Warner Bros. Shuts Down Warner Premiere

Warner Bros Intro Logo - H 2012

Warner Bros Intro Logo - H 2012

Studio cites declining direct-to-video market, shifting models in the production of digital series as reasons.

Warner Bros. has shut down Warner Premiere, its straight-to-video division.

The label was launched at the height of the DVD boom in the mid-2000s, when consumers rabidly bought movies made specifically for the format.

Warners cited the declining DVD market and the current transition to digital in a statement released Monday.

“Given the continuing decline in the direct-to-video film market and shifting business models in the production of digital series, the decision was made to close Warner Premiere,” the company said in a release. “The division will continue and complete production on its remaining film and digital series project into the fall.  In addition, the evaluation of potential digital content will be folded into Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, and Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video will continue to produce and release animated films, such as Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry and DC Universe.”

The company said the division’s staff numbered in the single digits and that most would be absorbed by other divisions.

Among the more high-profile offering produced by Warner Premiere were 2008’s Lost Boys: The Tribe and 2010’s Lost Boys: The Thirst, Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control (which was made concurrently with the Steve Carell-Anne Hathaway comedy),  Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning, and the original horror movie The Hills Run Red.

Warner Premiere is involved the recently-launched H+,  the high-profile online series being produced by Bryan Singer. Warner Digital will now take the lead on H+.