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Warner Bros Announces New Leadership Team; Kroll And Silverman To Run Studio, Emmerich Stays Put, Fellman Extended

By | Monday June 24, 2013 @ 9:36am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: WARNER BROS SHAKE-UP: Jeff Robinov Quitting Movie Studio After No New Contract Offered And New Boss and Ex-Pal Kevin Tsujihara’s War Of Silence

(June 24, 2013 – Burbank, CA) Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced a new leadership team to run Warner Bros. Pictures Group, capitalizing on the proven strengths of a number of longtime Studio executives. Sue Kroll will now serve as President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures; Greg Silverman will now serve as President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures; and Toby Emmerich will continue as President and COO, New Line Cinema, while adding responsibility for Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. The announcement was made today by Kevin Tsujihara, CEO, Warner Bros., to whom all three executives will report.

Working closely with the management team, Dan Fellman, whose contract has been extended, will continue in his role as President, Domestic Distribution, reporting directly to Tsujihara. Veronika Kwan Vandenberg will continue as President, International Distribution, and ultimately assume responsibility for worldwide distribution, taking on the domestic distribution function upon the planned retirement of Fellman. Kwan Vandenberg will report to Kroll who, in addition to her marketing and distribution responsibilities, will continue to be involved in all aspects of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and New Line Cinema’s releases.

“Warner Bros. is the world’s preeminent motion picture studio with one of the most talented executive benches in the industry,” said Tsujihara. “Collectively, this team has more than 100 years at the company and broad experience across the film business, which will ensure that Warner Bros. Pictures continues as a respected leader in production, marketing and global distribution. I have every confidence that we will continue to deliver the industry’s most compelling, popular and successful movies.”

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2ND UPDATE: WARNER BROS SHAKE-UP – Jeff Robinov Quitting Movie Studio After No New Contract Offered And Kevin Tsujihara’s War Of Silence; Sue Kroll, Dan Fellman, And Greg Silverman May Become Triumvirate

FRIDAY 5 AM, 2ND UPDATE: I’ve learned that Jeff Robinov’s attorney Skip Brittenham officially notified Warner Bros on Thursday that it is in breach of the movie mogul’s contract, and he wants to negotiate his exit.

THURSDAY 6 PM UPDATED THROUGHOUT… EXCLUSIVE 2:45 PM: The destabilization of once rock-solid Warner Bros continues. I’ve learned that Jeff Robinov has decided to leave as Warner Brothers Pictures Group President after months of waiting in vain for Time Warner Jeff Bewkes and Warner Bros Chairman Kevin Tsujihara to offer him a new contract when his expires in December. Robinov is on vacation in New Mexico and this week enlisted both his attorney Skip Brittenham and his friend and former Warner Bros chairman Bob Daly to negotiate his exit. Robinov’s frustration follows Bewkes and Tsujihara placing him inside the ‘cone of silence’ in recent weeks ever since the home entertainment chief was appointed as the new Warner Bros CEO and soon to be chairman. No phone calls of congratulations came from Bewkes or Tsujihara to Robinov after last weekend’s record-setting global successful opening of Man Of Steel or any of the studio’s Summer 2013 big worldwide releases, The Great Gatsby and The Hangover Part III.

[EXCLUSIVE below: Ben Affleck and Baz Luhrmann reflect on their relationships with Robinov while Christopher Nolan's is detailed.]

Witnesses tell me that on the LA to NY plane trip to the Superman premiere June 10th, Tsujihara sat for the five hours not saying a word to Robinov who was sitting opposite him. This cruel behavior was in full view of not only Robinov’s execs but also of the Man Of Steel filmmakers like Christopher Nolan whom Robinov had brought to the studio. I’m told that at the Red Carpet gala at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, which should have been his triumph, Robinov left demoralized after just 15 minutes. This, after he and Tsujihara used to be close friends who went on family vacations together. “I’m constantly being marginalized. My job is shrinking day-to-day,” Robinov confided to a pal the other day. “Kevin is starting to push me out by both the things he’s doing and the responsibilities he’s assuming. It’ll end up with everyone reporting to him. The result is that people at the studio are wondering how they can benefit from this or how they can not get hurt by this. Sitting around is not something I can do, or, by the end of the year, the studio will be in a massive mess.”

I’ve learned that the structure being contemplated for Warner Bros Pictures is not for any one person to replace Robinov, who was a rarity in recent Hollywood in that he did both the business and creative top job at a studio. Instead, his Warner Bros Pictures executives Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing; Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution; and Greg Silverman, President of Production, would run the studio as a triumvirate under Tsujihara who will take over the business side even though he has no such movie experience. Read More »

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Hammond On Cannes: Opening Night ‘Gatsby’ Party Wet But Elaborate

Pete Hammond

Baz Luhrmann followed up his biggest opening day in America with his biggest opening day in France as The Great Gatsby took in $78K in partial-day results that still were bigger than his Moulin Rouge and AustraliaUnderstandably in a party mood thanks to the overperformance of his U.S. box office last weekend, the director pronounced himself pleased with one of the most elaborate after-parties which Cannes has seen since Moulin Rouge premiered here in 2001. Warner Bros co-hosted the gala event with Gatsby‘s other key financier, Village Roadshow. “I love it.  I think Jay Gatsby would have loved it too. ‘Screw the rain,’ he would have said,” Luhrmann laughed.

The Cannes celebration of its opening-night film continued into the early morning hours despite a monsoon-like downpour. When I left around 2 AM, though, the party showed no sign of winding down. Luhrmann was frequently out on the dance floor whooping it up with the likes of Warner Bros worldwide marketing czarina Sue Kroll (“When you open the festival, you have to spend a good amount of money on the party,” Kroll told me), his co-star Isla Fisher, and his WME agent Robert Newman. Also there was the festival guru Thierry Fremaux, who told me that the first film he ever programmed when he first snagged the prestigious Cannes gig was Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.

Luhrmann said he was now really optimistic about the global … Read More »

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‘Deathly Hallows’ Becomes Top-Grossing ‘Harry Potter’ Pic Internationally

Mike Fleming

BURBANK, CA, March 9, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 has become the highest grossing installment in the Harry Potter franchise in international markets. With just months to go before the release of the finale of the record-breaking film series based on the beloved books by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 has earned a staggering $657.24 million and counting, soaring past the previous record-holder, 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which grossed $657 million. The announcement was made today by Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
“It’s tremendously gratifying to reach this benchmark as we enter the final stretch of this remarkable journey,” said Jeff Robinov, President of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “We share this achievement with Jo Rowling, whose books are the foundation of this rich and vibrant world, as well as the talented people who brought her vision to life on the screen.”
“We are also incredibly proud of our teams around the world who have brought a consistent level of excellence, passion and ingenuity to the campaigns for these films,” said Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures. “And, of course, we’re thrilled that longtime fans and new audiences alike have continued to champion each film, resulting in the huge success of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.”
Kwan-Rubinek added, “These numbers speak to the phenomenal and enduring strength of this property, which has captivated audiences

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Warner Bros Claims Victory In Domestic, Foreign And Worldwide Market Share

Mike Fleming

BURBANK, CA, January 4, 2011 – The Warner Bros. Pictures Group broke the all-time industry worldwide box office record with a 2010 gross of $4.814 billion, which surpasses the prior record of $4.010 billion (set by Warner Bros. in 2009). The announcement was made today by Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Setting new benchmarks for both the international and global box office grosses in 2010 and retaining the domestic box office number one ranking (after achieving a record gross in 2009), the Studio now holds the industry record in all three categories. Additionally, Warner Bros. surpassed its own worldwide gross from the previous year by $800 million to earn the number one position in worldwide market share for the second consecutive year and for the sixth time in the past 10 years, also an industry record.

“We are so proud of these incredible accomplishments, which were made possible through the global efforts of an exceptional group of people who collaborated to create, produce, market, and distribute more than two dozen films this past year,” said Robinov. “We have a terrific leadership team behind these efforts, including Sue Kroll, Dan Fellman and Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, and, along with Barry Meyer and Alan Horn, I applaud everyone who contributed to this year’s record-breaking success.”

Warner Bros. Pictures’ domestic gross is estimated at $1.884 billion, making it number one in domestic market share for 2010. This is the third year in a row the

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Lynne Frank Named EVP International Marketing For Warner Bros Pictures

By | Thursday July 29, 2010 @ 11:06am PDT

Burbank, CA, July 29, 2010 – Lynne Frank has been named Executive Vice President, International Marketing, at Warner Bros Pictures, it was announced today by Sue Kroll, Warner Bros Pictures’ President, Worldwide Marketing. In the newly created position, Frank will work with Kroll and the international marketing executives to create, innovate and implement the Division’s day-to-day strategy development, and business and campaign planning and execution across all international territories.

Among her duties will be oversight of all international campaigns, planning and budgets, as well as the strategic development and execution of regional and local campaigns. Frank will be involved in local acquisitions for regional release and will be the key international link with other divisions in the company, including home entertainment, television and consumer products. Additionally, Frank will serve as key liaison to the international distribution team. Moving to the Studio from ESPN and, previously, Turner Broadcasting System Europe, Frank is set to relocate from London to Warner Bros. Pictures’ worldwide headquarters in Burbank this October, where she will report directly to Kroll.

“I have known Lynne for many years and am thrilled that she will be taking on this key new role at the Studio,” said Kroll. “When she worked with me at Turner, her expertise in opening new markets and localizing global properties was a tremendous asset, as it will be here at Warner Bros as our business continues to evolve in the rapidly changing international marketplace.”

Most recently, Frank served

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Warner Bros Shakes Up Movie Marketing

By | Friday March 28, 2008 @ 2:59pm PDT

UPDATE: A big meeting went down today inside Warner Bros theatrical marketing where staff learned their fates with “the blending” of domestic and international marketing. (Needless to say, people were throwing stares at the Glass Building where marketing and distribution are housed.) Sources tell me, “There were some promotions and some reshuffling but no layoffs whatsoever. We’re expecting to make announcements next week on those promoted. But we haven’t even started writing the press releases yet.” The moves made today are by worldwide marketing czarina Sue Kroll as she handpicks her staff after her boss, Warner Bros Pictures Group prez Jeff Robinov, squeezed out Dawn Taubin.

The biggest news is that Blair Rich is promoted to EVP of worldwide marketing. (She just got upped last year to SVP of international marketing, so this is a huge boost. She started as Sue Kroll’s assistant and is said to be popular with filmmakers but not vendors. She’s also the daughter of legendary Hollywood TV producer Lee Rich, whose Lorimar was purchased by Warner’s.) Gene Garlock upped to SVP for worldwide promotions. (He gets additional domestic duties from previous post as SVP for international promotions). Julie Goodwin will co-head worldwide publicity with Lance Volland (who previously oversaw international publicity). This all follows Debi Miller’s departure for CBS’s new film division after serving as EVP of domestic theatrical marketing. (She was unhappy for the past six months…) But this blending is just the beginning because it doesn’t include the eventual integration of New … Read More »

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