Frumkes exec VP at WB

Edward E. Frumkes has been promoted to executive vice president of Warner Bros.’ international theatrical division.

Frumkes, who reports directly to division president Wayne Duband, will oversee the segment’s day-to-day operations and supervise expansion of WB’s business in overseas territories from the studio’s Burbank lot.

Frumkes’ last promotion was in May 1992, when he was named a senior VP under Duband, focusing

largely on the studio’s business in Asia. He joined WB’s international operations in 1988 and within a year was made a VP, holding that title until last year.

His star has risen quicker than most, not only for his work but a strong relationship with Duband, insiders say.

In a statement, Duband attributed expansion of the company’s relationships in foreign territories, particularly in Asia, toFrumkes.

Frumkes was a critical player in building WB’s distribution and marketing structure after the studio’s international distribution pact with Disney expired Dec. 31, 1992. At that time, WB execs decided to regroup and rebuild the overseas structure, melding it more with the domestic marketing operation’s focus.

“We didn’t change our strategy in the territories, but we restructured our home office by eliminating the (international division’s) advertising and publicity department,” which was essentially handled by one person, said Duband. The solo task had proved a cumbersome and nearly impossible job.

“Now we look at marketing movies on a worldwide basis from the beginning of a project,” adds Duband. That means WB’s international and domestic operations build an international and domestic campaign at the same time.

WB’s international division has certainly been the biggest overseas player. In the first six months of this year, the division’s box office loomed above $ 300 million, surpassing last year’s record of about $ 280 million. And this year’s results, which include the hit “The Bodyguard,” will not be able to count “The Fugitive” or Mel Gibson’s “Man Without a Face.”

In his new role, Frumkes will continue to build the studio’s relationships overseas and work closely with Rob Friedman, WB’s president of worldwide advertising and publicity on film campaigns.

“The focus here is to work as a team, with both domestic and international being involved in the conception of a universal campaign for each film,” Frumkes said.

Example: Domestic and international came up with a campaign overseas for “The Fugitive” in which Harrison Ford’s face is slapped across a wanted poster with a phone number on it.

“The idea is that people who see the poster will call the number and get Harrison’s voice saying he is Dr. Richard Kimble, that he’s innocent and basically tell the foreign audience something of the story,” adds Frumkes.

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