|Warner Bros. Family Entertainment|
It is best known for producing numerous family films and television series in either live-action or animation (especially animated television programs produced by Steven Spielberg).
The division was founded in 1992 to produce more family-friendly films. The first theatrical film released under the Family Entertainment label was Dennis the Menace, released in the summer of 1993. The film proved to be a huge hit at the box office, grossing over $50 million at the domestic box office. Following it was Free Willy, which was also released in the summer of 1993, and would also be a huge box office hit, grossing over $75 million domestically.
Other 1993 releases included a live-action film adaptation of the book The Secret Garden which didn’t perform as well as the previous two films but still garnered over $30 million at the domestic box office. The WBFE theatrical release was Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and it wasn't a success at the box office, getting only $5 million at the box office compared to its $6 million budget.
1994 was the worst year for WBFE, where it was home to numerous flops. In the early part of 1994, Warner released Thumbelina, which was a major flop at the box office. Another 1994 film was a live-action rendition of the book Black Beauty, which was another flop for the studio, grabbing only nearly $5 million at the box office. Following it was A Troll in Central Park, which garnered less than $1 million at the box office. The last two films in 1994 were Little Giants, which performed better, but only received nearly $20 million domestically, and Richie Rich, which was only a minor flop, grossing over $38 million for its $40 million budget.
In 1995, it brought a live-action rendition of the book A Little Princess, which only got over $10 million in its domestic release. Other films include The Pebble and the Penguin, which was a bomb at the box office, grossing nearly $4 million, and Born to Be Wild, which also garnered nearly $4 million. But the biggest success of 1995 for the company was the sequel to Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, which, although it wasn't nearly as successful as the predecessor, was a minor success, garnering over $30 million.
1996 would bring WBFE's biggest hit yet, Space Jam, which garnered over $90 million domestically, making the film a huge box office hit. 1997 would be home to some of Warner's least-successful movies yet.
The next film was released in 1997, Turner Feature Animation's Cats Don't Dance, which flopped at the box office with over $3 million earned. The next 1997 film was a sequel to The Swan Princess, The Swan Princess II: Escape from Castle Mountain, but it performed poorly at the box office mainly because of a limited theatrical release. The final 1997 film was the third Free Willy film, Free Willy 3: The Rescue, which performed poorly, grossing over $3 million.
In 1998 it released Warner Bros. Animation's Quest for Camelot, which would be a flop at the box office, but grossed more than previous films released by the company, grossing nearly $23 million domestically. 1999 brought two more films from Warner Bros. Animation, the poorly performed The King and I, which only grossed nearly $12 million, and Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant, which was also a flop, grossing over $23 million. The only 2000 film released under WBFE was My Dog Skip, which became the company’s first major box office success in nearly four years, grossing nearly $35 million.
Two family films were released in 2001 through WBFE. Cats & Dogs was proved to be one of the biggest successes of the company’s history, grossing over $200 million worldwide. The next film, Osmosis Jones, was hoped to follow the previous two films in the success line-up, but sadly flopped, only grossing nearly $15 million. It wasn’t until 2004 that another film from WBFE was released, Clifford's Really Big Movie, which was another box office flop, mainly because of opening under 500 screens, grossing only over $3 million.
Warner Bros. continued to release family films later in the 2000s, but the logo for its Family Entertainment subsidiary was no longer used. The last film to have the Family Entertainment banner was their first film to be released in Germany and England only, Laura's Star. In 2006, Warner Bros. released The Ant Bully, which was a box office disappointment, earning only $28 million in the US and $55 million worldwide.
In 2010, the studio released two films in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a sequel to the 2001 film Cats & Dogs, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore on July 30, 2010 and a new computer-animated film based on the Guardians of Ga'Hoole books, alternatively titled Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole on September 24, 2010. Also, the studio released a live-action/CGI 3-D film adaption of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Yogi Bear, on December 17, 2010.
In 2011, Warner Bros. released two family films, Dolphin Tale and a sequel to the 2006 film Happy Feet, Happy Feet Two.
Films currently in development include a live-action adaptation of Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear 2, Tom and Jerry and Hong Kong Phooey, as well as a live-action Lego film.