It was known as the house that Freddy built ... and now it's gone. Vanished. Absorbed whole into the corporate borg that is Warner Bros. It was announced yesterday that New Line Cinema, as we know it, is now dead. According to former chief Bob Shaye, it seems that WB will still use the New Line name for certain productions and / or pick-ups, but it probably won't be long before that idea is swallowed whole by Warner Independent Pictures.One can only assume that New Line subsidiary Picturehouse (formerly Fine Line) will also be absorbed, which is a shame because they've had a really impressive track record so far.

So while I'll always be grateful to New Line for giving me Freddy Krueger, Blade, Critters, Austin Powers and (of course) The Lord of the Rings, I thought it might be interesting to track back over ALL of the New Line, Fine Line, and Picturehouse releases and maybe even see what doomed the studio. Aside from withholding all those LOTR profits and inspiring a half-dozen very expensive lawsuits, of course. (And let's not forget: They distributed The Evil Dead, funded almost all of John Waters' films AND they bankrolled Boogie Nights, Pleasantville, Seven, and Dark City, so let's not talk too ill of the recently-deceased.) New Line celebrated its 40th anniversary last November, which means they set the "founding" year as 1967. At that point New Line was simply distributing old flicks to college campuses, but that all changed in the early '80s.

As a production company that we know and (sometimes) love, New Line was probably born in 1982, with the production and release of Jack Sholder's Alone in the Dark, a strangely amusing horror flick starring Jack Palance, Martin Landau and Donald Pleasance. From that small success, the die was cast; 1984 saw the arrival of A Nightmare on Elm Street and 1985 saw ... A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. This would prove to be New Line's m.o. for many years to come: One novel idea followed by several uninspired sequels.
categories Cinematical