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Former Paramount Pictures executive Megan Colligan has been named president of Imax Entertainment and executive vp of Imax Corp.
She succeeds Greg Foster, who will exit when his contract expires at the end of the year after an 18-year stint. Foster has played an integral role in growing the company into a signature exhibitor, including forging close ties with Hollywood studios and top filmmakers such as James Cameron, Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams.
Colligan rose up through the ranks at Paramount to serve as president of worldwide marketing and distribution, a post she exited last November. Previously, the exec gained recognition for her work marketing prestige titles at specialty labels Paramount Vantage and Fox Searchlight. Upon her exit from Paramount, Colligan alleged she had been the victim of gender bias, but later quietly settled with the studio. She is active in the #MeToo movement and is a member of the Time’s Up entertainment board.
In her new gig, Colligan will report directly to Imax Corp. CEO Rich Gelfond.
“Megan was the best candidate for the job. The one thing we couldn’t compromise on was a good relationship with talent,” Gelfond told The Hollywood Reporter. “Given all the issues going on around us, the fact that the best candidate was a woman was a great thing. We are happier leading than following.”
Colligan won’t have the same title as Foster, who is chairman of Imax Entertainment and senior exec vp of Imax Corp. She will officially join Imax on Feb. 19, the same day that voting closes for the Oscars. Colligan is currently serving as a consultant on the award contenders Beautiful Boy, If Beale Street Could Talk and Dick Cheney pic Vice, all from Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B.
Insiders say the decision by Imax and Foster to part ways was mutual, as well as amicable.
Colligan’s duties will include programming Imax theaters around the world, helping to grow Imax’s box-office share and continuing to cultivate the company’s strategic partnerships with studios and talent, both domestically and abroad. She will also be tasked with exploring partnerships with Netflix and other streamers, as well as play a key role in shaping Imax’s Film Fund.
“I always assumed I would end up doing some version of what I had done before. This is somewhat different,” Colligan said in an interview with THR. “Imax has a very entrepreneurial and authentic spirit of innovation that aligns with what I want to do next.”
Regarding her claims of gender bias against Paramount, Colligan tells THR she and the studio came to an “amicable resolution.”
Colligan was Paramount’s worldwide marketing and distribution president from 2014-2017 after serving in the same role on the domestic side from 2008-2011. During her tenure on the Melrose lot, she helped guide the campaigns and release for such films as Arrival, The Big Short, The Wolf of Wall Street, Interstellar, The Fighter, Selma and Hugo, among others.
Foster has yet to announce what his next move will be.
“I’d like to thank Greg for his dedication and commitment to building Imax’s blockbuster film business and contributing to our overall success,” Gelfond said in a statement. “His relentless drive to build relationships across the industry in both domestic and international markets with the finest filmmakers, studios and exhibitors was critical in helping Imax become the global brand that audiences equate with the best moviegoing experience on the planet.”
Added Foster: “After nearly 18 years at Imax, I leave extremely proud of what we’ve built and accomplished. I want to do everything possible to guarantee the continued prosperity of a company I have known and loved for such a long time. I can’t think of anyone better to hand the baton to than Megan.”
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