In the ten years since Martin Scorsese manager Brad Grey took over the reins as Paramount
Chairman and CEO, his Vice Chairman and chief operating lieutenant Rob Moore, who manages day-to-day operations at the studio, has remained in place. But the presidents of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group and Production have moved through a revolving door, from Donald De Line, Gail Berman and Alli Shearmur to Brad Weston, John Lesher and finally, Adam Goodman, who was trained at DreamWorks by Stacey Snider and was recently pushed out after six years in favor of a studio production deal.
After reportedly talking to at least two rival studio production heads
(Sony’s Michael De Luca and Doug Belgrad), Grey has opted to promote four-year production president Marc Evans, a studio veteran of 12 years, who will bring stability rather than turmoil. Evans joined Paramount in 2003, ahead of Goodman’s arrival, so he’s not associated with his regime. Evans has built support from such Paramount producers as Lorenzo di Bonaventura (“Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” franchises), J.J. Abrams (“Mission Impossible,” “Star Trek”) and David Ellison (“World War Z,” “Jack Reacher”).
The studio is maintaining a huge marketing and distribution apparatus (despite studio-wide layoffs) even after cutting back on the number of movies the studio released. 2015 marks no releases between
MGM sequel “Hot Tub Time Machine 2″ (February 20) and “Mission: Impossible 5″ (July 31). Grey now wants to boost live action production to more like 14 a year, plus one in-house animated feature.
“Having evaluated the potential candidates for this role, it quickly became clear that Marc was the most qualified and that he has truly earned this position. He has immense talents, a strong creative vision, deep integrity and an unrivaled work ethic. We take great pride in the fact that Marc has professionally grown up at Paramount, that he has overseen production of so many wonderful pictures here, and that he had such strong support from our creative collaborators. We couldn’t be more excited about the future.”
Check out Tom Breuggemann’s 2014 box office report on Paramount, which came in 6th in market share among the studios with the fewest releases, ahead of Lionsgate, after coming in at 7th place the prior two years.
10.2% market share
$1.053 billion gross (2013 – 7th, $967 million, 8.8%; 2012 – 7th; $940 million, 8.4%)
Once again, less is more for Paramount, with only 10 wide releases. They had what so far is #1 worldwide for 2014’s releases with “Transformers: Age of Extinction”
coming in at $1.1 billion, more than 75% outside domestic (it ranked only #5 locally). Even though it came in as the second most expensive film of the year at $210 million (behind “The Hobbit”), it became a colossal blockbuster, in part because of the studio’s smart placement just after the World Cup, when much of the world was hungry for an action-packed epic, and its tie-ins to #2 movie market China.
Half of Paramount’s output cost $100 million or more, but their second breakout was the less expensive hit “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” whose relaunch is approaching $500 million worldwide. “Interstellar” (which co-producer Warners handled overseas) is a lesser blockbuster, but still a positive for both companies despite not quite living up to expectations.
Other high-end entries “Noah” and “Hercules” might recoup. The company managed to avoid any major flops.
Recap: 2 major blockbusters, 1 lesser blockbuster, 1 smash, 1 low-budget hit, 3 recoupers, 3 minor flops.