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Key Player: Chuck Viane

President, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Exec trivia: Started with General Cinema as a buyer in 1973.

The Basics: Viane has run BV distribution since 1999, responsible for all sales and distribution operations in North America for all Disney, Touchstone and Hollywood pictures. He’s been at Disney for 17 years, and has helped BV pass the $1-billion plateau in domestic B.O. eight times in the last 10 years. This year, his division launched back-to-back $300-million domestic grossers with “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Finding Nemo,” a new industry benchmark for consecutive years.

Rep: A notoriously savvy counter-programmer, Viane has scored high marks with his division performing at record-breaking levels.

POV: “The filmmakers delivered terrific movies, which we felt would have strong playability. We picked May 30 to launch ‘Finding Nemo,’ rather than the Memorial Day holiday, and we picked the week after July 4 to release ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ In both cases, we felt that by staying away from the strong opening competition on the holidays we could better showcase our pictures. We made ourselves very big fish in smaller ponds, and that got both films off to really good starts. Both ended up bringing in over $300-million domestic, which even with our confidence, none of us could have predicted in our wildest dreams.”

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