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GK Films COO Bahman Naraghi and SVP Grey Rembert have left the company. Naraghi stepped down to pursue producing interests outside of the Graham King-run company while Rembert, whose focus was developing books, was laid off.
Development execs Kahli Small and recently hired Abby Ex will continue in their roles. Films going into production in 2012 include the musical Jersey Boys, an untitled Freddie Mercury biopic starring Sacha Baron Cohen and the comedy Little White Corvette, which King will oversee directly.
Since the success of the animated Paramount film Rango, released in March 2011, King’s company has had three sizable box office disappointments. The Rum Diary, which starred Johnny Depp, bombed when it was released in October, while Angelina Jolie‘s directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey grossed less than half a million dollars after its Christmas opening. Jolie split the $12-15 million cost with King and financier Tim Headington, but the film still repped major red ink. Both were FilmDistrict releases.
The biggest recent outlay was the $100 million-plus spent on the 3D, Martin Scorsese-directed Hugo. The Paramount film grossed just $177 million worldwide, not nearly enough to eclipse rumored budget overruns and global marketing costs.
GK Films next has the Tim Burton-directed Dark Shadows opening in May, with Depp again in the lead, and the Ben Affleck-directed Argo opening in September. Both will be released by Warner Bros. After that, the company has the big-budget Brad Pitt zombie epic World War Z hitting screens in June 2013.
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