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Warner Bros. executive Richard Fox is heading to China to oversee the studio’s expansion in the fast-growing market.
Fox, who has been executive vp, international at Warners since 1992, will relocate to Beijing next year to spearhead WB’s activities in China. As part of the job, Fox will oversee the studio’s 49 percent interest in Flagship Entertainment, a Chinese-language co-production joint venture with China Media Capital that Warners launched earlier this year. Flagship hopes to have its first Chinese release in theaters by as early as next year.
“China represents incredible opportunities for Warner Bros. across a variety of businesses,” said Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara in a statement. “With his unique background and unmatched experience, Richard will work with Chinese talent and the Studio’s partners to provide premium entertainment content for this fast-growing, dynamic market.”
China is already the second-largest cinema market in the world and is on track to soon overtake the U.S. as number one. Chinese-language titles are increasingly popular and have come to dominate the local box office, pushing out Hollywood imports.
Fox will work both with Warner executives on the ground in China and divisional leaders back in the U.S. to coordinate the studio’s China strategy and will be responsible for sniffing out new opportunities in the territory. He will also work to distribute Flagship’s Chinese-language tentpoles outside China.
“Whether it’s in Burbank or Beijing, Warner Bros. has a longstanding reputation as being an excellent business and creative partner,” said Fox in a statement. “I’m honored that I will be furthering this tradition and extending the Studio’s legacy through our work in China as well as on the Flagship titles.”
Reg Harpur, executive vp, operations and planning at Warner Bros. will assume greater oversight and responsibilities for the studio’s international operations amid Fox’s move. As part of his new responsibilities, Harpur will have day-to-day oversight of the company’s Amsterdam regional distribution hub and the country managers, the cross-divisional executives who oversee Warner Bros.’ businesses in key international territories, including the U.K. and Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. Country managers will now report to Tsujihara and Harpur.
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