Under New Strategy Warner Bros. Studios Will Be Broken Out Into Three Distinct Businesses
Industry veterans and former MGM film executives Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy have been appointed co-chairpersons and CEOs of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, which currently includes Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, DC-Based Film Production, and Warner Bros. Feature Animation.
As part of a new long-range strategy, Warner Bros. Pictures Group will be broken out into three distinct business segments with Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Feature Animation, and DC-Based Film Production each under separate leadership. In the interim, these segments will remain under the film group with day-to-day oversight by De Luca and Abdy.
Most recently, De Luca and Abdy led MGM Studios as motion picture group chairman and president, respectively, since 2020. They are stepping down following Amazon’s $8.5 billion deal to acquire MGM and will join Warner Bros. Discovery this summer after a period of transition.
“Michael and Pam are supremely talented creative leaders with a proven track record of success. We are thrilled to welcome them both to our Warner Bros. Discovery family, and look forward to seeing them take this nearly century-old iconic studio to even greater heights of excellence in film,” said David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery.
“Warner Bros. is home to the best creatives in the business and Pam and I look forward to executing on David’s directive to ‘dream big and dream bold’ as we strive to create the next generation of hit movies with the power to entertain, excite and inspire,” said Michael De Luca. “We’re grateful to Toby for the tremendous impact he has had on this studio and our industry and we’re thrilled to be able to continue to benefit from his vast experience and creativity.”
During the pair’s tenure, MGM released such hit films as Oscar-nominated “House of Gucci,” Best Picture Academy Award nominee “Licorice Pizza,” and the James Bond franchise’s Oscar-winning “No Time To Die.” Throughout his 30-year career in the film business, De Luca has been responsible for an impressive portfolio of films, including: “Reminiscence,” “Captain Phillips,” “Moneyball,” “The Social Network,” “Boogie Nights,” “Blade” and “The Mask.” He also produced the $1.3 billion grossing “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise. He is a former president of production at both New Line Cinema and DreamWorks.
Abdy served previously as a Partner and Head of Film at Makeready, where she produced “Queen & Slim” and “A Million Little Pieces.” Prior to that, she served as President of Production at New Regency, which released the Academy Award-winning “Birdman,” “Gone Girl,” Oscar-winner “The Big Short,” and “The Revenant,” which received 12 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, and two Golden Globe awards for Best Picture (Drama) and Best Actor. Before joining New Regency, Abdy was the President of Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films.
De Luca and Abdy follow longtime studio executive Toby Emmerich who is stepping down as chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. Emmerich has led the film studio division since 2017, previously serving as President and Chief Content Officer, and before that as President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Cinema. He is a 30-year veteran of Warner Bros. having joined the company in 1992 as a dual development and music executive.
An accomplished screenwriter and producer, Emmerich is launching a new production company at the Warner Bros. studio, focused on film, television and streaming. As part of an exclusive 5-year agreement, Warner Bros. Discovery will finance Emmerich’s venture and have distribution rights to films and series.
Under Emmerich’s leadership, Warner Bros. Pictures Group had its most successful year ever in 2018, with a global box office of $5.57 billion. This success was fueled by a diverse lineup of hit films, including “Aquaman”—the most successful DC Superhero film ever and Warner Bros.’ second-biggest title of all time, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Ready Player One,” “The Meg,” “Rampage,” “A Star is Born,” “The Nun,” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” In 2019, the Studio released the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, DC’s “Joker,” which earned $1.08 billion at the global box office and won two Academy Awards, as well as the hugely successful horror sequel “IT Chapter Two.”