Universal Pictures is shaking up its overseas structure, relocating the head of international theatrical operations from London to Los Angeles. Just who that is, though, remains a question mark. Well-respected ten-year Universal veteran David Kosse, who is President, International, Universal Pictures, has chosen to remain in London rather than head to the West Coast. He is understood to be in discussions about another role within the company, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him end up in an external relationship with the studio further down the road. The push to bring the core of the robust international business that Kosse built to LA comes about six months after Jeff Shell was named Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. The understanding is that moving the head of international theatrical to the home office will make for closer collaboration between the overseas distribution and marketing team and the rest of the Universal Pictures executive suite. A search is on for the person who will head up international theatrical from Universal City. Word is that the individual will have a more narrowly focused role than Kosse, who has overseen all matters international from distribution and marketing to production around the globe with aplomb. A source says, “The job is so big. Kosse looks after the life-cycle of movies after they leave the U.S. and is looking after local production. International …
Universal Moving Head Of International Theatrical Operations Post To LA; David Kosse Opts To Remain In London
Universal Pictures co-chairman Donna Langley appointed Peter Kujawski to the post of EVP Worldwide Acquisitions. Kujawski is currently EVP International Sales for the Universal-owned specialty film label Focus Features. The Universal features team got a vote of confidence when chairman Adam Fogelson was given an early re-up, and Langley is also negotiating to extend her term with the studio.
Kujawski is charged with centralizing and streamlining Universal’s acquisitions and to maximize distribution opportunities. He’ll report to Langley and be based in Los Angeles. He isn’t replacing anyone directly, but does pick up some of the slack left when Christian Grass left the studio in July. Kujawski will also work closely with Universal Pictures President of International David Kosse. “Peter’s vast experience selling specialty films gives him a unique perspective on the global marketplace and undeniably qualifies him to lead our acquisitions efforts,” Langley said.
London – 01 June 2011 – Universal Pictures International (UPI) today announced the promotion of Duncan Clark to President of Distribution. Clark previously served as Executive Vice President of Distribution for UPI since 2006, reporting to David Kosse, President of International, Universal Pictures.
Clark was a key executive in organizing and establishing Universal Pictures’ autonomous overseas operations as the company transitioned from its UIP joint venture with Paramount Pictures in 2007. Since then, he has guided Universal Pictures to two of its best years at the international box office in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, box office reached $1.714 billion propelled by the global box office phenomenon Mamma Mia! which grossed over $460 million in territories outside of North America.
David Kosse commented: “Duncan was one of my first hires when we made the decision to establish our own international operations. His knowledge of the worldwide distribution market has been invaluable in driving our strategy. UPI’s tremendous success over the past four years is a testament to his efforts, and he will be vital to our growth moving forward.”
Universal Pictures International has promoted its UK and Eire managing director to run the whole of international marketing. As executive vice-president, Hewlett will oversee all UPI marketing for overseas theatrical releases including ads, media buying and publicity. He will report to UPI president David Kosse. Hewlett first came to Universal in 2006 as UK managing director and was part of the team including Kosse and distribution head Duncan Clark who helped set up UPI in 2007.