Warner Bros. To Exit Physical Media Production

Warner Bros. plans to shut down its physical media production department. A lot of Warner Bros-produced Films and Television series will still be getting Blu-Ray and DVD releases, though these releases will not be produced by Warner Bros themselves.

Additionally, straight-to-video projects at WB will be moved to streaming, making them HBO Max originals. Straight-to-video projects at WB include the home video Scooby-Doo movies and the animated DC movies, the latter of which went through a reboot last year with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

This move follows last year’s announcement of a pact by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to form a new joint venture that will distribute DVDs in North America for new releases, library titles, and TV content for up to 10 years.

Scooby-Doo! The Sword and the Scoob is the most recent straight-to-video Scooby-Doo film, with the next Scooby-Doo film being Scooby-Doo! and Courage the Cowardly Dog which has a vague 2021 release date. The most recent animated DC film is Batman: Soul of the Dragon, with Justice Society: World War II being planned for an April 27 2021 release date.

Furthermore, Warner Archive will still be kept around, for now. The Warner Archive Collection is a home video division for releasing classic and cult films from Warner Bros.’s library. It started as a manufactured-on-demand DVD series by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on March 23, 2009, with the intention of putting previously unreleased catalog films on DVD for the first time.

While this might be shocking to fans of physical media releases, it is ultimately understandable that a media conglomerate like Warner Bros is planning to move out of the physical media space. This is likely due to the long and slow decline of physical disc sales. Sales of DVDs in the U.S. fell 9.4% in 2019, to $5.9 billion, down from about $9 billion in the U.S. in 2011, according to trade group DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.

UPDATE: While Warner Bros is not abandoning home video media completely, the amount of Warner Bros films and shows that will be getting physical media releases will be going down as the idea is to develop more interest in HBO Max.

Emre Kaya

Editor-In-Chief of The Vulcan Reporter. Bylines include; What's On Netflix, The Cinema Spot, The GWW. Contact: [email protected]
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