Wow. Artisan and Orion Pictures may soon have company down in Movie Hell.
News is breaking out all over the internet that, after months of legal and financial difficulties, New Line Cinema (aka “The House That Freddy Built“) is officially dead. According to Slashfilm, all employees at New Line received the following e-mail this morning:
“February 28, 2008
To: New Line Colleagues
From: Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne
Subject: Our Company
This afternoon, Time Warner is announcing that New Line will become a unit of Warner Bros. This is, of course, a very difficult and emotional time for all of us who have worked at New Line. While there is not much we can say that can lessen the impact of this announcement, we did want you to know about the decision before you read about it in the press.
New Line will maintain its own identity and will continue to produce, market, and distribute movies. But New Line will now do so as part of Warner Bros. and will probably be a much smaller operation than in the past. Time Warner hopes that operating New Line as a unit of Warner Bros. will allow New Line to focus on the creative side of movie-making, while reducing costs and taking advantage of Warner Bros.’ distribution systems. The company will be holding group meeting with New Line employees tomorrow in Los Angeles and New York to discuss this announcement, and is committed to letting employees know as soon as possible about how this change affects them individually.
For our part, we will be stepping down as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOS of New Line. This was a painful decision, because we love New Line and the people who work here have been like our second families. 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. Those movies are a tribute to the amazing creative energy and entrepreneurial abilities of the talented people at New Line. They are a legacy that will endure forever.
Although we are stepping out of New Line, we intend to remain actively involved in the industry in an entrepreneurial capacity, and will keep you advised of developments.
We thank all of you who have worked so hard to make New Line such a success. We are very proud of every one of you.
Bob & Michael”
It comes as no surprise given the massive box office failure of The Golden Compass and the numerous lawsuits over Lord of the Rings revenues. Still, New Line has long been one of the leading horror movie studios, so let’s hope Warner will salvage the company and continue on in its grand tradition of scaring us shitless.
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