Warner Bros. Discovery (Nasdaq: WBD) has officially kicked off its global centennial campaign, Celebrating Every Story, ahead of the Warner Bros. Studio’s 100th anniversary on April 4, 2023. Over the next 12 months, this milestone birthday will be celebrated across consumer touchpoints with special programming and content, exclusive products and home entertainment releases, a dedicated programming page on HBO Max, omni-channel social media campaigns, live events and screenings, and fan-focused activations around the world.
Warner Bros. was founded by Albert, Sam, Harry and Jack Warner and incorporated on April 4, 1923. Today, the Studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry, from feature film, television and direct-to-consumer production to animation, comic books, videogames, consumer products, themed entertainment, studio tours and brand licensing. The Studio’s vast library, one of the most prestigious and valuable in the world, consists of more than 145,000 hours of programming, including 12,500 feature films and 2,400 television programs comprised of more than 150,000 individual episodes. Warner Bros. is also home to one of the most diverse portfolios of franchises in the world, including Looney Tunes, Wizarding World, DC, FRIENDS, Game of Thrones, Hanna-Barbera, and many more.
David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery, said: “The name Warner Bros. is synonymous with entertainment, and we are honored to be celebrating this iconic studio’s centennial and the rich heritage that stretches back to the four brothers who founded it in 1923. Over the past 100 years, Warner Bros. has created some of the most recognizable and beloved films, TV shows and characters ever made, and has been the place for impactful storytelling that both defines and reflects our culture. We are excited about our company’s bright and dynamic future and, as we embark on its second century, to continue to tell the kind of great stories that entertain, inform and inspire audiences around the world.”
The Company will celebrate and commemorate Warner Bros.’ 100th anniversary in a variety of ways.
Among the centennial programming and content highlights are:
- A three-part documentary on the history of Warner Bros. from WB Unscripted Television to debut on HBO Max (and select partners in territories where HBO Max isn’t available);
- programming marathons and special episodes across Warner Bros. Discovery’s 40+ domestic networks and international channels; archival interviews airing on Extra from the series’ 29 seasons of Studio set visits, red carpet premieres and junkets; a year-long focus on classic Warner Bros. films on TCM; and
- partnerships with various community organisations to help recruit and identify filmmakers to be a part of a short-film project paying homage to some of Warner Bros.’ most iconic films; and centennial branding and events connecting fans to the Studio’s TV brands, franchises and characters.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will also release a series of celebratory film and TV bundles on digital, Blu-ray and DVD, including four 25-film volumes and a 100-film collection (both featuring souvenir collectibles), complete TV series collections available for the first time, and “Best of” TV compilations from the most beloved WBTV franchises. Throughout the year, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will also release a dozen remastered titles available for the first time in 4K Ultra-High Definition, with titles ranging from the Superman 5-Film Collection to special 50th Anniversary editions of Enter the Dragon and The Exorcist.
HBO Max will launch a dedicated programming page in late January with thematic and seasonal programming. HBO Max will mine the unmatched Warner Bros. film and television libraries to present curated collections celebrating holidays and cultural events, including Black History Month, Women’s History Month, AAPI Month and Pride/LGBTQ.
From apparel and housewares to toys, collectibles, publishing, retailers, and food and beverage companies, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products is partnering with some of the world’s most popular and powerful brands to mark this milestone. Throughout 2023, Consumer Products will present several exclusive centennial activations with key partners, including Amazon, Saks Fifth Avenue, Funko, Mattel, New Era, Running Press, and more. Additionally, a new line of products will be unveiled featuring the Looney Tunes, a cornerstone of Warner Bros.’ history, taking center stage as the ultimate superfans dressed up as other legendary WB characters from fan favorite franchises such as DC and Wizarding World.
The Company will present several live events and experiences to fans around the world throughout the year, including:
- A Candlelight Concert Series across 100 cities, taking fans on a musical journey through 100 years of Warner Bros. in cities around the globe, including Los Angeles, New York, London, Toronto, Melbourne, Paris, Singapore, Milan, São Paulo and Mexico City;
- The TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood in April will celebrate key films and major talent from Warner Bros. Pictures’ history, including Casablanca, the 50th anniversaries of The Exorcist, with director William Friedkin in attendance, and Enter the Dragon, and world premiere restorations of East of Eden and Rio Bravo;
- Limited engagement theatrical screenings of some of Warner Bros.’ most popular film titles throughout its history;
- Centennial museum exhibits and commemorative screenings with the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles;
- Commemorative screenings at the Warner Bros. Theater at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History;
- Activations at Warner Bros.’ hotel and theme parks around the world, including The WB Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Parque Warner Madrid, and Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia, will be celebrating the centennial with exclusive merchandise, photo-ops, special engagements and activations, and more.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood will help celebrate the centennial in a big way. A special 100th anniversary exhibit will debut as part of the Tour in February and, later in the year, more centennial-themed surprises will be unveiled.
Warner Bros. has had an international presence almost as long as it has existed. To recognize the global popularity of the brand and its content, characters and consumer offerings, teams from around the world will host centennial activations across all of the Studio’s businesses. From centennial celebrations in China and a themed exhibition during the Beijing International Film Festival to pop-up channels in Germany, film exhibitions across Europe and consumer products and fashion lines across all regions, the Warner Bros. Centennial Celebration will truly be a global affair.
And, finally, since it didn’t happen if it isn’t seen on social media, omni-platform engagement is a major component of the Centennial Celebration. To allow fans of all things Warner Bros. to get in on the celebration, bespoke themed campaigns will roll out across social media, including This Day in History, Backlot Journeys and 100 Iconic WB Moments, as well as mashups with top-tier IP, activations at live events, user-generated content, photo ops and filters, and more.