Gross to leave Fox

David Gross, 20th Century Fox’s vice president of international marketing and distribution, said Thursday he will leave the studio when his three-year contract expires this September.

“The rebuilding of Fox’s international division is complete and it’s time for me to pursue other opportunities,” Gross told Daily Variety.

Gross was hired by Fox Intl. president Walter Senior after holding marketing posts at Buena Vista Intl. and National Research Group Europe.

In a statement Senior said, “David has made a significant contribution toward transforming Fox Intl. into a market leader.”

Senior, who could not be reached for comment, did not address the question of a successor, raising the possibility that there may be an internal reorganization and no new hire after Gross’ exit.

Gross said, “The past three years at Fox Intl. have been a very rewarding and satisfying experience.” He noted those three years were the best in the division’s history.

At Fox he oversaw the international marketing of the two “Home Alones” (which posted film rentals of about $ 90 million apiece), “Alien3” and “Hot Shots!” (both billed around $ 50 million), and “Sleeping With the Enemy” (some $ 32 million).

Looking at Fox’s production and release slates, the studio appears to be in a contracting mode. For overseas markets, Fox has only four major films in the next 12 months: “Hot Shots! Part Deux,””Rising Sun,””Beverly Hillbillies” and “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

The studio has sold off or passed on foreign rights to numerous films, and, as stated by Fox chairman Peter Chernin, is relying increasingly on pickups.

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