Warner Bros. cuts Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures

Yesterday, Variety broke the surprising news that Warner Bros. is shutting down its Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures divisions. The two independently-operated wings will bleed out 70-some positions (between the two studios) over the coming months, retaining enough people to handle their remaining films before closing their doors in the fall.

“With New Line now a key part of Warner Bros., we’re able to handle films across the entire spectrum of genres and budgets without overlapping production, marketing and distribution infrastructures,” Alan Horn, Warner’s president and chief operating officer, told the trade. “After much painstaking analysis, this was a difficult decision to make, but it reflects the reality of a changing marketplace and our need to prudently run our businesses with increased efficiencies.

Warner Independent Pictures had a less than successful track record, with March of the Penguins’ $77 million take and Good Night, and Good Luck’s $31 million as its two biggest hits. Other films it has distributed or produced include David Gordon Green’s Snow Angels, A Scanner Darkly, and Before Sunset.

Picturehouse‘s shut-down was surprising, though, because it has brought us the two most successful independently produced films ever made — The Passion of the Christ and My Big Fat Greek Wedding — as well as Y tu mama tambien, Memento, and Pan’s Labyrinth. Last Year’s King of Kong and Rocket Science (a mishandled bomb, to say the least, but I loved it) were released through Picturehouse.

Picturehouse has the Academy Award-nominated Mongol and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl this summer and The Women in the fall. WIP has Alan Ball’s Towelhead in August and Trainspotting and 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire in November.

Related post: Trailer Watch: Alan Ball’s Towelhead; Quick Cuts: Step Up 3D, Pride & Glory and New Line

Posted on May 9, 2008 at 10:35 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
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