New Line Production EVP Walter Hamada, one of the key executives in charge of the label’s horror successes It and The Conjuring franchise, will now oversee DC films at the studio as Warner Bros Group president Toby Emmerich evolves the unit at Warner Bros. Hamada is being named President, DC-Based Film Production, Warner Bros.
The news comes a month after Justice League producer and Warner Bros co-president of production Jon Berg segued out of his role to become Roy Lee’s producing partner on the Burbank lot. In addition, Geoff Johns will continue to have creative input on the franchise, as he does on TV series. While Wonder Woman was a huge success for the DC brand, becoming 2017’s third highest-grossing title with $821.8 million, Justice League — essentially DC’s version of Marvel’s Avengers — hasn’t broken even yet with just under $700M.
Hamada is known as a razor-sharp executive with a great eye for material and quality controlling production. Through four movies, The Conjuring franchise (including Annabelle) has reaped $1.2 billion worldwide off combined production costs that are under $82M. It was a huge success for New Line and WB, raking in close to $700M off a $35M production cost following a launch during the post-Labor Day dead period at the box office. When it comes to a game-changer in film distribution, It was the pic last year.
Other pics shepherded by Hamada at New Line include 2009’s Friday the 13th, The Final Destination, 2010’s Nightmare on Elm Street and Final Destination 5.
“Walter is creative, resourceful, and committed to excellence, and will bring those qualities to his oversight of our superhero films,” said Emmerich. “He’s a terrific production executive and served as an executive producer on two of the summer’s most popular films, New Line’s It and Annabelle: Creation. I’m confident Walter and Geoff, working with our filmmaking partners, will deliver films that will resonate with both broad global audiences as well as DC fanboys and fangirls. Walter’s a great addition to the Warner Bros Pictures team, and I look forward to working with him in his new post.”
Hamada came to New Line 11 years ago from H2F Entertainment, where he was a manager-producer. He started at New Line as SVP Production. At H2F, Hamada worked with writers such as Chris Morgan, Rob McKittrick, Greg Coolidge and Brad Gann.
Hamada started in the biz as an assistant at TriStar and ultimately became a VP Production at Columbia Pictures.