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Over the course of 2019, CBS Films is being folded into CBS Entertainment Group, shifting its focus towards creating content for the company’s streaming platforms.
The company is committed to the theatrical release of four upcoming titles: Five Feet Apart, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Pavarotti and Lexi. (Five Feet Apart, Scary Stories and Lexi will be distributed through the company’s partnership with Lionsgate.)
Layoffs are expected at CBS Films, which employs roughly 40 people, and will begin in mid-March. CBS Films president Terry Press is expected to continue to lead the division.
CBS Films will pivot toward developing, producing and acquiring projects for CBS’ digital platforms, which will likely include the company’s current streaming platform CBS All Access, the home to series offerings such as The Good Fight and Jordan Peele’s upcoming Twilight Zone reboot.
The move comes as dramas and genre offerings like romantic comedies are being backed by Netflix and Amazon, and studios have begun to move their mid-budget offerings to individual streaming services, like Disney+, pushing theatrical releases for their big-budget superhero movies and tentpole franchises.
CBS Films’ recent releases include Hell or High Water, the Helen Mirren-fronted horror film Winchester and, most recently, the Vincent van Gogh biopic At Eternity’s Gate, which earned star Willem Dafoe a Golden Globe nomination.
Read the full statement from the CBS Corporation, below.
As part of our ongoing optimization of CBS operations, CBS Films will be folded into the larger CBS Entertainment Group over the course of 2019. This will allow the company to further focus its entertainment resources on its television, digital and streaming businesses. Prior to shifting its focus to streaming-centered content, the division will continue to execute their distribution and marketing strategies in support of forthcoming releases Five Feet Apart, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Pavarotti and Lexi. We are grateful for the continued leadership of Terry Press and the passionate efforts of everyone at CBS Films.
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