Studio Perks of the Hollywood Exec: Home Screening Rooms, Private Jets, Huge Expense Accounts
It's tough getting by on $15 million a year — but for top industry execs, the job comes with luxurious lifestyle subsidies
This story first appeared in the Oct. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Even in a world of box-office freefall and studio-wide layoffs, the perks stay in place for top industry execs and bankable stars (especially those with style influence, who are eagerly courted by fashion brands). A-listers receive tens of thousands of dollars' worth of high-end duds from designers hoping they'll be caught by photographers wearing them ("People send me things, I feel obligated to wear them," says Robert Downey Jr.). Top agents have seemingly bottomless expense accounts ($5,000 a month for most partners). But the sweetest spoils go to studio chiefs: Use of the company's private jet, access to a car and driver, a private screening room built at your residence with the bill picked up by the company (at a cost of anywhere from $500,000 to $2 million) — these lifestyle bonuses are baseline perks.
Also built into mogul contracts are the resources — human and otherwise — required to maintain the trappings of the role. Studio chiefs have 24/7 assistants. Rumor has it that red-carpet regulars Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. president of worldwide marketing and international distribution, have hair and makeup for events written into their contracts (a Warner Bros. spokesperson denied that this is present in Kroll's contract). Top execs also have their offices renovated (one whose two offices were being redone was said to be so unhappy with the brand-new carpet, he had it ripped out).
Not every task is outsourced: Former Universal Pictures chairwoman Stacey Snider, now segueing from running DreamWorks to the No. 2 job at 20th Century Fox film, drives herself to work. Her new boss at Fox, studio chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, like his counterparts, hops company jets to premieres, conferences or meetings at parent company 21st Century Fox in New York City. But for his annual summer vacation to Greece, he flies commercial.
Oct. 2, 3:21 p.m. Updated with denial from Warner Bros. spokesperson.