Warner Bros. has shut down Warner Premiere, its direct-to-video division. Warner Bros. released a statement claiming that a decline in DVD sales and its transition to digital distribution influenced the decision.

Given the continuing decline in the direct-to-video film market and shifting business models in the production of digital series, the decision was made to close Warner Premiere. The division will continue and complete production on its remaining film and digital series project into the fall.  In addition, the evaluation of potential digital content will be folded into Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, and Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video will continue to produce and release animated films, such as Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry and DC Universe.

The good news is Warner Premiere will be able to finish up Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1, which is due out next month. The future of Part 2, which was scheduled to be released sometime next year, is unclear. However, it appears that Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, and Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video will take over that project.

SOURCE: The Wrap [via The Hollywood Reporter]