Par's chair pair reups
Paramount Motion Picture Group chairman Sherry Lansing and Viacom Entertainment Group chairman Jonathan Dolgen have reupped with the studio for the next six years.
The contracts became effective on May 4 — the very day federal regulators approved the merger between Paramount parent company Viacom and CBS Corp.
While financial terms of Dolgen’s deal were not available, insiders Monday placed a value north of $25 million on Lansing’s multiyear pact. Bonuses and stock options could drive that figure higher.
Together, Lansing and Dolgen have presided over a time of unusual stability and prosperity when compared with the goings-on at other Hollywood studios. This enviable record comes despite the fact that Paramount studio hits more singles and doubles at the box office than it does home runs.
Lansing, Dolgen, production prexy Michelle Manning, film group prexy John Goldwyn and exec veepees Donald Granger and Karen Rosenfelt have defied the Hollywood odds, having now worked together for more than five years. Minus Dolgen, the group has toiled together for nearly a decade.
Lansing took over the reins at Paramount from Brandon Tartikoff in November 1992, at a time when Paramount had few pictures on its sked and little clout with major stars.
Shortly after becoming studio topper, Lansing produced “Indecent Proposal,” which grossed a stunning $258 million worldwide for the studio.
The highlight of the duo’s tenure this past decade was, of course, “Titanic,” the $1.8 billion worldwide hit whose record-breaking grosses were shared with Fox.
And while staple 1980s franchises like “Indiana Jones” and “Beverly Hills Cop” may have waned, the Lansing-Dolgen regime gave birth to “Mission: Impossible,” the megahit franchise whose current sequel is nearing $200 million at the domestic box office.
Results from Par’s 1999 slate reflect the top execs’ commercial savvy.
Of its four $100 million-plus domestic grossers — “The General’s Daughter,” “Runaway Bride,” “Double Jeopardy” and “Sleepy Hollow” — only the Julia Roberts starrer “Bride” looked like a surefire hit on paper.
For the year, Par wound up collecting $876 million domestically, in fourth place behind Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal.
Lansing has a producing background. Together with former partner Stanley Jaffe, she produced Par pics like “Fatal Attraction” and “The Accused” as well as “Indecent Proposal.”
Dolgen joined Viacom in December 1995 after a four-year stint running Sony’s Columbia Pictures with chairman Mark Canton.
(Dana Harris contributed to this report.)