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Greg Silverman, the Warner Bros. Pictures senior exec who weathered a tough 2015, has been re-upped as president of Creative Development and Worldwide Production.
The new deal calls for Silverman to stay on as one of the studio’s three key heads under Warner Entertainment chairman/CEO Kevin Tsujihara for at least three years. In June, 2013, Tsujihara put the studio’s operations in the hands of a triumvirate that includes Silverman; Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing and distribution; and Toby Emmerich, president and COO of New Line Cinema.
The move represents a vote of confidence in Silverman even as it comes as the studio wraps up one of the worst years in its recent history. Warners found itself in between franchises in 2015 and its slate delivered few hits. Warners, normally one of the industry leaders, ended 2015 in third place in terms of domestic market share, well behind Universal and Disney.
Its biggest flop of the past year, the $150 million fantasy film Pan, grossed a dismal $127 million worldwide, while Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E collected just $109.6 million worldwide and a Vacation sequel took in only $104.7 million globally. Ron Howard’s sea-faring drama In the Heart of the Sea, released Dec. 11, quickly capsized and has grossed just $83.8 million.
Warners‘ year did start strong, with Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, a late 2014 release, going on to grab $547 million worldwide. And San Andreas, the disaster film starring Dwayne Johnson from the studio’s New Line unit, pulled in $473.8 million worldwide. George Miller’s Mad Max; Fury Road took in a solid $375.8 million globally and is now receiving awards season attention. And the more recently released Creed, produced with MGM, has proven to be a surprise hit, with audiences and critics alike and has grossed $116.5 million to date.
Meanwhile, Silverman and his team have been massaging a slate based on franchises which will begin to roll out in 2016.
The studio is betting on its DC Entertainment library and the launch of a DC cinematic universe that will begin with Zach Snyder’s Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, opening March 25, followed by David Ayer’s Suicide Squad on Aug. 5.
“We have a great strategy for the DC films, which is to take these beloved characters and put them in the hands of master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other,” Silverman told THR last June.
Silverman has been with the studio since 1999, except for a short stint at Revolution Studios in the early 2000s.
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