Meyers named Odyssey prez

Robert Meyers, the former prexy of Orion Pictures Intl., has been tapped as the new prexy and CEO of feature distrib Odyssey Entertainment Ltd., it was announced Tuesday by Odyssey’s parent outfit, Communications and Entertainment Corp.

Meyers replaces Patrick Wachsberger in the position that was left vacant in February. Peter Elson, prexy of Odyssey Distribution, will report to Meyers.

In his new slot, the Los Angeles-based Meyers will step up the indie’s acquisition and distrib program, under which eight to 10 theatrical pics will be pack-

aged annually in addition to Odyssey’s exclusive output deal with HBO.

“Right away, I’m going to contact as many indie producers as I know to see what they have for us to sell,” said the newly arrived Meyers of his plans. “The word I got

(fromCommunications) was ‘You bring it in, we’ll get the money.’ ”

Meyers said his new acquisition budget could probably handle pics as hefty as $ 25 million, but that the production range would probably remain around $ 15 million to $ 20 million most of the time. Still, he said “it’s not about budgets , it’s about the property, the story.”

In a statement, Meyers said “it will be our objective to complement the HBO package with a balanced lineup, such as last year’s licensing of ‘Sniper,’ ‘This Boy’s Life’ and ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise.’ ”

“Based on what (Meyers) has done in previous years, he’ll bring to us some important product,” said Communications and Entertainment prexy Thomas W. Smith. “We’re aggressive and we’d like to expand.”

In a statement, Smith also commended Meyers’ “reservoir of experience which will enable us to reach new dimensions in attracting films and filmmakers to the Odyssey fold.”

Among the pics Odyssey will be taking out internationally through presales is Randy Shilts’ AIDS drama “And the Band Played On,” which premiered last month on HBO, and the Mickey Rourke-starrer “The Last Outlaw,” which bows on HBO in about two months.

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