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Veteran Beijing-based producer Peter Loehr is leaving Legendary Entertainment.
Since 2012, Loehr had served as Legendary’s top American executive in China, holding the position of CEO of Legendary East, the Burbank-based entertainment company’s Chinese subsidiary, which handles marketing Legendary’s films in the Middle Kingdom and developing strategic partnerships and co-productions.
Loehr’s exit comes about four months after the departure of Legendary Entertainment’s founder and chairman Thomas Tull. Tull’s resignation was a dramatic shift for Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which acquired Legendary for a reported $3.5 billion in early 2016 — the largest purchase to date of a U.S. studio by a Chinese company.
No indication of the reasons for Loehr’s exit — or next moves — were provided by the company, but he was known to be very close with Tull.
Jack Gao, Wanda’s CEO and senior vp international investments and operations, is currently leading Legendary as it seeks a full-time CEO. Mary Parent, the studio’s head of production, has stayed on and is understood to have Wanda’s full financial backing to pursue Legendary’s slate plans.
“We are grateful to Peter for his contributions and service building out a platform and awareness for Legendary’s brand in China and wish him great success in all future endeavors,” Gao said Thursday in a statement. “The current Legendary East management has been instrumental in developing our business plan for the future, and we look forward to continuing our strategic growth trajectory with this team. A new CEO to work with the incredible Legendary East team will be announced shortly.”
Loehr has been based in China for the past 22 years, and previously launched and ran CCA’s first China office from 2005 to 2012. During his time at CAA, he packaged over 50 films by Chinese filmmakers, including Xu Zheng (Lost in Thailand) and Ning Hao (Crazy Racer). At Legendary, Loehr oversaw the company’s Chinese marketing and release strategies for Warcraft, The Great Wall and Kong: Skull Island, all of which earned more in China than in North America. He also was a producer on The Great Wall.
“Having the opportunity to grow Legendary’s business in China has been an incredible experience and journey for me,” Loehr said in a statement. “I am enormously proud of everything that we have accomplished during my tenure at Legendary and feel extremely fortunate to have had the chance to work with the smart, innovative and incredible teams at both Legendary and Wanda. With much admiration and respect, I wish the company continued success and growth as I look forward to my next chapter.”
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