Theatrical film prexy leaves studio amid layoffs

Tom Ortenberg is ankling the Weinstein Co. after less than a year as president of theatrical film.

TWC had no comment Friday about the departure, which came two days after it confirmed the pink-slipping of 35 employees. Ortenberg said in a statement that he had “asked for and was granted a release from my contract with the Weinstein Co. for personal reasons.”

Ortenberg joined TWC in January in the newly created position, where he was charged with overseeing TWC’s theatrical, marketing and distribution operations. The move came after a 12-year stint at Lionsgate, where he oversaw campaigns for titles that included “Crash,” the “Saw” franchise and the Tyler Perry pics.

Four-year-old TWC plans to limit its releases to 10 a year — four each for Harvey and Bob Weinstein and two pickups. Moves come three months after the struggling indie engaged restructuring specialist Miller Buckfire.

TWC has been hit with several rounds of layoffs since last October; after the most recent cuts, the company’s headcount stands at 90.

Changes come in the wake of a solid box office performance by Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” which has earned $114 million domestically and $129 million in foreign markets. TWC shares distribution duties on the title with Universal Pictures.

Bob Weinstein also announced last week he’s revving up franchises and genre films for Dimension, including “Scream 4” starting production in the spring as the first of a new trilogy; Robert Rodriguez writing “Spy Kids 4,” which he will direct in 3D; “Halloween III” in 3D; and remakes of “Children of the Corn,” “Short Circuit” and “An American Werewolf in London.”

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