The Harry Potter franchise is nearing the end of its tremendously successful run at Warner Brothers as the kickoff to the finale begins with the first of the two-part conclusion to the final chapter of the series this November. To date, the franchise has brought in over $5.4 billion in worldwide box office gross, which easily cements its place as the biggest film franchise in overall gross, and we still have two films left. So it’s clear that WB cannot sit around and wait until the guaranteed bread winner is gone; they have to take action, and they aim to begin planning ahead by getting DC Comics more involved. Join me after the break for full quotes from CEO Barry Meyer on the future of WB and why I think they aren’t in a terrible position.
Meyer recently spoke to Heat Vision about the new direction WB would be taking with DC, stating that while they have taken a fix it if it breaks approach with DC, they would now get “much more entrepreneurial.” Details will emerge in a month how WB is planning to reintroduce numerous DC characters to audiences, and feature film isn’t the only platform target. As we all know, rumors continue to swirl around the upcoming Superman film, while Green Lantern is right around the corner. Additionally, the third installment in the Batman reboot will likely start production soon, and the last film grossed over $1 billion worldwide.
However, DC is far from the only franchise that WB will lean on. With 2010 in mind, Clash of the Titans is sitting in the top 10 for domestic hauls right now, and production on the sequel will begin soon as the principle cast is already back on board. Then we have the mind-bending heist film Inception, which cemented Christopher Nolan’s position at the company as a guaranteed money maker. Looking forward to upcoming releases this year, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is the first PG-rated Zack Snyder film, and will likely bring in a large take because of 3D prices and the sheer marketing behind it. Additionally, we have Due Date on the horizon as well, which has director Todd Phillips and star Zach Galifianakis coming off one of the most successful R-rated comedies to ever release (The Hangover). Coupling Galifianakis with Robert Downey, Jr., seems like an instant win, and the trailers to this point have been increasingly hilarious.
As for 2011, we have The Hangover 2, Zack Snyder’s insane looking Sucker Punch, Happy Feet 2 (the first made over $384 million worldwide), Green Lantern, and Sherlock Holmes 2. Oh, and 2012 might be even more promising with the Superman reboot, Get Smart 2, the third Batman film, and second Clash already on the slate. All of that, without mentioning the eighth and final Harry Potter film, set for July of 2011. Clearly, WB isn’t hurting without the Potter franchise, but it will lose most of the instant cache that allowed them to take some risks with their films.
Film isn’t the only avenue that WB is looking forward though, as Meyer said that he was looking to improve the companies’ stance in the consumer products division, with Disney setting the gold standard. “There’s a gap we can begin closing.” Oh, and don’t worry Potter fans, Meyer joked: “We’re going to remake all the movies with Justin Bieber.” Probably in 3D…