WarnerMedia shakes up movie industry: Warner Bros. Pictures Group releases in 2021 will debut simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max

December 23, 2020

The following is a press release from Warner Bros. Pictures Group:

Today, the Warner Bros. Pictures Group announced that it has committed to releasing its 2021 film slate via a unique, consumer-focused distribution model in which Warner Bros. will continue to exhibit the films theatrically worldwide, while adding an exclusive one month access period on the HBO Max streaming platform in the U.S. concurrent with the film’s domestic release. The hybrid model was created as a strategic response to the impact of the ongoing global pandemic, particularly in the U.S. Following the one month HBO Max access period domestically, each film will leave the platform and continue theatrically in the U.S. and international territories, with all customary distribution windows applying to the title. All films will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR on HBO Max. This announcement was made today by Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group (of which Warner Bros. is part) and Jason Kilar, CEO, WarnerMedia.

Warner Bros. Pictures Group’s 2021 expected* release slate currently includes The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho and Matrix 4. 

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,” said Sarnoff. “No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021. With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.”

“After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months,” said Kilar. “More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”

“This hybrid exhibition model enables us to best support our films, creative partners and moviegoing in general throughout 2021,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “We have a fantastic, wide ranging slate of titles from talented and visionary filmmakers next year, and we’re excited to be able get these movies in front of audiences around the world. And, as always, we’ll support all of our releases with innovative and robust marketing campaigns for their theatrical debuts, while highlighting this unique opportunity to see our films domestically via HBO Max as well.”

About Warner Bros. Pictures Group: 

Warner Bros. Pictures Group includes Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Warner Animation Group and DC-based film production. Warner Bros. partners with the world’s most inspiring storytellers to create extraordinary entertainment on every screen for the global audience. Warner Bros. Pictures Group has been at the forefront of the motion picture industry since its inception and continues to be a leading creative force, producing the broadest slate of films comprised of worldwide theatrical releases and films premiering exclusively on HBO Max. To date, Warner Bros. remains the only studio to cross the $1 billion mark both domestically and internationally 19 years in a row—an industry record.  

About HBO Max: 

HBO Max® is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering, with 10,000 hours of curated premium content. HBO Max offers best in class quality entertainment, featuring the greatest array of storytelling for all audiences with the iconic brands of HBO, Warner Bros., DC, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and much more. Website: HBOMax.com

*Films and release dates subject to change. 

Brett Ratner scandal: Business relationships with Playboy, Warner Bros. affected after director is accused of sexual misconduct

November 1, 2017

by Colleen McGregor

Brett Ratner
Brett Ratner (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Netflix/AP Images)

Director/producer Brett Ratner is under fire after being accused by at least six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, of sexual misconduct, as detailed in a Los Angeles Times article. According to The Wrap: “Playboy Enterprises is putting all projects with Ratner’s production company, Ratpac Entertainment, on hold. This includes the biopic on Playboy founder Hugh Hefner that Ratner was attached to direct and produce … Jared Leto was attached to play Hefner in the film, which was a co-production between Ratpac and Playboy/Alta Loma Entertainment and had Hefner attached as executive producer prior to Hefner’s death on September 27. Ratner, who is 48, was also planning to develop a reboot of Hefner’s 1960s variety show ‘Playboy After Dark.'”

A Playboy spokesperson issued this statement to The Wrap: “We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner. We find this kind of behavior completely unacceptable. We are putting all further development of our projects with RatPac Entertainment on hold until we are able to review the situation further.”

Warner Bros. Pictures, which has a co-financing deal with RatPac, issued a statement saying that it is reviewing its relationship with Ratner.

Munn claims that when she was visiting the set of Ratner’s 2004 film “After the Sunset,” she was asked to bring food to a trailer, where she found Ratner, who masturbated in front of her. She detailed the encounter in her 2010 book, “Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek,” but she did not name Ratner at the time. After the book was published, Ratner claimed that he had a brief consensual sexual relationship with Munn, but later he admitted it was a lie, and that he and Munn never had sex and never dated each other. In the Los Angeles Times article, Henstridge says that Ratner forced her to perform oral sex on her in the 1990s when they were hanging out and watching a movie together.

Ratner has denied these stories through his attorney, Marty Singer, who says that Ratner has never had any sexual misconduct claims against him that resulted in a lawsuit, settlement or arrest. Ratner got his start in the entertainment industry as a director of music videos; over the years, he has worked with artists such as Mariah Carey, Jodeci and Michael Jackson. Ratner has directed such films as the “Rush Hour” movies, “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Red Dragon,” “Tower Heist” and “Hercules.” As a producer, Ratner’s credits include “The Revenant,” “Horrible Bosses,” “Horrible Bosses 2” and “Mirror Mirror.”

This isn’t the first public scandal for Ratner. In 2011, Ratner was hired to produce the 84th Academy Awards in 2012 with Don Mischer, but Ratner resigned on November 8, 2011, after being quoted as saying “rehearsal is for fags.” Brian Grazer replaced Ratner on the production. Eddie Murphy, who was set to host the show, also exited the production, and he was replaced by Billy Crystal.

Wonder Woman-inspired fashion hits retail to help promote ‘Wonder Woman’ movie

May 19, 2017

Hot Topic Wonder Woman Jacket
Hot Topic Wonder Woman Jacket (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Consumer Products)

The following is an excerpt from a Warner Bros. Consumer Products press release:

As one of the world’s most iconic Super Heroes prepares for her first solo feature film—coming to cinemas worldwide June 2, from Warner Bros. Pictures, Tencent Pictures and Wanda Pictures—Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), in partnership with DC Entertainment (DCE), celebrates Wonder Woman with an extraordinary collection of trend-driven fashion lines inspired by DC’s Amazon Warrior. From world-renowned fashion house icons to new and emerging designers, to global specialty stores and mass market retailers everywhere, WBCP’s fashion collections’ distinctive styles have been created to reflect that every woman can feel like Wonder Woman in her own right – from the catwalk to the boardroom to the playing field. And with the participation of such lines as Hero Within and Ukonic, there’s something for men of all ages who aspire to feel like Super Heroes, too.

A global cultural touchstone and beloved symbol of empowerment, justice, equality and peace for 75 years, Wonder Woman is inspiring designers from the most coveted fashion houses to lend their talents to benefit the LemLem Foundation, founded by international model and advocate Liya Kebede, whose mission is to improve African women’s lives by promoting access to healthcare and economic opportunities.

Prêt-à-porter pieces from such celebrated designers as Louis Vuitton, Versace, Givenchy, D-Squared, Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Kenzo, Lanvin, Roland Mouret, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, and many more, will be included in this tribute to Wonder Woman, and showcased and auctioned off during an intimate event taking place in Paris, France, on June 7, with all proceeds going to the LemLem Foundation.

An array of designs inspired by Wonder Woman’s unparalleled power, beauty and grace will also be available to the fashion world and fans worldwide as WBCP partners with admired designers and brands to offer up a dynamic lineup of limited-edition collections – from high-end to fast-fashion and everything in between – allowing trendsetters everywhere to channel their inner DC Super Hero.

Collaborations inspired by the effortless style of Wonder Woman, embodied in the film by Gal Gadot, have followed suit, empowering women to take on each day by expressing their own personal style. Collections include the innovative athleisure wear from nuyu, bringing consumers an elevated, luxe and chic performance-fitness line, while Under Armour celebrates Wonder Woman with the roll-out of sleek, high performance wear for every strong woman.

Men’s style is also celebrated with outerwear collections from high-end labels such as Hero Within designed by influential Comic-Con blogger Tony Kim, emerging brand Ukonic, breaking-out in the ecommerce space; to fan-favorite collectibles like New Era, and mass-market licensees including Bioworld, inspiring men of all ages who aspire to feel like Super Heroes, too.

As Wonder Woman is well-known for her iconic silver gauntlets and gold headdress, WBCP has also teamed up with leading accessory and jewelry brands to create fashion-forward bracelets, headbands and more. Nanette Lepore Brand and A Classic Time Watch Co. showcase Wonder Woman’s timelessness with an extravagant watch collection, while Love and Madness offers consumers accessories designed and crafted entirely by women. Contemporary jewelry brand ALEX AND ANI also offers a line of jewelry and highly collectible charm bracelets.

In addition to exclusive boutique stores, WBCP is ensuring accessibility of Wonder Woman-inspired fashion collections all over the world by teaming up with top global and mass market retailers.  Best-in-class retail partner GAP continues its global collaboration with WBCP in a capsule collection inspired by the attributes of the iconic DC Super Hero and the film for women, girls, toddlers and babies.  Kohl’s will feature an exclusive first-ever DC-inspired Her Universe active wear collection for young women and the young at heart, from juniors to plus sizes.  Pop-culture hub Hot Topic brings on a fan-dedicated Her Universe apparel collection in-stores and online—designed for fans by fans—as Her Universe assembled the unique creative team behind this DC Super Hero-inspired collection through a unique design contest held at last year’s International Comic-Con in San Diego; as well as the online retail store for Torrid, which will also have the WW collection in plus sizes.  WBCP has also partnered with elite partners, including Mauritius, with its fierce leather jacket collection, from biker jackets to suede and metallic jackets and more; and boutique stores such as Ron Robinson at Fred Segal offering a nuyu-inspired vignette; and Kyle by Alene Too, which will feature a Wonder Woman-themed array of apparel and accessories from established and emerging designers, including a collection of never-before-seen designs from up-and-coming designers that will be featured in the store.

Whether in action or at rest, fans everywhere can channel their inner Wonder Woman in film-inspired apparel and accessories, sleepwear and daywear, jewelry and so much more. Unique style-seekers can also capture exclusive items from HSN as the leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer offers its devoted customers and Wonder Woman fans a unique collection of apparel and accessories, jewelry, personal care products and more, including a special collection exclusive to this collaboration from Benefit Cosmetics with a five-piece unique set, and inspired accessory pieces from American whimsical designer Betsey Johnson.  The collection will launch on HSN on June 1 at 9 p.m. EDT, marking HSN’s first-ever partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products as part of a strategic alliance to elevate awareness surrounding the film’s release while introducing new collections that inspire fans.

WBCP is thrilled to be able to collaborate with all of our retail and licensing partners to create Wonder Woman-inspired fashion statements that support the Amazon Warrior’s strength, beauty and grace, empowering fans and fashion around the world.

“Wonder Woman” hits movie theaters around the world June 2, 2017, when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure Wonder Woman.  The film also stars Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen and Elena Anaya.

Patty Jenkins directed the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, based on characters from DC Entertainment.  Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.  The film was produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Richard Suckle, with Stephen Jones, Geoff Johns, Wesley Coller, Jon Berg and Rebecca Steel Roven serving as executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Tencent Pictures and Wanda Pictures, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, Wonder Woman.  The film is scheduled for release worldwide beginning June 2, 2017, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Legoland debuts The Lego Batman Movie Days in 2017

February 14, 2017

The Lego Batman Movie Days
(Photo courtesy of Merlin Entertainments)

“The LEGO Batman Movie,” from Warner Bros. Pictures and LEGO System A/S, LEGOLAND Parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers around the world will celebrate the Caped Crusader with an exclusive new event—The LEGO Batman Movie Days—taking place on select dates in 2017. The event, developed with The LEGO Group and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will take place on select dates at LEGOLAND locations worldwide in early 2017. For a list of planned activities, attraction hours and ticket prices at each site, visit www.LEGOLAND.com.

The Lego Batman Movie Days
(Photo courtesy of Merlin Entertainments)

The LEGO Batman Movie Days Schedule

LEGOLAND Parks

  • LEGOLAND California Resort (Carlsbad, Calif.): Feb. 18-19, 25-26
  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort (Winter Haven, Fla.): March 4-5, 11-12
  • LEGOLAND Windsor Resort (outside London): March 10-April 16
  • LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort (near Günzburg, Germany): Early April
  • LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort (Johor, Malaysia): Feb. 17-March 31

U.S. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Dates

  • Arizona: Feb. 11-March 26
  • Atlanta: Feb. 18-19, 25-26
  • Boston: Weekends in March
  • Chicago: Feb. 18-20, 25-26
  • Dallas: Jan. 1-Mar 2
  • Kansas City: Feb. 18-26
  • Michigan: Feb. 18-20, 25-26
  • Philadelphia: June 24-25
  • Westchester (Yonkers, N.Y.): Feb. 10-19

International LEGOLAND Discovery Center Dates

  • Manchester (U.K.): Jan. 9-March 31
  • Toronto: Feb. 25-26, March 4-5
  • Berlin: Jan. 28-March 5
  • Oberhausen (Germany): Feb. 10-March 5
  • Istanbul: Jan. 1-March 31
  • Osaka: April 1-30
  • Tokyo: April 1-30
  • Shanghai: Feb. 10-March 5
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