Warner Bros. takes over New Line movie slate

Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:48am EDT

In this file photo actor John Cho, star of the new comedy film ''Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle'' poses with friend, actress Cheryl Hines at the film's premiere. Actor John Cho, star of the new comedy film ''Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle'' poses with friend, actress Cheryl Hines at the film's premiere in Hollywood July 27, 2004. When Warner Bros. takes over New Line Cinema it will first handle the comedy sequel ''Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay,'' which is set for an April 25 release. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

In this file photo actor John Cho, star of the new comedy film ''Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle'' poses with friend, actress Cheryl Hines at the film's premiere. Actor John Cho, star of the new comedy film ''Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle'' poses with friend, actress Cheryl Hines at the film's premiere in Hollywood July 27, 2004. When Warner Bros. takes over New Line Cinema it will first handle the comedy sequel ''Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay,'' which is set for an April 25 release.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Warner Bros. Pictures is wasting little time taking over the movie slate of corporate sibling New Line Cinema, which is being downsized after several lean years at the box office.

The first movie Warner Bros. will handle is the comedy sequel "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay," which is set for an April 25 release.

Also, "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D" will keep its July 11 slot, after being temporarily placed in limbo. After New Line's downsizing, announced February 28, there was talk that "Journey" might be moved to October or even next year.

There was concern that releasing the movie July 11 would conflict with Warner Bros.' July 18 release of the Batman sequel "The Dark Knight," though after screenings, it became clear that the high-testing "Journey" skews young and would not cannibalize the same audience.

New Line will likely lose most of its 600 employees when it becomes a production entity on the Warner Bros. lot. Distribution and marketing operations are expected to be severely curtailed. The studio has been on the ropes for the past few years as films such as "Snakes on a Plane," "The Golden Compass" and "Semi-Pro" failed to connect with audiences. Both studios are units of Time Warner Inc.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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