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In a major shake-up at Paramount Pictures, Adam Goodman is preparing to exit as president of the film group, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Goodman has a year left on his contract but won’t survive much longer. While the studio hasn’t necessarily suffered a major financial box-office bomb of late, Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey and vice chairman Rob Moore apparently aren’t satisfied with the controls on production costs, according to a source with ties to the studio. “They keep going over budget,” said the insider.
A Paramount spokesperson said the studio does not comment on employment matters, but a source inside Paramount confirmed that the “studio is currently reviewing its creative organization.”
News of Goodman’s pending departure is the latest change to hit a major Hollywood studio. On Tuesday, Tom Rothman was named co-chairman of Sony following the exit of Amy Pascal and the unprecedented cyberattack against the studio. One of Rothman’s new charges will be worldwide marketing and distribution chief Josh Greenstein, who served in the same job at Paramount before leaving for Sony last fall.
In 2007, after years of trailing its studio rivals in market share, Paramount zoomed to No. 1 thanks in large part to Transformers and a handful of other titles overseen by Goodman when serving as president of production at DreamWorks. A year later, amid its otherwise acrimonious split with DreamWorks, Grey and Moore persuaded Goodman to join the studio, promoting him to film group president a year after that.
Paramount stayed at the top of its game through 2011, when it hit $5.2 billion in worldwide box-office revenue, an industry record. Aside from being a chief architect behind the Transformers franchise, Goodman successfully rebooted the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek properties while launching G.I. Joe.
Goodman successfully navigated tricky waters when having to rework Brad Pitt‘s World War Z, which ended up earning $540 million worldwide after its release in summer 2013. However, it cost money to salvage the film. The studio also had to rework other films, including G.I. Joe: Retaliation. “The problems are not so much the lack of hits but the lack of production controls,” says the source close to the studio. “And it is Adam’s job to manage the process.”
While box-office standing doesn’t indicate profitability, Paramount’s domestic revenue fell sharply in 2012, from $2 billion the year before to $914.4 million. The dip coincided with the defection of Marvel Studios to Disney. Paramount lost another source of product when DreamWorks Animation left for Fox in late 2012, though DWA since has suffered a string of misses. In 2013, Paramount’s domestic revenue was $966.9 million, followed by $1.1 billion last year. Insiders point out that Goodman can’t be blamed in this area since he doesn’t control the number of films the studio makes, or distribution partnerships.
Goodman’s recent successes include The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which has reinvigorated the family franchise with box-office earnings of $203.8 million, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which exceeded expectations last year when it grossed $438.8 million globally (Ninja was shut down during preproduction to rework the story).
Goodman also oversaw Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar, which divided critics but ultimately earned $672.3 million worldwide.
Earlier this month, Paramount’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2 bombed at the box office with a $7.1 million debut, though MGM spearheaded production on the film, not Goodman.