Warner Bros. Closes 2 Indie Divisions

Shakeup was expected; 70 jobs will be cut
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 12:30 PM CDT
It's not clear whether the same studio that makes and hypes blockbusters like this summer's "The Dark Knight" could also nurture independent pictures.   (AP Photo/Warner Bros.Stephen Vaughan)
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(Newser) – Warner Bros. announced yesterday that it is closing both its indie arms, Warner Independent Pictures and Picturehouse. Speculation had the studio merging the indie and art-house divisions, but the studio opted for even more cost-cutting, the LA Times reports. More than 70 employees will lose their jobs in the shakeup.

"We're not abandoning the specialty business," promised the Warner Bros. CEO Alan Horn, saying the company will still seek out "movies that interest us creatively," but promote them through Warners. Skeptics question whether the studio that is hyping the blockbuster The Dark Knight could have done justice to Pan's Labyrinth.