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New Line Acquired by Warner Bros Pictures

Posted: February 29th, 2008 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
New Line Acquired by Warner Bros PicturesSubmit Comment
The colorful 40-year run of New Line is coming to an abrupt end, costing the jobs of most of the company's 600 staff members. The company will be folded into Warner Bros as a small genre arm, but its two toppers, Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, will not be part of the package.

"This was a painful decision, because we love New Line, and the people who work here have been like our second families," Shaye and Lynne said. "But we will be leaving the company with enormous pride in what all of us at New Line have accomplished together. From its humble beginnings 40 years ago, our studio has created some of the most popular and successful movies of all time."

The curtain fell just four years after "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" vaulted New Line to the pinnacle of the film biz. The third installment of the ultra-risky $270 million trilogy won the best picture Oscar and grossed $1.1 billion worldwide.

Founded by Shaye in his Greenwich Village apartment in 1967 (Lynne, a Columbia Law School classmate, would join in 1990), New Line originally trafficked in a checkered mix of auteur films like Godard's "Sympathy for the Devil" and midnight movies like "Reefer Madness" and early John Waters fare.

After years of hand-to-mouth existence, the company reached a new level of stability thanks to the 1980s home video boom and the startling $25.5 million take from slasher pic "Nightmare on Elm Street" in 1984.

Having survived brushes with insolvency, the company became expert at serving the teen and twentysomething audience, pioneering the use of street teams and campus screenings. After "Nightmare" came profitable franchises like "House Party," "Friday," "Blade," "Austin Powers" and "Rush Hour."

With its newfound success came two acquisitions -- one by Ted Turner, the other by Time Warner -- that made Shaye a billionaire.

Source: Variety


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