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    Warner Bros.

    Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (WB) – history, company profile (overview) and corporate video

       Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., commonly known as Warner Bros. (WB), is a media and entertainment company headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios lot, 142 acres in Burbank, California, United States. The Warner Bros. Studios lot is considered one of the world’s foremost motion picture and television production and post-production facilities.

       Warner Bros. Entertainment is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery that engages in every aspect of the entertainment industry, from feature film, television, digital and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD and Blu-ray, animation, comic books, video games, and product and brand licensing.

    DIVISIONS


    • New Line Cinema – coordinates Warner Bros. Entertainment’s development, production, marketing, distribution and business affairs activities with Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
    • DC Studios – coordinates the overall creative direction of the DC Universe across film, TV, and animation under a single banner.
    • The Warner Bros. Television Group – coordinates the portfolio of Warner Bros.’ television production businesses, including scripted and unscripted programming, and animation. Warner Bros. Television Group’s production divisions include Warner Bros. Television, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of live-action scripted programming; Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, which produces unscripted series through the Warner Horizon, Telepictures, and Shed Media production labels; and the animation studios: Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network Studios, and Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe.
    • Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment – distributes the movies, television, animation, and digital content produced by Warner Bros. Discovery to the homes and screens of millions through physical Blu-ray Disc and DVD retail sales, and digital transactions on major streaming, video-on-demand cable, satellite, digital, and mobile channels. 
    • Warner Bros. Games – is a worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content across all platforms, including console, handheld, mobile and PC-based gaming for both internal and third-party game titles.

       The company’s divisions produce live-action scripted dramas, comedies, limited series, unscripted programs, animated series, movies, and specials for Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max, external streaming platforms, cable, traditional broadcast networks, and the first-run syndication marketplace in the United States.

    BRANDS


       Warner Bros. is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world:

    • DC;
    • Game of Thrones;
    • Hanna-Barbera (The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear and countless others from the minds of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera);
    • Looney Tunes (Warner Bros.’ classic animated characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang);
    • Middle-earth (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit);
    • Scooby-Doo (Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne);
    • Tom and Jerry;
    • Wizarding World (Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts).

    HISTORY


       Warner Bros. was founded in 1923 when the brothers Warner (Albert, Sam, Harry and Jack L.) incorporated their fledgling movie company, Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

       In 1927, Warner Bros. released “The Jazz Singer”, the world’s first “talkie” (synchronized-sound feature film).

       In 1929, Warner Bros. acquired the St. Louis-based theater chain Skouras Brothers Enterprises.

       In 1930, Harry Warner acquired several music publishers (including M. Witmark & Sons, Remick Music Corp., and T.B. Harms, Inc.) to form Warner Bros. Music.

       In April 1930, the company acquired Brunswick Records.

       Warner’s cartoon division had its roots in the independent Harman and Ising studio. From 1930 to 1933, Walt Disney Studios alumni Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising produced musical cartoons for Leon Schlesinger, who sold them to Warner. Harman and Ising introduced their character Bosko in the first Looney Tunes cartoon, Sinkin’ in the Bathtub, and created a sister series, Merrie Melodies, in 1931.

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       Harman and Ising broke away from Schlesinger in 1933, taking Bosko with them to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). As a result, Schlesinger started his own studio, Leon Schlesinger Productions, which continued with Merrie Melodies while starting production on Looney Tunes starring Buddy, a Bosko clone.

       In 1935, Avery directed Porky Pig cartoons that established the character as the studio’s first animated star. In addition to Porky, Daffy Duck (who debuted in 1937’s Porky’s Duck Hunt), Elmer Fudd (Elmer’s Candid Camera, 1940), Bugs Bunny (A Wild Hare, 1940), and Tweety (A Tale of Two Kitties, 1942) would achieve star power.

       By 1942, the Schlesinger studio became one of the most successful producers of animated shorts.

       In 1944, Warner Bros. bought Schlesinger’s cartoon division and renamed it Warner Bros. Cartoons. Warner Bros. Cartoons was dissolved in 1969 as the parent company ceased film shorts entirely. The success of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie in 1979 determined Warner Bros. to organize Warner Bros. Animation as a new production division.

       In 1947, Warner acquired Pathé News, a producer of newsreels and documentaries from 1910 to 1970 in the United Kingdom, from Radio Pictures Inc., an American film production and distribution company.

       In 1953, Warner’s theater holdings were spun off as Stanley Warner Theaters and Stanley Warner’s non-theater holdings were sold to Simon Fabian Enterprises. Its theaters were also merged with RKO Theatres to become RKO-Stanley Warner Theatres.

       In 1955, the studio engaged in television through the successful Warner Bros. Television division. Warner Bros. Television provided ABC with a weekly show, Warner Bros. Presents.

       In 1958, Warner Bros. Records was launched.

       In 1966, Jack Warner sold control of the studio and music business to Seven Arts Productions, run by Canadian investors Eliot and Kenneth Hyman. Warner Bros. Pictures was renamed Warner Bros.-Seven Arts.

       In 1969, Warner Bros.-Seven Arts accepted a cash-and-stock offer from Kinney National Company. Kinney had previously acquired DC Comics (then officially known as National Periodical Publications) and a Hollywood talent agency, Ashley-Famous in 1967. Ashley-Famous’s founder Ted Ashley led Kinney head Steve Ross to purchase Warner Bros. Ashley-Famous was soon spun off due to antitrust laws prohibiting the simultaneous ownership of a film studio and a talent agency. Ashley became the studio head and changed the name to Warner Bros. Inc.

       In the 1970s, Warner Bros. Records became one of the major record labels worldwide.

       In 1972, Kinney National Company spun off its non-entertainment assets and renamed itself Warner Communications Inc., which was the holding company for Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Music Group.

       In 1971, Filmation and Warner Bros. entered into an agreement to produce and distribute cartoons for film and television.

       Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Warner Communications branched out into other businesses, such as the video game company Atari, Inc. in 1976, and later the Six Flags theme parks.

       In 1972, Warner and Columbia formed a new company called The Burbank Studios (TBS). Warner Bros. acquired Lorimar-Telepictures and gained control of the former MGM studio lot in Culver City in 1989. That year, Sony also bought Columbia Pictures. TBS ended when Sony bought the MGM lot from Warner and moved Columbia to Culver City in 1990. Warner kept the Columbia Ranch, now known as the Warner Bros. Ranch.

       In 1989, Warner Communications merged with white-shoe publishing company Time Inc., resulting in a new company “Time Warner”.

       In 1992, Warner Bros. Family Entertainment was established to produce family-oriented films, plus animated films.

       In 1995, Warner Bros. and television station owner Tribune Company of Chicago launched The WB Television Network. Warner Bros. and CBS Corporation decided to close The WB and CBS’s UPN and jointly launch The CW Television Network in 2006.

       In 1996, Turner Pictures joined Warner Bros. via the Turner-Time Warner merger.

       In 1998, Time Warner sold Six Flags to Premier Parks.

       In 2003, Time Warner reorganized Warner Bros.’s assets under Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Warner Music Group.

       In the 1990s, Warner Bros. obtained rights to the Harry Potter novels and released feature film adaptations of the first in 2001.

       In 2006, Warner Bros. created a joint venture with China Film Group Corporation and HG to form Warner China Film HG to produce films in Hong Kong and China.

       In 2018, Warner Bros. parent company Time Warner was acquired by AT&T, and renamed WarnerMedia.

       In March 2019, WarnerMedia announced that would dissolve Turner Broadcasting System by moving Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, their respective production studios (Cartoon Network Studios and Williams Street), as well as Turner Classic Movies and Otter Media, directly under Warner Bros. Turner’s remaining television services would be divided into WarnerMedia Entertainment and WarnerMedia News & Sports respectively. Aside from Otter Media, these assets operate under a newly formed Global Kids & Young Adults division, renamed to Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics in 2020.

       In May 2019, Otter Media was transferred from Warner Bros. to WarnerMedia Entertainment to oversee the development of HBO Max, the streaming service that would feature content from HBO and WarnerMedia brands.

       In April 2022, AT&T divested WarnerMedia and merged it with Discovery Inc. to form Warner Bros. Discovery.

       In November 2022, DC Films was renamed “DC Studios” and became an independent division of Warner Bros.


       With more than 8,000 employees, Warner Bros. Entertainment is considered one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies.

    *Information from Forbes.com, Wikipedia.org, and www.warnerbros.com.

    **Video published on YouTube by “Warner Bros. Pictures“.

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