BREAKING: Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg has re-upped for another four years through 2018, solidifying the distribution company. Ortenberg founded Open Road in 2011, backed by theater chains AMC and Regal. The move comes after Open Road extended its $100 million credit facility and set premium pay TV deals through Showtime and Netflix. Ortenberg’s deal was to scheduled to expire next year. “Working with AMC and Regal to establish Open Road Films — and growing the company over the past two and a half years — has been the most satisfying and exhilarating experience of my career,” Ortenberg said in a statement. “I could not be more proud of the job our team has done so far and I am looking forward to the future with great excitement.”
In Ortenberg, AMC and Regal got a savvy pro to launch a company designed to acquire and distribute wide release fare. Ortenberg previously served top posts at The Weinstein Company and Lionsgate. Open Road finds itself in an interesting position, given that one of its main wide release rivals, FilmDistrict, is being folded into Focus Features with the ascension of Peter Schlessel to take over the Universal-based prestige film label. It is unclear how that will impact competition, but even if Focus does more genre fare it gives Open Road room to breathe. Its releases have included the Liam Neeson-starrer The Grey, the Marlon Wayans comedy A Haunted House, the Steven Soderbergh-directed Side Effects; The Host; and the Ashton Kutcher-starrer Jobs, the latter of which was a service deal. Upcoming films include Machete Kills, the Jason Statham-starrer Homefront, and the 3D animated The Nut Job among others on its slate.
“We are thrilled with the job that Tom and his team have done in launching Open Road,” said Gerry Lopez, CEO of AMC and Amy Miles, CEO of Regal, in a joint statement. “We look forward to working with him for many years to come as we continue to grow the company.”