Walden names Bostick co-CEO


UPDATED 7:29 p.m. PT March 25, 2008

Producer Michael Bostick has been named co-CEO of Walden Media and will share the title and responsibilities with the company's Cary Granat.

Walden Media and sister company Bristol Bay Prods. are divisions of Anschutz Film Group, which, unhappy with the boxoffice performance of many of its films, overhauled both businesses in January, resulting in a dozen layoffs.

Bostick, who joins April 16, will be responsible for the acquisition and development of all future Walden Media and Bristol Bay films other than the company's "The Chronicles of Narnia" franchise and a few other specific projects that Granat will oversee. The pair will jointly supervise physical production and marketing, with each responsible for films from his development slate. Granat and Bostick report to Anschutz CEO David Weil.

Bostick is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning producer who has produced such films as "Bruce Almighty," "Liar Liar" and "Evan Almighty." He was associate producer on "Apollo 13" and has produced such TV programs as "8 Simple Rules" and "From the Earth to the Moon."

He had been heading Tom Shadyac's Shady Acres Entertainment. For the past seven years, Bostick served as Shadyac's producing partner, overseeing all of the company's day-to-day operations.

Shadyac will continue running Shady Acres.

Weil indicated that additional new hires may be on the way at Walden.

"I think it is likely that we will have one or two additional creative execs," he said, adding that this might occur with Bostick's arrival or shortly after. "Depending on the level of activity, we may add to the marketing group and we may add to the physical production group as well. We are in a fortunate position because there is no distribution pipeline that we need to fill, so there is no minimum number of pictures that we need to make in any one year in order to maintain our business plan.

"We will greenlight films when they are ready to be made," he added, "and that can be a couple of films a year, or that can be five or six films a year."

Walden Media has a joint venture with 20th Century Fox to market and release family films; its latest, "Nim's Island," opens April 4. "The City of Ember" opens later this year.

Other 2008 Walden releases include "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D" with New Line; "The Great Buck Howard" with Bristol Bay; and the second film in the Narnia series, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," with Disney.

Before joining Shady Acres, Bostick was president of Imagine Films, where he was an executive for nearly 10 years. He also worked at Touchstone Pictures and Disney.