According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros has decided to shut down its straight-to-video division, Warner Premiere. The studio cites the declining DVD market along with their decision to focus on digital distribution as the main reasons.
Warner Premiere is a relatively new division, having only been launched back in the mid 2000s, when there was still a big market for properties that are published straight to home video. Nowadays, the home video market is driven by properties that have been successful enough in the theatres to garner interest.
“Given the continuing decline in the direct-to-video film market and shifting business models in the production of digital series, the decision was made to close Warner Premiere,” the company said in a release. “The division will continue and complete production on its remaining film and digital series project into the fall. In addition, the evaluation of potential digital content will be folded into Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video will continue to produce and release animated films, such as Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry and DC Universe.”
As for the employees of Warner Premiere, the studio assures that since the division’s staff number in the single digits, they will be easily absorbed by Warner Bros.’ other divisions.