Riche moves to Hughes Ent. as prexy/COO

Former TriStar executive VP of production Alan Riche yesterday was named president and chief operating officer of filmmaker John Hughes’ Hughes Entertainment, which plans to expand in such areas as TV, music, interactive video, licensing and books.

Riche’s mandate also calls for him to re-evaluate the company’s development slate of about 15 projects and move Hughes Entertainment into such new genres as action-adventure movies, animated features and dramas.

With such pix as “Sixteen Candles,””The Breakfast Club” and “Home Alone,” Chicago-based Hughes Entertainment has become known for its work in comedy.

Riche was one of seven exex and three story staffers let go by TriStar Pictures in a sweeping restructure earlier this year (Daily Variety, Feb. 28).

At TriStar, Riche was involved in such movies as “Hook,””The Fisher King” and early development of the upcoming “So I Married an Ax Murderer.”

Riche comes to Hughes less than a month after he entered into a non-exclusive independent consultancy with the movie unit of Quincy Jones Entertainment.

Riche said he will guard against “stoppages in product flow” at Hughes by signing writers to develop scripts based on Hughes’ ideas. Riche said about 90% of the screenplays that Hughes Entertainment has previously developed have been produced.

Riche said Hughes Entertainment plans to produce two to five movies annually. This year, the company did “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” which 20th Century Fox will release Nov. 20, and Warner Bros.’ “Dennis the Menace.”

Previous top Hughes executives have included presidents Peter Heller and Tom Jacobson and senior veepee Tarquin Gotch.

Riche is the first studio executive hired by Hughes to expand in other entertainment segments besides movies.

Box office bonanza

Films directed and/or produced by Hughes–including “Home Alone,””The Breakfast Club””Ferris Bueller’s Day Off””Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “Uncle Buck”–have grossed $ 269.1 million. Among the 15 projects in development at Hughes Entertainment are the comedy “Larry’s Late for Life” and “Black Cat Bone.” Hughes wrote both screenplays, which are in the packaging stage.

Sequels to “Dennis the Menace” and a third installment of “Home Alone” are also in the offing.

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