Warner Bros. Pictures has unexpectedly shut down both of its dedicated specialty units – Warner Independent Pictures and Picturehouse.
Most of Picturehouse’s and WIP’s 70-strong personnel are being made redundant and the studio will now release the remaining projects of both studios under the Warners banner. These include “Mongol,” “Kit Kittredge,” “The Women,” “Towelhead,” and “Slumdog Millionaire”.
Around 30 projects at WIP and 10 projects at Picturehouse were in development. Some are expected to be absorbed by Warners, others will be passed out to other distributors.
Whilst both companies released about fifty titles, only two really crossed over to strong success – “March of the Penguins” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”.
The move now leaves Warners as the sole studio of the major six without a dedicated speciality division.