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New Line Cinema

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Line Productions, Inc.
New Line Cinema
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryFilm production
Television production
FoundedJune 18, 1967; 57 years ago (1967-06-18) in New York City, United States (as a separate studio)
February 29, 2008; 16 years ago (2008-02-29) (as a unit of Warner Bros. Pictures)
FounderRobert Shaye
DefunctFebruary 29, 2008; 16 years ago (2008-02-29) (as a separate studio)
FateAbsorbed into Warner Bros. Pictures; currently active as a unit of the latter
SuccessorWarner Bros. Pictures
Headquarters4000 Warner Blvd, ,
Key people
Divisions Edit this on Wikidata
Footnotes / references

New Line Productions, Inc.,[1] doing business as New Line Cinema, is an American film and television production studio owned by Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD). Since 2008, it has been operating as a unit of Warner Bros. Pictures.

It was founded in 1967 by Robert Shaye as an independent film distribution company; later becoming a film studio after acquired by Turner Broadcasting System in 1994; Turner later merged with Time Warner Entertainment (later known as WarnerMedia from 2018 to 2022, and Warner Bros. Discovery since 2022) in 1996, and New Line was merged with Warner Bros. Pictures in 2008.[5] The studio has been nicknamed "The House that Freddy Built" due to the success of the Nightmare on Elm Street film series.[6] However, their most successful property was their film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien with considerable commercial success and numerous Academy Awards.

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Original logo used onscreen from 1967 till 1987

New Line Cinema was established in 1967 by the then 27-year-old Robert Shaye as a film distribution company, supplying foreign and art films for college campuses in the United States. Shaye operated New Line's offices out of his apartment at 14th Street and Second Avenue in New York City. One of the company's early successes was its distribution of the 1936 anti-cannabis propaganda film Reefer Madness, which became a cult hit on American college campuses in the early 1970s. New Line also released many classic foreign-language films, like Stay As You Are, Immoral Tales and Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (which became the first New Line film to win an Oscar).[7] The studio has also released many of the films of John Waters.

In 1976, New Line secured funding to produce its first full-length feature, Stunts (1977), directed by Mark L. Lester. Although not considered a critical success, the film performed well commercially on the international market and on television.[8]

In 1980, Shaye's law school classmate Michael Lynne became outside counsel and adviser to the company and renegotiated its debt.[7][9]

In 1983, Bryanston Distributing Company, the company that first distributed the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, lost the rights to that film, and the rights reverted to the original owners. New Line bought the rights and re-released the film to theatres that same year. It became very successful for the studio.[10]

New Line expanded its film production in the early 1980s, producing or co-producing films including Polyester, directed by John Waters, and Alone in the Dark. Polyester was one of the first films to introduce a novelty cinema experience named Odorama, where members of the audience were provided with a set of "scratch and sniff" cards to be scratched and sniffed at specific times during the film, which provided an additional sensory connection to the viewed image.[8] In 1983, Lynne joined the board.[7] In 1984, Dawn Altyn and Jeff Youngs joined New Line, respectively as sales manager, eastern and southern divisions of New Line Distribution, and national print controller of the studio, to distribute new projects.[11]

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street was produced and released by New Line Cinema in 1984. The resulting franchise was New Line Cinema's first commercially successful series, leading the company to be nicknamed "The House that Freddy Built".[6] The film was made on a budget of $1.8 million and grossed over $57 million.[12] A year later, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge was released, and grossed $3.3 million in its first three days of release and over $30 million at the US box office. In 1986, the company went public, and held 1,613,000 shares of common stock.[7][13]

With the success of the Elm Street franchise, New Line Cinema made moves to expand their business. This included a revamping of their distribution network,[14] the sale of their films into broadcast syndication and pay-TV (via Embassy Communications and Universal Pay Television, respectively),[15][16] and the creation of an international distribution arm.[17]

Logo used from 1987 to 2001; all subsequent logos have been variants derived from this logo

The third film in the series, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, was released in 1987, the studio's first national release,[18] and opened at number one, grossing $8.9 million for the weekend, a record for an independent film at the time,[19] and went on to gross almost $45 million at the US box office. A further six films have been made. The first six grossed $500 million worldwide[12] and the next three $250 million, for a total of $750 million.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In 1990, Lynne became president and chief operating officer, with Shaye as chairman and chief executive officer.[7] The same year, New Line released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which became the highest-grossing independent film of all-time with a gross of $135 million in the United States and Canada, until it was surpassed by The Blair Witch Project (1999).[20][21][22] It was followed by a sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) which was the second highest-grossing[23] with a gross of $78 million in the United States and Canada.[24] A third, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III followed in 1993.


In November 1990, New Line Cinema purchased a 52% stake in the television production company RHI Entertainment (now Halcyon Studios), which would later be sold to Hallmark Cards in 1994.

In early 1991, Fine Line Features was set up as a wholly owned subsidiary headed by Ira Deutchman and released films including Jane Campion's An Angel at My Table and Gus van Sant's My Own Private Idaho.[25] Halfway through the year, Carolco Pictures, entered into a joint venture with New Line Cinema to start Seven Arts, a distribution company which primarily released much of Carolco's low-budget output.[26] In 1997, Shine received the studio's first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture[7] and their second film to win an Academy Award with Geoffrey Rush's win for Academy Award for Best Actor.[27]

In May 1991, New Line Cinema purchased the home video and foreign rights to 600 films held by Sultan Entertainment Holdings (a.k.a. Nelson Entertainment). The deal also included an 11-film distribution deal with Castle Rock Entertainment. On November 27, 1991, New Line Cinema purchased Sultan outright.[28][29]

In 1992, Michael De Luca became executive vice-president and chief executive officer of the production unit.[30]

Acquisition by Turner and Time Warner

On January 28, 1994, New Line Cinema was acquired by the Turner Broadcasting System for $500 million,[31][32] which later merged with Time Warner Entertainment in 1996. New Line Cinema was kept as its own separate entity, while fellow Turner-owned studios Hanna-Barbera Productions and Castle Rock Entertainment eventually became units of Warner Bros.

During its time as an entity separate from Warner Bros., New Line Cinema continued to operate several divisions, including theatrical distribution, marketing and home video.

The company's fortunes took a downturn in 1996 after losses on The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Long Kiss Goodnight.[9]

Logo used since 2001, a slight modification of the 1987 logo. While used onscreen only once since 2010, this logo frequently appears on promotional material; the current variant used since 2024 has a similar onscreen ident, albeit with minor variations including the font

The Lord of the Rings

New Line Cinema produced The Lord of the Rings film trilogy which became their most successful films to date, grossing over $2.9 billion worldwide.[7] The films were nominated for 30 Academy Awards, including nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture for each film, and won 17, with the final picture, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) winning a (joint) record eleven, including Best Picture,[7][33] as well as being the second highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release.[34]

Despite the success of The Lord of the Rings films, Town and Country (2001) generated a loss of $100 million and De Luca left as production head to be replaced by Toby Emmerich.[9] In 2001, Shaye and Lynne became co-chairmen and co-CEO.[7]

The studio was also a partner in founding a new distribution company named Picturehouse in 2005. Specializing in independent film, Picturehouse was formed by Bob Berney, who left distributor Newmarket Films, New Line Cinema, who folded their Fine Line division into Picturehouse, and HBO Films, a division of HBO and a subsidiary of Time Warner, who was interested in getting into the theatrical film business.

Merger with Warner Bros.

Variant in use from 2011 to 2024; the logotype has been used since 2011

On February 28, 2008, Time Warner's CEO at the time, Jeffrey Bewkes, announced that New Line Cinema would be shut down as a separately operated studio. Shaye and Lynne said that they would step down with a letter to their employees. They promised, however, along with Time Warner and Jeffery Bewkes, that the company would continue to operate its financing, producing, marketing and distributing operations of its own films, but would do so as a part of Warner Bros. and be a smaller studio, releasing a smaller number of films than in past years.[2] The box office disappointment of The Golden Compass (2007) was largely blamed for the decision, in which New Line Cinema spent $180 million on its development, yet it only grossed $70 million in the United States market.[35] In March, Emmerich became president and chief operating officer, whilst both founders Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne had left the company.

On May 8, 2008, it was announced that Picturehouse would shut down in the fall.[36] Berney later bought the Picturehouse trademarks from Warner Bros. and relaunched the company in 2013.[37]

New Line Cinema moved from its long-time headquarters on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles in June 2014 to Warner Bros.' lot Building 76, formerly used by Legendary Entertainment, a former Warner Bros. film co-financier.[38] The last film released by New Line Cinema as a free-standing company was the Will Ferrell film Semi-Pro.

Since 2016, New Line Cinema had been producing its own television series (New Line Television had been folded into Warner Bros. Television in 2008).

As for the company's future, Alan Horn, the Warner Bros. president at the time of the consolidation, stated, "There's no budget number required. They'll be doing about six per year, though the number may go from four to seven; it's not going to be 10." As to content, "New Line will not just be doing genre [...] There's no mandate to make a particular kind of movie."[39]


Film series

Title Release date No. Films Notes
Evil Dead 1981–2023 2 Co-production with Warner Bros.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984–2010 9
Critters 1986–92 (2019) 4 (5)
House Party 1990–present 6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990–93 3 Co-production with 20th Century Fox (1991–93)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1990–2006
Friday the 13th 1993–2009 4
Dumb and Dumber 1994–2003 (14) 2 (3) Co-production with Universal Pictures (2014)
The Mask 1994–2005 2 Co-production with Dark Horse Entertainment
Friday 1995–2002 3
Mortal Kombat 1995–present
Austin Powers 1997–2002
Blade 1998–2004 Co-production with Marvel Entertainment
Rush Hour 1998–2007
Final Destination 2000–present 5
The Cell 2000–09 2
The Lord of the Rings 2001–03 3
Harold & Kumar 2004–11
Sex and the City 2008–10 2 co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO Films
Horrible Bosses 2011–14 co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures
The Hobbit 2012–14 3 co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Conjuring Universe 2013–present 8 co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures
Rocky 2015–18 2 co-production with Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
It 2017–19
Shazam! 2019–23 3 Co-production with DC Studios
Part of the DC Extended Universe

Highest-grossing films

Rank Title Year Worldwide gross Notes
1 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King* 2003 $1,142,456,987
2 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012 $1,017,003,568 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures; co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
3 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 2013 $958,366,855
4 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 2014 $956,019,788
5 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers* 2002 $943,396,133
6 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring* 2001 $888,159,092
7 It 2017 $701,796,444 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures; co-production with Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures and KatzSmith Productions
8 San Andreas 2015 $473,990,832 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures; co-production with Village Roadshow Pictures
9 It Chapter Two 2019 $473,093,228 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures; co-production with Double Dream, Vertigo Entertainment, and Rideback
10 Sex and the City 2008 $418,765,321 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures; co-production with HBO Films
11 Shazam! 2019 $365,971,656 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures; co-production with DC Films
12 The Nun 2018 $365,550,119 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures; co-production with Atomic Monster and The Safran Company
13 The Mask 1994 $351,583,407
14 Rush Hour 2 2001 $347,325,802
15 The Conjuring 2 2016 $321,788,219
16 The Conjuring 2013 $319,494,638 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
17 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 1999 $312,016,928
18 Annabelle: Creation 2017 $306,515,884 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
19 Austin Powers in Goldmember 2002 $296,938,801
20 Wedding Crashers 2005 $288,467,645
16 We're the Millers 2013 $269,994,119 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
18 Rush Hour 3 2007 $258,097,122
19 Annabelle 2014 $257,579,282 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
20 Dumb and Dumber 1994 $247,275,374
21 Rush Hour 1998 $244,386,864
22 Annabelle Comes Home 2019 $231,252,591 Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
23 Elf 2003 $221,845,341
24 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 $201,965,915
25 Straight Outta Compton 2015 $201,634,991 Distributed by Universal Pictures; co-production with Legendary Pictures

*Includes theatrical reissue(s).

See also


  1. ^ a b Billington, Alex (February 28, 2008). "It's Official – New Line Cinema is Dead!". Archived from the original on March 2, 2008.
  2. ^ "New Line Productions Inc - Company Profile and News - Bloomberg Markets". Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  3. ^ "Warner Bros. Entertainment Executives". WarnerMedia. Archived from the original on July 14, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "History of New Line Cinema, Inc. – FundingUniverse". Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Kit, Borys (July 21, 2016). "How New Line Cinema Is Making a Killing in Horror". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 8, 2022. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Collins, Keith (August 22, 2004). "A brief history". Variety. Archived from the original on January 10, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  7. ^ a b "New Line Cinema : About Us". Archived from the original on January 3, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Hafetz, David (August 22, 2004). "The Two Towers". Variety. Archived from the original on January 10, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  9. ^ Bozman, Ron (Production manager) (2008). The Business of Chain Saw: Interview with Ron Bozman from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (DVD). Dark Sky Films. Event occurs at 0:11:40–0:16:25.
  10. ^ "Name Altyn, Youngs to New Line Posts". Variety. February 8, 1984. p. 24.
  11. ^ a b Mitchell, Chris (August 10, 1992). "Shrewd marketing fuels Freddy promotion". Variety. p. 36.
  12. ^ "New Line Going Public". Variety. July 23, 1986. p. 4.
  13. ^ Greenberg, James (April 9, 1986). "New Line Details Next 4 Prods; Plans Up To 12 Releases A Year". Variety. p. 4.
  14. ^ "New Line Cinema Movie Package Fortifies Embassy Communications". Variety. July 30, 1986. p. 41.
  15. ^ "New Line, Universal Pay TV Sign Cable Deal For Theatrical Pics". Variety. June 10, 1987. p. 46.
  16. ^ "New Line Finds Better Results By Pushing Product Ahead of Mifed". Variety. October 21, 1987. pp. 18, 504.
  17. ^ Silverman, Michael (May 21, 1986). "New Line Adds 2 In-House Pics To Production Schedule For '87". Variety. p. 7.
  18. ^ "'Elm Street 3' Sets Indie B.O. Record; National Biz Lively". Variety. March 4, 1987. p. 3.
  19. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  20. ^ "'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': Untold Story of the Movie "Every Studio in Hollywood" Rejected". The Hollywood Reporter. April 2, 2015. Archived from the original on June 21, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  21. ^ "Undercover Indies: The Unlikely Origin Story of 1990's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'". Film Independent. August 20, 2021. Archived from the original on February 21, 2022. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  22. ^ "In Winners Circle". Daily Variety. August 17, 1993. p. I-49. Archived from the original on August 17, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  23. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (1991)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on November 12, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  24. ^ Eller, Claudia (October 24, 1991). "Fine Line Features Enters Coprod'n Arena Via 2 Pix". Daily Variety. p. 1.
  25. ^ "Carolco, New Line in Distribution Agreement". Los Angeles Times. July 19, 1990. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  26. ^ "The Line on Laurels". Variety. August 23, 2004. pp. 40–41.
  27. ^ "Nightmares, Turtles And Profits". September 29, 1991. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  28. ^ "COMPANY CONFORMED NAME: TURNER BROADCASTING SYSTEM INC" (TXT). Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  29. ^ "Shifts At New Line". Variety. October 26, 1992. p. 6.
  30. ^ "New Line to Join Ted Turner Empire Today : Film: With more money, the company is likely to add a few big movies to its annual production schedule". Los Angeles Times. January 28, 1994. Archived from the original on May 31, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  31. ^ "Robert Shaye". Daily Variety (61st anniversary ed.). January 12, 1995. p. 28.
  32. ^ "The 76th Academy Awards (2004) Nominees and Winners". Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  33. ^ "All Time Worldwide Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on June 5, 2004.
  34. ^ "Dial 'D' for disaster: The fall of New Line Cinema". The Independent. London. April 16, 2008. Archived from the original on June 18, 2022.
  35. ^ Hayes, Dade; McNary, Dave (May 8, 2008). "Picturehouse, WIP to close shop". Variety. Archived from the original on July 14, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  36. ^ Fleming, Mike (January 15, 2013). "The Berneys are Back with Picturehouse, and Now They've got Metallica". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 18, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  37. ^ McNary, Dave (January 30, 2014). "New Line Leaving Longtime Los Angeles HQ, Moving to Burbank". Variety. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  38. ^ McNary, Dave (June 27, 2008). "New Line still has irons in fire". Variety.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 July 2024, at 14:52
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