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It’s Official: Stacey Snider Finally Joins Fox as Co-Chairman

It's Official: Stacey Snider Finally Joins Fox as Co-Chairman

Last time I saw Gianopulos, at the New York Film Festival premiere of “Gone Girl,” the executive was visibly relieved to have this supremely capable executive joining him. He’s a lucky man.

While no one is indispensable and no one is perfect, Snider has the right mix of skills to run a studio. She knows how to manage a team of executives as well as how to develop, produce, and release movies that are both smart and four quadrant friendly. She knows that including women in movies makes them more profitable. She’s going to oversee production for not only the Fox studio but Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions and Fox Searchlight. Only senior label exec Elizabeth Gabler will continue to oversee her Fox 2000 pictures and report to Gianopulos. 

Snider and Gianopulos will jointly oversee the studio’s global theatrical marketing and distribution. 

She left DreamWorks after eight years with blessings from Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who lured her to join him at Fox, along with Gianopulos and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch. Snider was CEO and co-chairman of DreamWorks Studios, where she was a partner with Spielberg, producing such Oscar contenders as the musicals “Sweeney Todd” and “Dreamgirls,” and Clint Eastwood’s World War II series “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima,” as well as “Tropic Thunder,” “Transformers,” and “Eagle Eye.” The company’s recent releases include “The Hundred-Foot Journey,”  “War Horse” and the Academy Award-winning films “The Help” and “Lincoln,” co-produced with 20th Century Fox and directed by Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, who won an Oscar in the title role. 

Universal chief Ron Meyer was sorry to see Snider go when she left running the motion picture studio as chairman to join DreamWorks in 2006. Some of the Universal franchises she originated and oversaw include the Bourne, Mummy, American Pie, Fast and the Furious, and the Meet the Parents series.  Other highlights were Oscar contenders “Erin Brockovich,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Seabiscuit,” “Ray,” “Lost in Translation,” and “Brokeback Mountain.”

Before she came to Universal, Snider was president of TriStar Pictures, where she worked on such films as “Jerry Maguire,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “As Good As It Gets” and “Philadelphia.”  She came to Tri-Star following her position as executive vice president of Guber Peters Entertainment.

Gianopulos and his team have not done badly since Rothman left. Fox is now enjoying a record-breaking year at the global box office in 2014 and is currently the global box office market leader with more than $4.8 billion in global box office receipts. 

Snider inherits Fox production chief Emma Watts, who supervised fall hits “Gone Girl” and “The Maze Runner” and summer smashes “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “The Other Woman.”

Snider should be able to improve the performance of Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, which is not the powerhouse it was under Chris Meledandri. Blue Sky’s recent output includes “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” “Ice Age: Continental Drift” and two RIO movies.

Steady as they go is Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley’s Fox Searchlight Pictures which has 2014 releaaes “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Birdman” and “Wild” in the Oscar race, per usual. Since they took over the division in 2009, Utley and Gilula have guided such films as Oscar-winners “12 Years a Slave,”  “Black Swan,” “Crazy Heart,” and contender “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Claudia Lewis oversees in-house production for the division, which produced “The Descendants”and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” among many other films. Our recent interview with Lewis is here. 

Executive Sanford Panitch runs the local language division, Fox International Productions, which he pioneered six years ago which has produced, acquired and distributed films in 12 different countries for a global box office to date of more than $855 million. 
Gabler’s Fox 2000 Pictures produces a wide array of smart films, from Oscar-winner “The Life of Pi” to this summer’s “The Fault in Our Stars” and last year’s “The Book Thief.”

A pressing question in Hollywood has been what happens after Snider leaves DreamWorks (and its financing partner Reliance and distributor Disney). Spielberg found her replacement in ex-president of TNT, TBS and TCM Michael Wright, who will take over as DreamWorks CEO –though not a partner, as Snider was–on January 3, 2015. Production president Holly Bario will run DreamWorks creative until Wright comes aboard, with Jeff Small continuing as DreamWorks president and chief operating officer. Kristie Macosko Krieger will be a DreamWorks producer. 

Snider has been “an important part of my life for two decades and I want to acknowledge her many accomplishments at the company as well as her friendship and counsel which have been so important to me,” stated Spielberg.  “I’d also like to express my appreciation for her guidance and support throughout the transition.”
Wright’s selection underscores yet again the direction most intelligent producers of filmed entertainment in Hollywood feel they must go: television. Spielberg has been in those waters for many years and worked with Wright on such DreamWorks-produced TNT shows as “Falling Skies” and the miniseries “Into the West.” Spielberg will stay in charge of Amblin Television, which is run by Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. 
Over the past few months Snider had been getting things in order before her November departure to Fox when her contract expired. The box Snider had to function inside at DreamWorks had gotten ever smaller–hits “Lincoln” and “The Help” were not easy to push up the hill, and she wound up supervising three recent disappointments–“The Fifth Estate,” “Delivery Man” and “Need for Speed.”  The studio’s diminished slate of four films a year contributed to Snider’s wish to return to a more challenging creative arena. 

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