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In a move that provides continued leadership stability at one of Hollywood’s major movie studios during a time of great upheaval, film studio chairman Tom Rothman has extended his contract and added CEO to his title, the studio said Wednesday. His duties will remain the same.
The tenacious Rothman took over Sony Pictures Entertaiment’s Motion Picture Group in 2015, succeeding Amy Pascal and following the devastating hack of the company. His contract was reupped for a first time in 2018 (a studio head’s deal often runs three years).
Rothman is credited with righting the studio and leading it to its most profitable years in history after turning out a string of hits, and successfully rebooting a string of franchises, including Spider-Man and Jumanji. He’s also pursued such original titles as Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which garnered 20 Oscar nominations. And he’s succeeded in spinning other Spider-Man-related characters into movies, such as Venom.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Rothman made headlines by opting to sell off certain movies to streamers before signing a lucrative pay-one television deal with Netflix.
“Tom has expertly led the dramatic turnaround of the Motion Picture Group during some of the most tumultuous years in our industry’s history,” SPE Chairman-CEO Tony Vinciquerra said in announcing the news.
“SPE’s record profits over the last three years are in large part due to Tom’s sharp eye for great content and ability to attract top talent,” Vinciquerra continued. “Our industry has never experienced the kinds of complex challenges we face today, and we know our film group is in very good hands with Tom at the helm.”
Rothman, who reports to Vinciquerra, will continue to oversee all of the studio’s motion picture businesses including Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures International Productions, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films and Sony Pictures Classics.
In fiscal year 2017, SPE saw profits soar to $376 million, compared to a stunning $719 million loss in 2016. The turnaround was fueled by such global box office hits as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($962 million) and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($880 million).
Other Rothman credits include Bad Boys for Life, Don’t Breathe, Baby Driver, the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Greta Gerwig’s Oscar darling Little Women.
“Together, we have consistently made enduring cultural impact, and being a part of that is the greatest of all the many great privileges of this job in this era. I am a fortunate fellow indeed,” Rothman said in the statement.
Known for being fiscally prudent and a tough negotiator, Rothman balked in 2019 when Disney and Marvel Studios wanted better terms for ongoing Spider-Man films made at Sony. Marvel and Sony ultimately came to an agreement that kept Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The studio’s upcoming slate includes Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Spider-Man: No Way Home; Morbius, the next Sony Marvel character to get the big-screen treatment; Ghostbusters: Afterlife; Oscar hopeful A Journal for Jordan, directed by Denzel Washington and starring Michael B. Jordan; David Leitch’s action-thriller Bullet Train, starring Brad Pitt; and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, again with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller producing.
Rothman joined Sony Pictures in 2013 as chairman of TriStar Pictures. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000 to 2012. Earlier at Fox, he launched Fox Searchlight.
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