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Warner Brothers Inc

BUSINESS
July 3, 2006 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
"Superman Returns" brought a film franchise back to life for Warner Bros. with an opening weekend gross of $52.2 million in the U.S. and Canada, the studio estimated. Director Bryan Singer's costly retelling of the comic book classic -- the first big-screen version of the Man of the Steel in 19 years -- generated $84.2 million in the five days starting with its Wednesday launch. That put it on pace to pull in $110 million during its first full week, ending with Tuesday's holiday.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 20, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A French court dismissed a lawsuit against George Clooney and Warner Bros. filed by a screenwriter who alleged that "Syriana" was plagiarized from her script, court officials said Monday. Stephanie Vergniault had claimed the thriller borrowed "very largely" from a script she completed in 2002, but the judge said the two scripts were "obviously different." Like 2005's "Syriana," Vergniault's story line, titled "Oversight," involved CIA intrigues with oil companies in the Persian Gulf.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2006 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
Looking for new, less risky ways to boost profit, Warner Bros. is launching a direct-to-DVD business that will release 10 to 15 low-budget movies a year. First up will be a sequel to the studio's 2005 hit "The Dukes of Hazzard," scheduled to go on sale at the end of this year or in early 2007. Movies made exclusively for DVD typically are done on the cheap without the costly stars and lavish production expenses associated with theatrical films.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2006 | Chris Gaither, Times Staff Writer
Extending Hollywood's tradition of converting enemies to allies into the digital age, Warner Bros. today is expected to announce plans to use file-sharing technology to distribute movies and television shows online. By the summer, BitTorrent Inc. will allow users to download and watch "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Natural Born Killers," "Dog Day Afternoon," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and other Warner Bros. titles on their computers.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2006 | From Reuters
Warner Bros. plans to open about 200 stores in China over the coming years as demand for branded merchandise increases in China, the Chinese partner of the company's consumer products unit said Sunday. The unit of Time Warner Inc. opened its first China store in Shanghai on Sunday. It is operated by Hutchison Harbor Ring, a subsidiary of conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. "In the long run, we would like to open no less than 200 stores.
BUSINESS
March 18, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Warner Bros. delayed the release of new high-definition home videos by three weeks, the second time the products have been postponed, because of technical issues including copy protection. The studio, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., will release three films in the HD-DVD format April 18 and an additional 17 videos in the following weeks, Burbank-based Warner Bros. said. The company had previously planned to release 50 films starting in the fourth quarter and 24 films beginning March 28.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2006 | Scott Martelle, Times Staff Writer
And the Oscar for "longest stretch in movie marketing" goes to ... " 'Syriana'!" Warner Bros. Pictures, which produced what it describes as a "multilayered political thriller about the global oil industry," announced Wednesday that the movie featuring car bombings, the torching of an oil facility and an exploding ocean tanker was "green friendly."
BUSINESS
November 2, 2005 | Claudia Eller, Times Staff Writer
Under pressure to slash costs, Warner Bros. Entertainment confirmed late Tuesday that it had fired 250 to 300 employees at its Burbank studio. At least 100 additional people will lose their jobs in the studio's international operations, according to a senior company executive who spoke on condition of anonymity.
BUSINESS
September 23, 2005 | Claire Hoffman
Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez met with senior Hollywood executives at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank to detail anti-piracy plans he unveiled this week. Programs include placing intellectual property rights experts in piracy hot spots worldwide and educating foreign judges and U.S. small businesses on patent and trademark laws. -- Claire Hoffman
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2004 | From Times Staff Reports
A former employee of Warners Bros. who is African American filed a racial harassment lawsuit Wednesday against the studio and a high-ranking executive in its financial department. Pamela Stanton, who was a senior financial analyst at Warner Bros. before being fired in May, alleges in the suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court that her ex-supervisor, Nairi Gardiner, routinely targeted African Americans with racial slurs and inappropriate comments.
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