Warner Bros. Celebrates 90th Anniversary with 'Best of' Collection in 2013
One of the most respected, diversified and successful motion picture studios in the world, Warner Bros. began when the eponymous brothers-- Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack -- incorporated on April 4, 1923. Four years later, the release of The Jazz Singer, the world's first "talkie," set a tone of innovation and influence that would forever become synonymous with the Warner Bros. brand. Soon to be 90, Warner Bros. continues to entertain the world with films passionately produced, selectively acquired, carefully preserved and impeccably curated for both the casual and ultimate movie lover to enjoy forever.
As a result of all the films the studio has produced, co-produced (with numerous partners), acquired and distributed, Warner Bros. now boasts the largest film library in the world – 6,800 feature films, with 2,000 films currently available on DVD and Blu-ray™. The library includes 22 Academy Award®*-winning Best Pictures (the most in Oscar® history), and leading franchises such as Harry Potter™, Batman™, Lord of the Rings™, The Matrix and Superman™.
Beginning in January, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group (WBHEG) will launch a major Anniversary initiative that will continue through year-end 2013. This includes the release of seven new collections, including two limited and numbered anniversary collections -- 100 films on DVD and 50 films on Blu-ray™, both the largest collections of films ever released, to date, in their respective formats. The year-long celebration will also include several stand-alone releases of new-to-format classics on Blu-ray™ for the first time, including The Jazz Singer, all three James Dean films (East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, Giant), Cabaret and Academy Award® Best Picture Winners Grand Hotel (1932), Mrs. Miniver (1943), and Driving Miss Daisy(1990).
Stated Jeff Baker, WHV's Executive Vice President and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, "As the recognized leader in theatrical library market share, we're delighted to be celebrating our 90th with the largest, most compelling film collections in home entertainment history. We've put a lot of thought and care into the selection of these classics, and I think the results will be something movie fans -- from the casual to the dedicated – will embrace."
Finally, WBHEG will have a year-long trade program supported by an online and social media campaign. The campaign is designed to celebrate the films representing The Best of Warner Bros, by artfully connecting with movie-lovers through the memories that mirror, resemble, or remind them of their favorite movies. The microsite www.bestofwb.com will serve as the central hub for all content and provide fans with a richer and more integrated experience.
The Best of Warner Bros. 100 Film DVD Collection*: 100 movies including all 22 of Warner Bros. library's Best Picture ™ Winners and two new documentaries (details below) on 55 discs presented in book style premium packaging.
The Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Blu-ray™ Collection* includes 50 movies and the two new documentaries on 52 discs, also presented in book style premium packaging. It will introduce several new-to-Blu-ray film titles, including Grand Hotel, Mrs. Miniver, and Driving Miss Daisy.
Both of the above are limited and numbered collections and each includes a collectible poster and series of art cards featuring movie poster designs created by legendary American graphic designer Bill Gold.
Gold, who worked with Hollywood's greatest filmmakers, including Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Elia Kazan, and Ridley Scott, had this to say:
"My 65-year career began with Yankee Doodle Dandy and Casablanca and continued on to every Clint Eastwood picture from Dirty Harry to Mystic River (and I came out of retirement to design the poster for J. Edgar). In my wildest dreams I could not have foreseen the world I would inhabit and the joy it would bring me over the years. Every poster I worked on had a story to tell, and I'm delighted to be able to share a sampling of some of them in these collections."
The Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film DVD Collections will be released throughout the year in five separate sets. Each features a gem-packed collection of 20 essential movie classics in five major genres: Best Pictures (January), Musicals (February), Romance (April), Comedy (July) and Thrillers (September).
The Best of Warner Bros. Animation Collections will be released throughout the year in three separate animation sets. Each features animation at its best in three key brands Hanna-Barbera (May), Looney Tunes (June) and DC Comics (August).
The Best of Warner Bros. Superman TV Collection (May) features 9 essential Superman live action television and animated television shows in one collection.
Two New Documentaries to Celebrate Warner Bros. 90th Anniversary:
Created specially for this anniversary, Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot is a full-length documentary that features some of Warner Bros.' top talent and executives giving an inside look at the history of the studio. In on-the-lot interviews, stars including Clint Eastwood, Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Martin Sheen, along with current and former studio toppers Barry Meyer, Alan Horn, Bob Daly, and Terry Semel, and others, recount personal reflections and anecdotes about their experiences at the studio. Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot was produced by documentarian Gary Khammar (It's So Audrey! A Style Icon) and producer Bill Gerber (Gran Torino).
Now, for the first time, home viewers can take the hugely popular Warner Bros Studio VIP Tour in this new documentary produced exclusively for the 90th Anniversary collections. In The Warner Bros. Lot Tour, an official WB Lot Tour Guide gives guests a "virtual" tram ride (of what some 200,000 annual visitors experience) -- an extraordinary opportunity to see first-hand where movie magic happens at the world's busiest motion picture and television studio. Unlike a theme park, the Tour represents a rare and intimate "behind-the-scenes" look at real Hollywood, winding through back lot streets, sound stages, sets and craft shops.