Former Disney exec starts Feb. 7
Oren Aviv says a focus on the quickly evolving landscape of digital platforms and devices will help define his new role as domestic theatrical marketing prexy and chief marketing officer for Twentieth Century Fox.“I think the main thing is dealing with a shifting marketplace, dealing with new consumer habits,” Aviv told Daily Variety. “When you’re marketing to consumers that have a variety of lifestyles and a variety of needs … one needs to come up with messages that are able to address all of those things.” Aviv, who was responsible in part for launching the wildly successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise during his tenure at Disney, declined to give specifics when asked about plans for bringing Fox films to the digital realm. “Frankly, I haven’t even met my staff yet,” Aviv said. “But I’m excited to start.” His appointment Tuesday fills the vacancy left by last month’s departure of 16-year studio hand and co-prexy Pam Levine. As Levine did, Aviv will work alongside theatrical marketing prexy and chief creative officer Tony Sella, beginning Feb. 7. But while Levine was based in New York, Aviv will stay on the West Coast. “It’s a dynamic, changing time in the media universe, and evolution is essential,” said Fox Filmed Entertainment toppers Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos in a joint statement. “Oren is uniquely suited to take us forward. With him and Tony, we will have the best one-two punch in the business.” Sella and Aviv will oversee all of 20th’s domestic marketing. Aviv, who had not worked with Rothman, Gianopulos or Sella before, said the trio’s shared perception of challenges to movie marketing helped steer him toward the studio. Exec served as Disney’s marketing prexy from 2000 to 2006, taking on the title of chief creative officer in 2004. He was also prexy of production at Disney Studios from 2006-10. During his tenure, Aviv helped launch “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Chronicles of Narnia” and “National Treasure,” the latter of which he produced. As production topper, he oversaw pics including “Alice in Wonderland,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Tron: Legacy.” He exited Disney early last year amid the restructuring implemented by Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross. “When you’re in production, you’re involved in marketing in so many ways. When you’re in marketing, you’re involved in production in so many ways. To be given the chance to be part of the Fox team … is a chance I couldn’t pass up,” Aviv said. Aviv most recently joined Digital Artists’ board of directors as an adviser in December. And while a third installment of “National Treasure” is reportedly under way, he said he doesn’t know what involvement, if any, he might have.