ShoWest taps Kopelson ‘producer of the year’

Top-of-the-lot Warner Bros. filmmaker Arnold Kopelson was named Monday as NATO/ShoWest ’94 Producer of the Year, recognizing a career that has included the Academy Award-winning “Platoon,””Triumph of the Spirit,””FallingDown” and the 1993 blockbuster “The Fugitive.”

Kopelson is skedded to receive the accolade at NATO/ShoWest ’94’s final night awards banquet on March 10 at Bally’s Hotel and Casino complex in Las Vegas.

The 58-year-old producer said the award had special significance because “exhibitors are the guys who collect the money and keep the business going.” He added that the NATO/ShoWest Producer of the Year accolade “goes in a different direction than being honored by the Academy” for the 1986 best picture “Platoon.”

NATO/ShoWest said “The Fugitive” was second in the 1993 box office derby with a worldwide gross of $ 350 million. It was also the No. 2 grossing movie in WB history.

Kopelson said he currently has six projects in “high gear” at WB, including “Outbreak,””Dead Reckoning,” the New York City thriller “Don’t Say a Word,” a contemporary King Arthur fantasy “The Forever King.”

There is also a comedy in the works with Goldie Hawn attached called “Stealing Hearts” and the book acquisition “Dream Girl.”

“I think it is fair to assume two or three of these projects will be in production in 1994,” said Kopelson.

Previous recipients of the NATO/Showest Producer of Year Award include Warren Beatty, James L. Brooks, David Brown and Richard Zanuck, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Douglas, Brian Grazer, John Hughes, Joel Silver and Steven Spielberg. “I’m terribly proud to join the distinguished list of producers who have been previously honored by NATO,” said Kopelson.

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