

According to The Wall Street Journal, the decision to the May 2012 lawsuit has finally been settled. The court ordered that the family of Joseph Shuster doesn’t have the right to terminate a copyright grant covering Superman.

This comes as a huge relief and victory to Warner Bros. Entertainment who is currently in the process of producing “Man of Steel” set to release in 2013. [3]

Another Warner Bros. film that has been getting a lot of attention recently is the James Bond film, “Skyfall,” released November 6, 2012. As of November 11th the film had earned $518.6 million worldwide, including $428.6 million internationally. The 23rd installment is certain to surpass the $586.1 million earned by “Quantum of Solace” and the $594.2 million earned by “Casino Royale.” “Skyfall” did exceptionally well in IMAX theaters. It took in $13.1 million during it’s debut, which is the highest debut in a non-summer opening. [4]

Warner Bros’ film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” has been in the headlines a lot over the past month. On November 28, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that 27 animals died on the set. It has been reported that three horses, six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens died at a ranch they were housed at during the New Zealand shoot. Director Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. studios deny mistreatment. PETA has called for CGI creations to replace live animals in films. [5]

Despite the backlash, thousands of New Zealanders attended the red carpet event of the world premiere in New Zealand. Important officials and dozens of stars showed up for the premiere. Among them was New Zealand Prime Minister John Key who said, “New Zealand took a risk investing in ‘The Hobbit.'” and “it’s paid off.” There are screenings in the films higher frame rate taking place throughout New Zealand and prompting strong ticket demand and sell outs. The film is set to release in the U.S. December 14, 2012. [6]

Warner Bros’ “Argo“, released October 12, 2012, has surpassed $100 million at the box office as of December 2, according to The Wall

“Argo” official poster, courtesy of “The Hollywood Reporter”

Street Journal’s “Market Watch.” Argo is one of the best reviewed films of the year. Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. Pictures President of Domestic Distribution, has said, “‘Argo’ is one of those rare cinematic achievements that has been equally and enthusiastically embraced by both critics and audiences.” [7]

In addition to releasing new movies, Warner Bros. has been making important business deals this fall. On November 15, Entertainment Weekly reported Warner Bros. signed a 20-picture deal with IMAX. Warner Bros. will release 20 films in IMAX over the next three years. [8]

On November 26, 2012, Warner Bros. extended its relationship with Village Roadshow Pictures Group through 2017, securing $1.125 billion to fund multiple projects, including “Mad Max: Fury Road,” with Charlize Theron, and “All You Need Is Kill” with Tom Cruise[9]

Financials 

Warner Bros. Entertainment is publicly traded as Time Warner, or TWX on the New York Stock Exchange. In January, 2012 their revenue was $36.33 billion. At the end of the year, December, 2012 their revenue is $46.57 billion. The percent change this year is 29%. [10] These numbers are for Time Warner as a whole. To get a better picture of what the Warner Bros. Entertainment revenue looks like, we can look at the financials from last year. The net U.S. revenue for “movies, TV production, and video games” in 2011 was $6,483 million. Though this still includes TV production and video games, the number is closer to what the movie revenue alone would look like. [11]

Future Projects
The Great Gatsby” is perhaps the most talked about upcoming 2013 film. There has been a huge outpour of excitement from anticipating audiences. Based off of Scott F. Fitzgerald’s classic and beloved novel, The Great Gatsby, production is a long time coming. The film is set to release in May is directed by Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan. The trailer has heightened excitement throughout the country, revealing the film’s modern yet classic feel, a juxtaposition that is intriguing the masses. [12]


“The Great Gatsby” official trailer, courtesy of “TheHollywoodBird” on YouTube

Warner Bros. is set to release, in co-production with Village Roadshow Pictures, “Gangster Squad,” January 2013. The film is a period crime drama film that has been highly promoted by Warner Bros. this year. The film stars Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn.

The Hangover Part III” hasn’t been promoted as much as some of Warner Bros’ other upcoming 2013 releases. However, being part of the popular “Hangover” series, the film is sure to bring in a large audience. It will be the final film of the series, scheduled to release in May.

Man of Steel,” a Superman film, is set to release in June 2013. The film will be a reboot of the film series. It will portray the origin story of Superman. Henry Cavill, playing Superman, said that the movie is intended to bring Superman into “the modern world” so that “everyone can associate” with him. [13]

 

References

[1] Warner Bros. (2011). Company History. Retrieved from http://www.warnerbros.com/studio/about/company-history.html

[2] Wikipedia. (2012, Dec 5). List of Warner Bros. Films. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Warner_Bros._films

[3] Orden, E. (2012 October). Judge Rules for Warner Bros. in Superman Case. Retriever fromThe Wall Street Journal.

[4] McClintock, P. (2012, Nov 11). Box Office Report: “Skyfall” Nabs Top Bond Opening in North America With &87.8 Million. Retrieved from The Hollywood Reporter.

[5] Daunt, T. (2012, Nov 28). What The Hobbit’s 27 Animal Deaths Mean for Movies. Retrieved from The Hollywood Reporter.

[6] Bulbeck, P. (2012, Nov 28). “The Hobbit” World Premiere in New Zealand Draws Stars, Thousands of Fans, Rave Reviews. Retrieved from The Hollywood Reporter.

[7] Market Watch. (2012, Dec 2). Warner Bros. Pictures’ Acclaimed Hit “Argo” Strikes Box Office Gold, Surpassing $100 Million. Retrieved from The Wall Street Journal: Market Watch.

[8] Labrecque, J. (2012, Nov 15). Warner Bros. Signs 20-Picture Deal with IMAX. Retrieved from Entertainment Weekly.

[9] Bond, P. (2012, Nov 26). Warner Bros. Extends $1 Billion-Plus Village Roadshow Deal Through 2017. Retrieved from The Hollywood Reporter.

[10] Google Finance. (2012, Dec 7). Time Warner Inc. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE%3ATWX&ei=axnCUIDGPILl0QHyUA

[11] Advertising Age. (2012, Oct 1). Time Warner. Retrieved from http://adage.com/datacenter/mediatrees2012/#138

[12] Zakarin, J. (2012, May 22). ‘The Great Gatsby’ Trailer Presents Leonardo DiCaprio and Empty Grandeur in 3D. Retrieved from The Hollywood Reporter.

[13] Kit, B. (2012, July 14). Comic-Con 2012″ ‘Man of Steel’ Footage So Good It Makes Fans Cry. Retrieved from The Hollywood Reporter.

 

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