DC to play a bigger role at Warner Bros.
Studio announcing organizational shift next week
Advice to Warner Bros. film execs: If you're in a meeting with CEO Barry Meyer discussing DC Comics superheroes, you might want to think twice before saying things like, "But Batman wouldn't say that."
Meyer relayed the story of such a meeting while talking about how DC was going to play a much bigger role at the film studio going forward. He was speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.
There will be an organizational announcement next week, then in about a month Warner Bros. will unveil a spread sheet detailing how the various superheroes will be reintroduced to consumers, and on more than just feature film platforms.
Meyer said Warner Bros. has been looking after DC in a "custodial way," but it's now time to get "much more entrepreneurial."
The superheroes of DC, though, may not be enough to make up for the loss of "Harry Potter" after the final installment of that movie franchise is released July 15.
When a Wall Street analyst asked about the final Potter film, Meyer quipped, "It's going away? Harry Potter's leaving?"
He said it has been on his mind for a long time, then joked: "We're going to remake all the movies with Justin Bieber."
He predicted that by the time the final Potter film finishes its run, the franchise will have brought in $7.5 billion in worldwide box office, cementing its place as the most popular film franchise in history.
Then he told the analysts to start saving their money for the greatest DVD gift set of all time, though he didn't detail what is in store.
He compared the end of Potter with the end of the Warner Bros. TV series "Seinfeld."
"I am concerned about it, but not worried about it," he said.
Also at the conference he said the studio is considering a 3D movie for the "Harold & Kumar" franchise and that he sees the home entertainment busines stabilizing. Earlier at the conference, Fox Filmed Entertainment CEO Tom Rothman predicted growth for home entertainment next year.
Meyer also said he's working on ways to juice sales at the consumer products division of Warner Bros., which could be a tougher task without Potter movies to lean on.
"Disney is the gold standard for consumer products," he said. "There's a gap we can begin closing."
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