DC Entertainment said Tuesday it will relocate its business functions related to film, TV, multimedia and digital content production to Warner Bros. offices in Burbank. The moves are expected to be completed by the end of 2011.
The company's publishing operations will remain in New York, Diane Nelson, DC Entertainment president, said in a statement.
“These organizational changes reinforce the strengths of DC’s greatest legacies – most importantly its people and its creative talent – and offer greater opportunity for maximum growth, success and efficiency in the future,” said Nelson. “Our two offices will stretch and build their respective areas of focus, while prioritizing and aggressively striving to connect and cooperate more strongly than ever before between them and with their colleagues at Warner Bros.”
Warner Bros. and DC have had a great deal of success translating the Batman and Superman comics into film hits, but they have lagged behind their rival Marvel in migrating into the movie business. Warner launched DC Entertainment in 2009 in part to expand its film footprint.
The company also announced a new executive team – including company president Diane Nelson and chief creative officer Geoff Johns — last winter to help oversee this effort. Monday's news seems to accelerate the comic company's movement towards Hollywood and away from its print roots.
Comic book movies have dominated the box office for the past several years, making DC's ramped up film arm an increasingly important strategic move. For Warner Bros, it is also critical that the film company reach deeper into its comic book vault now that Disney has snapped up Marvel and its catalogue of characters such as Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Avengers.
“This strategic business realignment allows us to fully integrate and expand the DC brand in feature films as well as across multiple distribution platforms of Warner Bros. and Time Warner,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov. “We are creating a seamless, cohesive unit that will bring even more great characters and content to consumers everywhere.”
The next DC project up for Warner Bros. is the "Green Lantern" feature film starring Ryan Reynolds. The company has big plans for the $100 million plus tentpole picture, and a sequel is already in the works.
A big-budget movie based on "The Flash" and a reboot of "Superman" are also in various stages of development. Not to mention, Christopher Nolan's hotly anticipated follow-up to his mega-grossing 2008 film "The Dark Knight."