Paramount Moves Up Mission: Impossible and Tintin Release Dates, Overhauls Studio Structure

by Anne Thompson
September 28, 2011 9:27 AM
1 Comment
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Thompson on Hollywood

Paramount is making a lot of moves these days. Tweaking its December release schedule, the studio is launching Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol starring Tom Cruise, with previews in IMAX and other select theaters on December 16, 2011, with its wide release still scheduled for December 21. And Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin in 3-D, which was previously set for release on December 23, will now open wide everywhere including IMAX two days earlier, on December 21, 2011. This suggests that Paramount feels the need to build word-of-mouth going into the big holiday weekend.

Paramount recently announced an overhaul of its entire distribution structure to consolidate its marketing and distribution in different arenas that had been kept separate (see chairman Brad Grey's internal announcement, below).

The new Home Media Distribution division will oversee home entertainment, digital licensing and television licensing activities worldwide, led by new worldwide president Dennis Maguire, who will report to Vice Chairman Rob Moore. And all theatrical distribution decisions worldwide will also be made from Los Angeles. In the marketing arena, Josh Greenstein is now chief marketing officer for all distribution channels worldwide, while Megan Colligan moves up as president of domestic marketing and distribution. Distribution chief Jim Tharp, who came to the studio from Dreamworks, will retire in June 2012, to be replace by Don Harris.

Moore said:

“Integrating digital licensing with home entertainment and television licensing makes sense in the current marketplace and for the future. In addition, marketing and distribution have become seamless global businesses and we need our structure to better reflect that evolution. This new configuration allows us to be more flexible and to best capitalize on all opportunities across the breadth of the studio.”

Paramount's innvovative online marketing group is also following up its on-demand release program on the first two Paranormal Activity films with the third installment. The studio will debut Paranormal Activity 3 exclusively in cities where the most fans “Tweet To See It First.” The film will premiere on October 18th in the top 20 cities with the most tweets, three days before the film’s global release. To vote, fans can go to ParanNormalMovie.com and select their city from a global map.

Memo from Brad Grey

I am writing to let you know about a number of organizational changes and promotions that we are making at the studio. We are strategically realigning several of our divisions in an effort to be forward thinking about our business at a time when the global entertainment market is evolving.

Our hope is that these moves will allow us to best build upon the successes our studio has enjoyed in recent years as well as enable us to fully capitalize on future growth opportunities.

Today we are announcing the creation of a new division called Home Media Distribution, a single organization based here on the lot, that will oversee our home entertainment, digital licensing and television licensing activities worldwide. Dennis Maguire is being promoted to President, Worldwide Home Media Distribution, and will report to Vice Chairman Rob Moore. In addition, in light of international’s growing significance to our studio, we are centralizing global theatrical management oversight in Los Angeles so as to be closer to the strategic decision making for this part of our business. Marketing and sales functions currently performed locally in territories worldwide will remain unchanged.

We are also making a number of other key promotions and staff changes as part of this realignment.

· Josh Greenstein has been named Chief Marketing Officer for the studio, overseeing all marketing efforts through all distribution channels for the studio worldwide.

· Megan Colligan is also expanding her role and has been promoted to President, Domestic Marketing & Distribution. She will now oversee all domestic theatrical distribution and marketing for the studio. Josh and Megan will continue to report to Rob; and Megan will also report to Josh on marketing.

· Jim Tharp, President, Domestic Theatrical Distribution, will retire as of June 2012 and will assist Rob in the transition to the new team.

· Don Harris, who has served as Executive Vice President of Sales, is being promoted to President, Domestic Theatrical Distribution, and will assume Jim’s day-to-day responsibilities reporting to Megan.

· Hal Richardson will take on the role of President, Home Media Distribution, reporting to Dennis.

· Paramount Digital Entertainment (PDE) will now be folded into other divisions of the studio. Amy Powell, Executive Vice President, Interactive Entertainment, will add the creation of content for digital and online games to her current responsibilities. LeeAnne Stables, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing Partnerships, will assume responsibility for licensing of traditional video games. Both Amy and LeeAnne will continue to report to Megan. Tom Lesinksi, President of PDE, will be departing the studio.

As you can see from what I have outlined above, we have worked to truly align our business for the future. Our hope is that this new configuration will allow us to be more flexible and to best capitalize on all opportunities across the breadth of the studio.

Creating this new integrated structure is only possible because of the wealth of talent we have at Paramount. Josh, Megan, Don, Dennis and Hal are widely and deservedly recognized as leaders and innovators and we are fortunate to have them on our team. I want to thank them for their great work and congratulate them on their new positions. Rob, Frederick and I are looking forward to working closely with them and their teams on finalizing and implementing our new organizational structures over the next several weeks.

Jim’s retirement next summer marks the end of an era. I want to personally thank him for his many years of service, his numerous accomplishments, and for being a real friend to all of us at Paramount Pictures. He has truly set the gold standard for excellence in the distribution field and we are grateful for his active and ongoing guidance in the transition to our new team.

We also appreciate Tom’s many contributions to Paramount’s success. He was instrumental in helping us break new ground in the digital arena and we wish him great success in the future.

I want to thank our executive team led by Rob, COO Frederick Huntsberry and Motion Picture Group President Adam Goodman. Rob was especially central in the creation of this new structure.

I want to close by saying thank you to all of you for your great work at this studio. I am very proud and grateful for what you do for Paramount each and every day.

Brad


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1 Comment

  • Metzner | September 29, 2011 7:03 AMReply

    Last year at the Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol press conference in Dubai, Tom Cruise was quoted as saying:
“One of the things I always wanted for the franchise was for it not to have a number afterwards. I’ve never done sequels to films and I never thought of these films as sequels. Paramount has done a great job in coming up with a title, so it’s not going to be MI2, 3, 4: It’s going to be Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol.”
    I think what he meant was that all of the Mission: Impossible movies are set in their own alternate reality/universe and are not sequels or connected to each other. That explains why there is no continuity between the movies and why they keep using mostly new casts. It would have been good if they had emphasised this from the second film onwards and given each film a subtitle instead of a number.

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