Warner Independent Pictures and Picturehouse Shut Down!
As we all know, New Line Cinema folded in under Warner Brothers back in February, which also meant the converging of both of the studios' independent divisions: Warner Independent Pictures and Picturehouse. In a "surprising move" today, Warner Brothers president and COO Alan Horn announced that it was shutting down both WIP and Picturehouse instead of combining them under one banner. This is definitely a sad day for everyone at both indie studios, especially since I have a good friend who works at WIP. The status of films in development and set for release from both studios has yet to be decided, but initial speculation shows that they may just get distributed by Warner Brothers on a whole. It sounds like to me WB is becoming the real powerhouse in Hollywood now.
"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," announced Warner Bros. president and COO Alan Horn. "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. We're confident that the spirit of independent filmmaking and the opportunity to find and give a voice to new talent will continue to have a presence at Warner Bros."
When you look at the big picture, Warner Brothers as a studio on its own is becoming the big powerhouse - let me explain. Not only are they now officially distributing and/or making the money on all New Line Cinema movies, including the upcoming Sex and the City movie as well as The Hobbit eventually, but now they're adding even more to their line-up. It hasn't been determined whether they'll keep movies that are currently in production, but I don't know why they wouldn't. What I mean is that it seems like Warner Brothers itself is going to distribute movies for four individual studios all by themselves - that's ridiculous!
Warner Independent Pictures, founded in 2003, has distributed films like Good Night, and Good Luck, A Scanner Darkly, The Science of Sleep, In the Valley of Elah, Snow Angels, and Funny Games in its 5 year run. Upcoming films included Towelhead, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, The Rum Diary, Queen of the South, and Bryan Singer's The Mayor of Castro Street. Picturehouse, founded in 2005, has distributed films like Pan's Labyrinth, Rocket Science, The King of Kong, and The Orphanage in its 3 year run. Upcoming films included Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, The Women, and Amusement.
And with that, I think it's time to say "good night and good luck" to everyone at WIP and Picturehouse.