New Regency banks on a new franchise player

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Hutch Parker is leaving his post of vice chairman of 20th Century Fox to become chairman of New Regency alongside current Regency chairman and CEO Robert Harper.

Parker had been vice chairman of Fox since 2007, and before that he was president. He joined the company in 1995 and oversaw the rollout of such hits as the "X-Men" trilogy, "Night at the Museum," "Borat," "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Dodgeball."

At this point, Fox is not looking to replace Parker.

Regency hopes Parker will help take company to "new heights," which among other things will mean the creation of a bankable franchise. Regency — a production and finance company owned by Arnon Milchan, and in which Fox has a stake — has had its share of hits in the form of "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and the smash "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." But it has yet to master the art of the movie series. Its latest attempt, "Jumper," didn't gain much height at the boxoffice.

Among its upcoming releases are "Marley & Me," an adaptation of the best-selling novel, starring Owen Wilson; "Mirrors," starring Kiefer Sutherland and directed by Alexandre Aja; and "Meet Dave," starring Eddie Murphy.

Parker also will run the company's TV development and production as well as other media-related ventures. Regency- produced series include "Malcolm in the Middle" and "New Amsterdam."

Parker's move to Regency reunites him with a Fox cohort, as Harper held the position of vice chairman at Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2004-07. There has always been a lot of cross-pollination between the two companies; the latest move occurred last week when Sanford Panitch, who was president of filmed entertainment at New Regency, walked across the lot to head newly formed Fox International Prods. (partialdiff)
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