Walden Media, LLC
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryFilm
Television
Founded2000; 24 years ago (2000)
FounderMicheal Flaherty
Cary Granat
Headquarters
Key people
Frank Smith
(President & CEO)
Benjamin Tappan
(President of Production)
ParentAnschutz Entertainment Group
DivisionsWalden Pond Press
Websitewalden.com

Walden Media, LLC or Walden Media is an American independent studio that develops, produces and finances feature films and television series for the U.S. and global markets. Its films focus on stories of courage drawn from biographies, historical events, and literature adaptations, as well as original screenplays. The company has also produced feature documentaries.

The corporate headquarters of Walden Media are located in Los Angeles, California. The company is owned by the Christian conservative Philip Anschutz, who has said he expects their movies "to be entertaining, but also to be life affirming and to carry a moral message."[1]

Walden Media operates Walden Pond Press, a joint venture with HarperCollins, which publishes middle grade books.[2]

Company history

Walden Media was founded in 2000 by Micheal Flaherty and Cary Granat as a movie, television, publishing and Internet enterprise whose goal is to teach and entertain kids.[3] Granat was president of Miramax's Dimension Films division,[3][4] and Flaherty came from the world of education. The two were housemates at Tufts University before following different paths, and later reunited to form the company.

The company's notable releases include Holes in 2003, Because of Winn-Dixie in 2005,[4] Charlotte's Web in 2006, Bridge to Terabithia, in 2007, three adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia in 2005, 2008 and 2010, Ramona and Beezus in 2010, and both A Dog's Purpose and Wonder in 2017.[5] All of these films are adaptations of popular books.

In late 2001, Anschutz Entertainment Group purchased a majority stake in the company, leaving the founders as minority shareholders.[3]

On August 9, 2006, Walden Media announced they had entered into a joint-venture partnership with Fox Filmed Entertainment, which would release education-themed family-friendly pictures that would be released under G or PG ratings. All films would be released under the 20th Century Fox banner.[6] The company, now named "Fox-Walden", announced the release of its first four films in May 2007.[7] After all the respective films released under Fox-Walden flopped at the box office in North America, it was announced on October 2, 2008 that Fox-Walden would reduce its staff and cease operations as a standalone company, being folded into 20th Century Fox as a division. The downsizing of Fox-Walden did not affect the partnership between both Fox and Walden Media and they would still release family-friendly movies together under the Fox-Walden banner.[8][3]

In March 2008, Michael Bostick, formerly of Imagine Films, was hired as creative officer. Cary Granat was released from his co-CEO title effective December 1, 2008, with Bostick replacing him.[3] Walden Media created a joint publishing venture with HarperCollins during the same year called Walden Pond Press.[9]

Frank Smith was named CEO in 2013 after working with the company for ten years. Prior to joining the Anschutz Film Group, Smith worked at New Line Cinema/Fine Line Features.[10]

In April 2023, Benjamin Tappen, a former EPIX executive, was named President of Production for Walden, overseeing the company's film and television development and production.[11]

Education program

Walden Media is unique among film production and distribution companies in that it works with teachers, museums, and national organizations to develop supplemental educational programs and materials associated with its films and the original events and/or novels that inspire the films.[12]

Walden Media offers in-class teaching tools like educational guides and teacher kits[13] and sponsors seminars and forums for teachers to discuss their practice and to share ideas on using media in the classroom. Directors, writers, and stars of the productions participate in these events.

In 2006, Walden Media sponsored the "Break the World Reading Record with Charlotte's Web". At noon on Wednesday, December 13, 547,826 readers in 2,451 locations, 50 states and 28 countries read an excerpt from Charlotte's Web, breaking the world record of 155,528 students from 737 schools in the United Kingdom who read William Wordsworth's poem, "Daffodils" in 2004.[14]

Filmography

Key to the colors used below
Type of film
A Animated film
H Live-action and animated film
L Live-action film
D Documentary film

Feature films

Title Release date Co-production(s) Distributor(s)
D Ghosts of the Abyss April 11, 2003 Earthship Productions
Ascot Elite Entertainment Group
Golden Village
Telepool and UGC PH
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Summit Entertainment
L Holes April 18, 2003 Walt Disney Pictures
Phoenix Pictures
Chicago Pacific Entertainment
L Around the World in 80 Days June 16, 2004 Spanknyce Films
Mostow/Lieberman Productions
L I Am David December 3, 2004 Film and General Lions Gate Films
Summit Entertainment
D Aliens of the Deep January 28, 2005 Walt Disney Pictures
Earthship Productions
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
L Because of Winn-Dixie February 18, 2005 N/A 20th Century Fox
L The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe December 9, 2005 Walt Disney Pictures Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
L Hoot May 5, 2006 The Kennedy/Marshall Company New Line Cinema
L How to Eat Fried Worms August 25, 2006 Gran Via Productions
L Charlotte's Web December 15, 2006 The K Entertainment Company
Nickelodeon Movies
Paramount Pictures
L Bridge to Terabithia February 16, 2007 N/A Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Summit Entertainment
L The Seeker: The Dark is Rising October 5, 2007 20th Century Fox (Fox-Walden)
L Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium November 16, 2007 Mandate Pictures 20th Century Fox (Fox-Walden)
Mandate Pictures
L The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep December 25, 2007 Columbia Pictures
Revolution Studios
Strike Entertainment
Ecosse Films
Weta Workshop
Beacon Pictures
Sony Pictures Releasing
L Nim's Island April 4, 2008 N/A 20th Century Fox (Fox-Walden)
Universal Pictures
Summit Entertainment
L The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian May 16, 2008 Walt Disney Pictures Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
L Journey to the Center of the Earth July 11, 2008 N/A New Line Cinema
L City of Ember October 10, 2008 Playtone 20th Century Fox (Fox-Walden)
Summit Entertainment
L Bandslam August 14, 2009 N/A Summit Entertainment
L Tooth Fairy January 22, 2010 Mayhem Pictures
Blumhouse Productions
Dune Entertainment
20th Century Fox
L Ramona and Beezus July 23, 2010 Di Novi Pictures
Dune Entertainment
D Waiting for "Superman" September 24, 2010 Participant Media Paramount Vantage
L The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader December 10, 2010 Dune Entertainment 20th Century Fox
L Journey 2: The Mysterious Island February 10, 2012 New Line Cinema
Contrafilm
Warner Bros. Pictures
L Tooth Fairy 2 March 6, 2012 N/A 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
L Won't Back Down September 28, 2012 Gran Via Productions 20th Century Fox
L Chasing Mavericks October 26, 2012 N/A
L Parental Guidance December 25, 2012 Chernin Entertainment
Face Productions
Dune Entertainment
L Return to Nim's Island March 15, 2013 ARC Entertainment Hallmark Channel
L Dear Dumb Diary September 6, 2013 ARC Entertainment
Zucker Productions
Triple D Productions
L The Giver August 15, 2014 N/A The Weinstein Company
L Everest September 18, 2015 Cross Creek Pictures
Working Title Films
Universal Pictures
L The BFG July 1, 2016 Walt Disney Pictures
Amblin Entertainment
Reliance Entertainment
The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Reliance Entertainment
Mister Smith Entertainment
L The Resurrection of Gavin Stone January 20, 2017 Blumhouse Tilt
Vertical Church Films
WWE Studios
BH Tilt
L A Dog's Purpose January 27, 2017 Universal Pictures
Amblin Entertainment
Reliance Entertainment
Pariah Entertainment Group
Universal Pictures
Reliance Entertainment
Mister Smith Entertainment
L Wonder November 17, 2017 Participant Media
Mandeville Films
Lionsgate
A The Star Columbia Pictures
Sony Pictures Animation
Affirm Films
Franklin Entertainment
The Jim Henson Company[15]
Sony Pictures Releasing
L A Dog's Journey May 17, 2019 Universal Pictures
Amblin Entertainment
Reliance Entertainment
Alibaba Pictures
Pariah Entertainment Group
Universal Pictures
Reliance Entertainment
Mister Smith Entertainment
H Dora and the Lost City of Gold August 9, 2019 Paramount Players
Nickelodeon Movies
Media Rights Capital
Burr! Productions
Paramount Pictures
L Playing with Fire November 8, 2019 Paramount Players
Nickelodeon Movies
Broken Road Productions
L A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting October 15, 2020 The Montecito Picture Company Netflix
L Finch November 5, 2021 Amblin Entertainment
Reliance Entertainment
ImageMovers
Misher Films
Apple TV+
A Rumble December 15, 2021 Paramount Animation
WWE Studios
Reel FX Animation Studios
Paramount+

Television series

Title Years Network Co-production(s) Ref.
The Baby-Sitters Club 2020-2021 Netflix co-production with Terrible Baby Productions, Paulilu, and Michael De Luca Productions [16][17]
Manhunt 2024 Apple TV+ co-production with Apple Studios, Lionsgate Television, Dovetale Productions, POV Entertainment, Monarch Pictures and 3 Arts Entertainment [18]

References

  1. ^ Berkowitz, Bill. "The movie, the media, and the conservative politics of Philip Anschutz". Media Transparency, 2 December 2005.
  2. ^ HarperCollins Children's Imprints
  3. ^ a b c d e Eller, Claudia (November 14, 2008). "Granat out at Walden Media". LA Times Blogs - Company Town. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Jensen, Jeff. "The Family Business". Entertainment Weekly, 28 April 2006: 58–61.
  5. ^ Between Hollywood and Godlywood: the Case of Walden Media by Nathalie Dupont, Peter Lang, 2015
  6. ^ Staff, M. W. (9 August 2006). "Walden Media and Fox Filmed Entertainment Partner Up". MovieWeb. Retrieved 25 November 2023.
  7. ^ Borys Kit (17 May 2007). "Fox Walden puts four on calendar". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. Retrieved 25 November 2023.
  8. ^ Gallagher, Brian (2 October 2008). "Fox Walden Is No More". MovieWeb. Retrieved 25 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Walden Media partners with HarperCollins". Los Angeles Times. 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  10. ^ "Walden Media - Home".
  11. ^ "Walden Media Hires Benjamin Tappan as President of Production". Variety. 2023-04-18. Retrieved 2023-12-04.
  12. ^ "Our Company". Walden Media. Archived from the original on February 20, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2007.
  13. ^ Deahl, Rachel. "Walden Media Works to Make Moviegoers Readers". Publishers Weekly, 16 January 2006.
  14. ^ Toomey, Shamus. "I've Never Broken a World Record". Chicago Sun-Times, 14 December 2006.
  15. ^ "The Star - Official Site - Sony Pictures".
  16. ^ "Netflix's 'Baby-Sitters Club' Adaptation Gets Premiere Date - Watch First Teaser Here (Video)". TheWrap. 2020-05-08. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  17. ^ Charm, Neil (2 July 2020). "Netflix's adaptation of The Baby-Sitters Club aims at homebound families | BusinessWorld". Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  18. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 30, 2022). "Apple's Lincoln Assassination Limited Series Manhunt Finds Its Dr. Mudd In Matt Walsh". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 31 March 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.