Paramount Cuts 7 Positions From Worldwide Acquisition Group

2:34 PM PST 06/07/2011 by Gregg Kilday , Stuart Kemp

Senior vp Matt Brodlie among those affected as studio shifts its focus.

Paramount Pictures has eliminated seven positions at its Paramount Worldwide Acquisitions Group, including that of Matt Brodlie, its Los Angeles-based senior vp of productions and acquisitions since 2008.

The studio is not shutting down PWAG, according to a source familiar with the changes, but instead is shifting its focus to emphasize acquisitions with global potential while moving away from local fare for local markets.

The PWAG staff in London, including Alexandra Rossi and Alexei Boltho, learned late last week of the decision. Boltho, a former BBC Films exec, is believed to be staying on as an overseas acquisitions person should the studio opt to acquire a title for Paramount Pictures International’s network of overseas distribution offices.

Notable PWAG pickups span Cell 211 in Spain, a Japanese remake of Ghost and the U.K.’s Made In Dagenham.

PWAG also snapped up Aussie rights to Oscar-winner The King’s Speech which took in $33.5 million down under.

Paramount is involved in a number of  productions overseas at the moment, including a futuristic thriller entitled Eva starring Daniel Bruehl, which the Weinstein Co has U.S. Rights to in Spain and James Marsh’s Clive Owen starrer Shadow Dancer, currently shooting in the U.K.

In France, Djamel Bensalah's comedy Beur Sur La Ville with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Gerard Jugnot is rolling.

“No one in France is going to take Paramount seriously now after doing this without any warning," an industry observer told THR.

PPI is still expected to distribute the films in the territories where it operates distribution.

Gregg Kilday reported from Los Angeles; Stuart Kemp reported from London

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