Warner Bros. Pictures was founded on April 4, 1923 by Albert, Harry, Sam, and Jack Warner. It is a major film studio owned by Time Warner, a media corporation in New York City.
Fans of Warner Bros. films from the late 1930s and the 1940s will most likely see this logo before the movie. Examples of such films are The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938 which has the same variant from The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Ecxex), Sons Of Liberty (1939), Dodge City (1939), Yankee Doddle Dandy (1942), Casablanca (1942), The Big Sleep (1946), Night And Day (1946), and The Verdict (1946). The latter 3 have the film's opening score playing over it while latter 4 have a majestic horn sounder composed by Max Steiner.
Fans of Warner Bros. films from the 1950s and 1960s will certainly see this logo before the movie. Films with this logo include A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), East of Eden (1955), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Fanny (1961), and My Fair Lady (1964). The first film to use this logo was Key Largo (1948), and the last film to use it was Cool Hand Luke (1967 but copyrighted to Warner Bros.-Seven Arts as the merger had finished by the time the film was completed).
In November 1966, Seven Arts Productions merged together with Warner Bros., and the studio was renamed to Warner Bros.–Seven Arts.
Due to the fact that the Warner Bros. logos seen from September 28, 1967 to May 18, 1984 do not look much like the popular WB Shield logo, Warner Bros. tends to plaster these logos with a newer one. Therefore, this is the first of four logos to be considered rare. It's restored on current prints of Bullitt (1968), The Wild Bunch (1969), and Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1969). It premiered on The Bobo (1967) and made its last appearence on Chisum (1970).
After Warner Bros.–Seven Arts became defunct in 1970, Kinney National Company bought Warner Bros.. However, this partnership only lasted for not more than two years. The logo appeared on A Clockwork Orange (1971), but only up to the 2000 DVD print. Other than that, the logo is very rare to find. Some movies like There Was A Crooked Man (1970) and THX-1138 (1970) had it on a black background. Others such as The Omega Man (1971) had it superimprosed over the opening credits. Dirty Harry (1972) and Billy Jack (1971) do not have the "Presents" text. At the end of the film we see the print logo with "Distributed By Warner Bros." or "Distributed By Warner Bros. Inc." on top of or (in the case of "THX-1138") below it. Some movies like Easy Pickens (1970) and Chisum (1970) (the 1967 logo appears at the beginning) have no banner/byline on the superimprosed version. It premiered on Performance released on August 7, 1970 and made its last appearence on What's Up Doc? released on March 12, 1972.
For at least 17 years, Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Music Group became subsidiaries of Warner Communications. Only a few films had this logo, nearly all of them from 1972. On What's Up Doc? (1972), the logo is in gold on a book. "Presents" in script appears below the Warner Comunications byline on The Candidate (1972). Of course, the logo does make its last appearence at the end of Steelyard Blues released on January 31, 1973 (the big W logo appears at the beginning).
This was the last Warner Bros. logo ever seen prior to the 1980s "Shield" logo. Examples of movies that had this logo are The Exorcist (1973) (presented austerly over a black background), All the President's Men (1976) (black and white), and the first three Superman films (1978-1983), but nowadays, when seen on DVD, they most often use any of the newer logos below. It was first seen on Steelyard Blues (1973) and was last seen on Irriconcible Differences (1984).
On June 8, 1984, when Gremlins (1984) premiered in theaters, it also marked the debut of the very popular WB Shield logo, with the old byline "A Warner Communications Company". It also included a majestic horn sounder (A classic WB fanfare) Other films with this logo include The Goonies (1985), The Mission (1986), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Beetlejuice (1988), and Batman (1989). The logo made its first appearance on VHS in 1985.
Whenever The Goonies (and many other 1980s films) aired on any television network (NBC, off-network syndication, HBO, Cinemax, The Disney Channel, TBS, TNT, ABC Family, AMC, etc.), this logo was usually always seen at the beginning. At the end of The Goonies (1985 the DVD release), the 2000 Warner Bros. closing print logo from Invictus (2000) is seen.
After Warner Communications went defunct in 1990, Time Warner took over as the current owner of Warner Bros.. The new byline, written as "A Time Warner Company", was first seen on March 9, 1990, with Joe Versus the Volcano (1990). Other films that had this logo include Goodfellas (1990) and JFK (1991).
In 1992, the byline was changed yet again to "A Time Warner Entertainment Company", which remained until 2001. The logo shown above was seen on films like Malcom X (1992), The Fugitive (1993), Nature Born Killers (1994), Batman Forever (1995), Mars Attacks! (1996), Batman And Robin (1997) and L.A. Confidential (1997). Both the last film with this logo, The Postman, and the first film with the next logo, Fallen, were released on VHS on October 13, 1998. Its first appearence was (as mentioned above) on Gremlins (1984) and made its last appearence at the end of The Pledge (2001). You might be annoyed by how many times you've seen it. It's also been plastered onto the DVD of National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) though the big W logo is kept at the end. A closing logo features a superimprosed WB shield without a banner and the owner byline at the bottom. On films from 1984-roughly 1989, it would use the big W logo. On films from 1987-1989 like The Whitches Of Eastwick, Above The Law, Caddyshack 2, Lethal Weapon 2, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Driving Miss Daisy, the credit logo used the previous logo's font with a WB shield, A variation of it is seen at the end The Bonfire Of The Vanites with the WB shield and below that "DISTRIBUTED BY WARNER BROS., A TIME WARNER COMPANY". Another ending variation features the movie logo but modified with "Distributed By Warner Bros." above the shield. This was also used for the begining of Freejack. Another one shows only "Distributed By" and the Warner Bros. Pictures text is redone but some releases like Get Carter And Miss Congenality have the banner reading simply "Warner Bros." Also Added is the URL, www.warnerbros.com below the owner disclamer.
All of the Warner Bros. logos from before 1998 do not have any original music while others had music playing over it.
The currently-still-in-use Warner Bros. logo debuted on January 16, 1998 with Fallen (1998). For its first year, the logo had the words "75 Years Entertaining the World", and the studio was still a Time Warner Entertainment company, even after the "75 Years" variant ended in 1999. Then in 2000, AOL and Time Warner merged together, and beginning in February 2001, the Warner Bros. logo's byline changed to "An AOL Time Warner Company". After that, in 2003, when AOL broke up with Warner Bros., the byline changed back to "A Time Warner Company", and finally, starting in 2004, the byline now reads "A TimeWarner Company" with the word "TimeWarner" in its own logo font. The logo was updated on Dolphin Tale. (2011). The ending variation features the 1984 shield with "Distributed By' on top and the URL below the owner disclamer. That's pretty much a modified version of the 2001 Warner Bros. Television logo.