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Warner Bros.

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Warner Bros. (an abbreviation for Warner Bros. Entertainment) is one of the world's largest producers of film and television entertainment. It is presently a subsidiary of the Time Warner conglomerate and headquartered in Burbank, California.

Warner Bros. (WB) includes several subsidiary companies, among them Warner Bros. Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Home Video, Castle Rock Entertainment, Turner Entertainment, Dark Castle Entertainment and, Hanna-Barbera Productions, although the latter's properties are managed directly by WB or the Cartoon Network.

The , in a version used from  to late .
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The WB Shield, in a version used from 2001 to late 2003.
Contents

History

The first WB enterprise, Warner Brothers Studios, was co-founded in Hollywood, California, in 1923 by four brothers, Harry Warner (1881-1958), Albert Warner (1882-1967), Sam Warner (1887-1927) and Jack Warner (1892-1978).

The first major star of the studio was a dog, Rin Tin Tin. The canine actor is credited with saving the studio from bankruptcy. Rin Tin Tin made 26 films for WB starting in 1924 with "Man From Hell's River."

In 1927, the brothers took a big financial risk that paid off handsomely: they invested in the new technology of sound for movies, and produced The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson. The movie was a sensational box-office hit, sparking the wave of "talking pictures" and ending the era of silent movies. The success led Warner Bros. to buy the First National studio lot in Burbank in 1929. For many years afterwards, Warner Bros. features filmed in Burbank bore the words "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture."

During the 1930s, the Warner Bros. Studio became known for producing gritty, dark crime films that were accused of glorifying the gangster lifestyle. Movie stars such as James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart rose to fame at WB portraying gangster and other tough guys. WB also produced a number of action-adventure movies, practically monopolizing the genre of the swashbuckler, and forever identifying the name of Errol Flynn with Robin Hood.

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Bosko and Honey in Hold Anything (1930).

WB's cartoon studio began modestly in 1930 under the management of Leon Schlesinger, as former Disney animators Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, Jack King, and Friz Freleng directed a series of mediocre cartoons starring Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid and Buddy. However, with the arrival of Tex Avery at the studio and the birth of Termite Terrace, the studio gave birth to a new wave of insane cartoons that captured the hearts and funny bones of fans around the world. The studio was bought outright by Warner Bros. in the mid-1940s, and in subsequent decades characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck became central figures of the company's image.

In January 5, 1948, Warner Brothers was the first to show a color newsreel. The subjects of the newsreel was the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl.

In January 11, 1995, Warner Bros. created The WB Television Network as a broadcast outlet for Warner Brothers' TV properties. Among its early programming included Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 7th Heaven and Dawson's Creek. Ironically, none of these three programs that helped to anchor the WB were produced by Warner Brothers. Buffy was produced by Fox, 7th Heaven by Aaron Spelling's production unit (a unit of Paramount Pictures/Viacom), and Dawson's Creek by Columbia Tri-Star Television.

In the late 1990s, Warner Bros. obtained the rights to produce the Harry Potter films and released the first one in 2001 the second one in 2002 and the third one in 2004 .

Film library

Over the years, a series of mergers and acquisitions have led WB (the present-day Time-Warner subsidiary) to acquire a diverse collection of movies, cartoons, and television programs.

In 1956, both the aftermath of the 1948 anti-trust suit and the advent of television led WB to sell its early films and cartoons (pre-1948) to a holding company which became Associated Artists Productions (AAP), for broadcast under AAP's label. Two years later, AAP sold the assets to United Artists (UA); they held it until 1986, when MGM bought UA. Shortly thereafter, Turner Broadcasting System bought the rights to MGM films made before 1986, including the pre-'48 WB material that had been a part of the MGM/UA library. The ownership of the classic WB films came full-circle when Time Warner bought Turner, although technically they are under the ownership of Turner Entertainment while WB is once again responsible for their distribution.

These acquisitions, among others, mean that WB owns almost every film they've made since its inception (with the exception of certain films WB merely distributed, such as the United States Pictures catalog now owned by Paramount/Republic, and My Fair Lady, which is now owned by CBS), as well as all pre-1986 titles from MGM, a majority of the RKO Radio Pictures library, and a small portion of United Artists material (most of this under its Turner subsidiary). In addition, WB also owns the Hanna-Barbera Productions library of television cartoons, the Lorimar television and film holdings (except The Choirboys, Tank, and The Last Starfighter, which are owned by Universal Pictures), the theatrical distribution rights to Castle Hill Productions' library (which also includes early UA material), and other films originally released by other companies, such as the 1956 version of Around the World in Eighty Days (originally a UA picture), most of the Saul Zaentz film library, the post-1974 Rankin-Bass library, and all Castle Rock Entertainment films made after the Castle Rock/Turner merger (except The Story of Us).

UA donated pre-1949 Warner Bros. nitrates to the Library of Congress and post-1951 negatives to UCLA's film library.

Notable WB movies

The following is a partial list of films that Warner Bros. has produced, co-produced, and/or distributed:

1920s

1930s

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A scene from WB's 1942 film Casablanca.

1940s

1950s

1960s

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1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

External links

fr:Warner Bros. Entertainment ja:ワーナー・ブラザーズ nl:Warner Brothers Entertainment pl:Warner Bros. pt:Warner Bros. sv:Warner Bros.

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