• Diane Nelson adds Warner licensing, merchandising to portfolio
  • Brad Globe to step down from role he's held since 2005

Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. division is expanding the duties of Diane Nelson, head of the company’s DC Entertainment and video-games businesses, giving her oversight of the studio’s entire consumer products portfolio.

Nelson succeeds Brad Globe, who has served as president of Warner Bros. consumer products since 2005 and will step down next year, the Burbank, California-based studio said in an e-mailed statement. Bloomberg News first reported the appointment earlier Friday.

“With more and more of our consumer products business being directly driven by DC characters and story lines, a closer alignment of the divisions makes a lot of sense for us,” Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros. chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Nelson has been leading DC’s efforts to get the most out of its portfolio of superheroes including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, as the studio seeks to narrow the gap with Walt Disney Co. Warner Bros.’ film schedule next year includes two DC releases and the “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.” More DC and “Lego” films follow in 2017, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.

The studio ranks third in U.S. box-office receipts this year. Warner Bros. has been buoyed by the surprise hit “American Sniper,” its biggest grossing film this year, according to Box Office Mojo. In June, the studio said it reached $1 billion in domestic box office sales faster than ever before.

Last year, Tsujihara outlined a six-year plan to release at least 10 superhero films from its DC Comics library, including “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” set for March 25, 2016. The schedule, which calls for 22 to 24 pictures annually, includes at least three based on the works of J.K. Rowling, whose “Harry Potter” books gave Warner Bros. some of its biggest box-office hits, and three “Lego” pictures.

‘Dungeons & Dragons’

In August, Warner Bros. announced a deal with Hasbro Inc. for a feature film based on “Dungeons & Dragons,” the popular role-playing game.

Disney is widely viewed as the leader in turning film hits into consumer products winners. The Burbank, California-based company had six of the 10 largest entertainment properties in terms of U.S. and Canadian merchandise sales in 2013, according to the Licensing Letter. Warner’s top property, Batman, ranked 15th.

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