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Case Study

Entertaining the world: Warner Bros


Founded by Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner, the company was born from a passion for movies. The brothers bought a film projector and began to show films across the mining towns of Pennsylvania and Ohio, USA.

Before long, the concept had grown so popular that the brothers opened their first theatre, the Cascade, in 1903. Less than 20 years later, the brothers had made their name in Hollywood by acquiring the rights to the 1919 Broadway play, The Gold Diggers. Shortly afterwards, the Warner Brothers studio, as it was now known, uncovered its first star – Rin Tin Tin. A dog brought back to America after World War I, Rin Tin Tin went on to star in numerous high-grossing films, earning the studio over USD 1,000 per week – an enormous amount of money in the 1920s.

In the 1930s, the studio worked with many of the biggest names of the time, including Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. It also established its soon-to-be lucrative animation division. The following two decades saw the launch of several characters that soon became iconic, such as Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.

Fast forward several incredibly successful decades later to 2015, and Warner Bros was generating more than USD 3bn in global box office receipts for the ninth year running.

Today, Warner Bros needs little introduction. It has produced or acquired one of the largest libraries of film and television entertainment in the world, consisting of more than 75,000 hours of programming, including nearly 7,000 feature films and 5,000 television programmes comprising tens of thousands of individual episodes.

The company is also a global leader in the marketing and distribution of feature films, with offices in more than 30 countries releasing films in over 120 international territories.

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