Warner Unveils Massive Disc Collections for Its 90th Anniversary3 Oct, 2012 By: Stephanie Prange
The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group Oct. 3 on the studio lot unveiled elaborate plans for a yearlong global 90th anniversary celebration.
Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyer and other executives revealed the new 90th anniversary logo as well as multiple new DVD and Blu-ray Disc collections coming in 2013, including enormous 100-film DVD and 50-film Blu-ray collections.
Warner Bros. boasts the largest film library in the world — 6,800 feature films, with 2,000 films available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The library includes 22 Academy Award*-winning Best Pictures (the most in Oscars history), and leading franchises such as “Harry Potter,” “Batman,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “The Matrix” and “Superman.”
Meyer credited Warner's “innovative thinking and forward-focused culture” — including its pioneering of sound in pictures — as well as consistent, strong relationships with talent for its lasting success.
Warner has created two new documentaries. One of them, Tales From the Warner Bros. Lot, has interviews and other footage shot entirely on the lot. Jeff Baker, Warner Home Video's EVP and GM of theatrical catalog, said he required that it all be shot on the lot to make the historic lot the star. Meyer noted that in 1928 the Warner brothers, Harry, Al, Sam and Jack, acquired First National Pictures, which included the existing lot. “Since 1928, we’ve never left this studio,” he said. “There are many buildings and locations on the lot today that are part of the original construction.”
Warner also spent time and money restoring classic films for the 90th, which the studio will be celebrating throughout 2013. One such classic The Wizard of Oz, will get special 3D treatment next year for its disc release, which includes a theatrical release to kick it off.
Also part of the celebration is a 40-film Clint Eastwood DVD collection with a documentary on the actor and filmmaker. Baker called it "the largest film collection devoted to an actor and director in the history of the business." It includes a new documentary, Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story.
Several 20-film DVD collections will also be released on Best Picture winners, thrillers, comedies, romances and musicals. Blu-ray sets include gangster collections, a James Dean collection and others, many featuring films released for the first time in Blu-ray high definition. New-to-Blu-ray titles include The Jazz Singer, the iconic film that launched sound in pictures; Grand Hotel; Mrs. Miniver; House of Wax 3D and Cabaret.
Several animation and other collections are also being released.
Star Jane Withers (Giant) and directors William Friedkin (The Exorcist) and Richard Donner (Superman) were on hand for the announcement, as well as Cass Warner, the granddaughter of founder Harry Warner.