HHN29 Discussion: What’s Up With Warner Bros, Doc?

Warner Bros is perhaps as famous for its vast variety of cartoon characters as it is for its huge horror catalogue.  From Bugs Bunny to Jason Voorhees they are all stabled under the glorious umbrella at Warners.  With Fox being swallowed up by Disney, Universal getting just as aggressive in Central Florida as it is with its distribution of movies and IPs, it leaves Warners and the next big player in town.  And as of late it appears that Warners have made a few distinctive moves to keep their seat at the top of Tinsel Town, its these moves and their bearing on HHN that I wanted to discuss; so what is Warners up to….

The Catalyst?

Back in June last year AT&T have finally completed its $85BN buying of Time Warner Inc. making the final combination set of Warner Bros., HBO, DC Comics and Turner with AT&T’s leadership in technology and its video, mobile and broadband customer relationships.  With the prospect of ensuring that Warners can make, distribute and better control its properties to maximum commercial affect. And they wasted no time in getting the ball rolling…

Controlling Cable

AT&T, the new owners of Warners, have pulled HBO and Cinemax programs from the Dish Network Corp.’s satellite service after the companies failed to reach a new distribution agreement, setting up a giant rift between the companies as reported here on Bloomberg last November.

It is the first time in over 30 years that HBO has been pulled from a major distributor and the decision even got the Justice Department involved.

Leaving Netflix

With Disney rumoured to be pulling their shows from Netflix in order to start their own streaming service, it appears that Warners are about to undertake their own arrangement too.  Reported here, it appears Warners too will be pulling content from the world’s largest streaming service in order to offer their own new streaming facility where brand new and current HBO, DC and Warner shows will be exclusively streamed.

Starting their own version of HHN

Last year Warners successfully started their own version of HHN, called ‘Horror Made Here’ it also marked the first time since 2015 that Universal’s HHN didn’t have a Warner Bros property in their horror line-up (discounting Trick r Treat which although was distributed via Warners, it was made via Legendary Pictures who have contractual links to both companies).

Universal’s Naming of their New Park

Warners have long partnered with Universal with the likes of HHN or the Harry Potter additions to the parks.  However, the news broke last night from Park Rumors that shows that perhaps Warners might not be too happy about the proposed name for their new park.  Read more about the issue here where our buddy Brian has written up an interesting piece.

So where does this leave HHN?

Warners have a big library of horror, the majority of it was inherited when they respectively purchased both New Line Cinema (the basis of HHN17 was built around these properties in 2007) and DC Comics.  If Warners are now being more protective over their brands as seen in the examples from their article, it would appear that perhaps WB content will be pulled from future HHNs.

Which although some fans will say this is a bad thing because they won’t get Nun/IT/Jason/Freddy/Joker etc. maze, it will mean that future HHNs will likely have to focus on:

  • Original content (some of the best houses in HHN history have been original concepts, read more about them here).
  • Their own back catalogue of movies, notable their own heritage of horror (which was very successful in Hollywood’s HHN last year!)
  • Pulling properties from other production houses, though likely not from Fox as the mouse will be owning that very soon.
  • Smaller production houses/properties, such as the Killer Klowns (which was very awesome last year!)

So there you have it.  Warner Bros. is an evolving animal that is changing to meet the needs of the market, which is no bad thing, but only time will tell whether this is a good or bad thing for HHN.

Let us know in the comments what you think about Warners moves and what you would like to see for HHN29 or even HHN30!