It's Official - New Line Cinema is Dead!
by Alex Billington
February 28, 2008
New Line Cinema has gone the way of Orion Pictures and United Artists before it - it's dead, officially. Back in December when The Golden Compass bombed terribly at the box office, I predicted New Line might be kicking the bucket sooner than later. And now today, February 28th, we can pronounce New Line Cinema officially dead. The studio will be falling in under Time Warner and will become part of Warner Brothers, one of the few studios that actually knows what they're doing these days. For the official e-mail released by New Line chairmen Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne and more information on the merger, read onwards.
This e-mail was sent earlier today to all of New Line Cinema. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes later officially announced the merger.
This afternoon, Time Warner is announcing that New Line will become a unit of Warner Bros. This is, of course, a very difficult and emotional time for all of us who have worked at New Line. While there is not much we can say that can lessen the impact of this announcement, we did want you to know about the decision before you read about it in the press.
New Line will maintain its own identity and will continue to produce, market, and distribute movies. But New Line will now do so as part of Warner Bros. and will probably be a much smaller operation than in the past. Time Warner hopes that operating New Line as a unit of Warner Bros. will allow New Line to focus on the creative side of movie-making, while reducing costs and taking advantage of Warner Bros.’ distribution systems. The company will be holding group meeting with New Line employees tomorrow in Los Angeles and New York to discuss this announcement, and is committed to letting employees know as soon as possible about how this change affects them individually.
For our part, we will be stepping down as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOS of New Line. This was a painful decision, because we love New Line and the people who work here have been like our second families. But we will be leaving the company with enormous pride in what all of us at New Line have accomplished together. From its humble beginnings 40 years ago, our studio has created some of the most popular and successful movies of all time. Those movies are a tribute to the amazing creative energy and entrepreneurial abilities of the talented people at New Line. They are a legacy that will endure forever.
Although we are stepping out of New Line, we intend to remain actively involved in the industry in an entrepreneurial capacity, and will keep you advised of developments.
We thank all of you who have worked so hard to make New Line such a success. We are very proud of every one of you.
Bob & Michael
New Line Cinema will now be operated by Warner Brothers, but will maintain separate development, production, marketing, distribution and business affairs operations. It will closely integrate and coordinate all of those functions with Warner Brothers in order to maximize the performance of their films and operating efficiencies. New Line Cinema was founded 41 years ago by Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne as an independent studio under Time Warner. Orion Pictures lasted 19 years before it kicked the bucket and United Artists lasted 86 years.
This is actually probably a great day for Warner Brothers, because they'll be picking up a number of New Line's 2008 movies that were already on their way to hitting big - specifically Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and Sex and the City: The Movie at least. New Line's other 2008 movies include the upcoming Semi-Pro, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, The Time Traveler's Wife, and Four Christmases.
More details are pending - stay tuned for more updates on FS.net!