Posted on Thursday, May 8th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta
Sad news for the mini-major world of independent Hollywood, as Warner Bros has decided to shut down Picturehouse, the art-house/indie/foreign arm of New Line. But the bigger news is that WB also decided to close Warner Independent Pictures. The real problem is that the two companies had yet to find out a way to make a profit. So not only was Funny Games one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, but it’s also partly responsible for the death of a good mini-major. I’m not quite sure if this means that Warner Bros/New Line is out of the art-house/indie/foreign business, or if they will continue to distribute/produce those type of films under the Warner Bros brand/arm? It sounds like New Line might go on to represent lower budget genre films.
In a statement, Alan Horn, president & COO of Warner Bros. said, “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. 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.”
Picturehouse had made a name for itself in recent years with films like The Orphanage, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Rocket Science, Pan’s Labyrinth, and A Prairie Home Companion.
Warner Indepedent Pictures filmography includes: Before Sunset, March of the Penguins, Good Night, and Good Luck., The Science of Sleep, A Scanner Darkly, The Painted Veil and In the Valley of Elah, among many others.