Back in early March when we first heard that New Line Cinema would be absorbed into Time Warner, industry sources predicted that in the process nearly 75% of their staff would be laid off as part of the reshuffling. Those estimates were a little low.

This morning Variety is reporting that they’re firing… well… just about everyone. 450 employees are being kicked out the door, leaving only 40 or 50 behind to mind the store, or whatever’s left of it. Additionally, another 40 will be offered jobs inside Time Warner, which I guess means New Line Cinema pretty much no longer exists. Does it?

That’s where I start getting a little bit confused. In February Time Warner announced that a scaled down version of New Line would continue to exist, managing its own development, production, marketing, and publicity, though in a much more scaled down manner. But it’s hard to imagine them accomplishing much with no one left to answer the phone, let alone make an actual movie.

Hopefully, New Line sticks around, if only as a shell brand whose logo Time Warner slaps on the front of certain movies. Maybe they’ve fallen on hard times since Lord of the Rings, but The Hobbit just won’t seem quite right without a New Line Cinema logo in front of it. I’d miss that musical little filmstrip.

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