The departure of Relativity Media marketing and distribution chief Peter Adee June 1 after ten months is a typical “blame the messenger” move. In other words, it’s age-old industry practice to scapegoat marketing heads when movies aren’t working. Adee came in when Relativity acquired Overture’s distribution and marketing infrastructure and staff of 43. The MGM and Universal marketing vet knows his stuff. That said, the LAT‘s use of the word “outspoken” speaks volumes. Part of Adee’s job was to figure out how to get along with Relativity’s “outspoken” CEO, Ryan Kavanaugh (pictured).
While rookie distributor Relativity is under pressure to deliver some revenues, one would hope that an exec would be given more time to show his stuff, especially with such lowbrow first films to release as the Nic Cage programmer Season of the Witch, the Asia-themed actioner The Warrior’s Way and the 1980s comedy Take Me Home Tonight. The first reasonably commercial picture, Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, opened well and held well on strong word-of-mouth. Geoff Ammer held the job for nine months before the Relativity purchase, and Ammer’s old Twentieth Century Fox colleague Terry Curtin is expected to take the post. Curtin also held marketing posts at Revolution Studios and Disney. Adee said in a statement that he had agreed to stay on during the transition:
“I had agreed to stay with Relativity during the transitional period to ensure a well-managed marketing and distribution operation, but had always planned to depart when the time was right. With the success of Limitless, I think the studio has proven itself as a formidable player in the industry. I wish Ryan and the entire team continued success.”
Relativity’s summer slate includes Tarsem Singh’s mythological fantasy Immortals which was showcased at last week’s WonderCon, as well as family comedy Judy Moody & the Not Bummer Summer.