Paramount taps Marcoly, cuts 120 staffers

Disney vet to replace Cripps as studio streamlines ops

Paramount Pictures has tapped Anthony Marcoly as prexy of its international film operations and is cutting about 120 staff positions as the studio continues a consolidation effort announced in September.

Marcoly, who ankled as president of Walt Disney Pictures Intl. in January 2010, replaces Andrew Cripps, who has opted not to stay with the studio. Based in Los Angeles, Marcoly will oversee Paramount Intl.’s distribution, finance and operations, reporting to vice chairman Rob Moore.

Par currently has some 2,400 employees, and the 120 positions being eliminated include 80 in the U.S. and 40 on the international side. Par will shutter its Rio office entirely and downsize its London office significantly.

Cripps had been asked to relocate from London to Los Angeles as part of the consolidation efforts that Par began in September, but he opted to part ways with the studio rather than make the move. The longtime international film exec said he plans to remain in the sector.

Cripps’ exit and Marcoly’s hire mark the latest shuffles by the studios as they seek to align their international operations to meet the demands of a quickly changing market.

“We are undertaking this reorganization to best adapt to the global evolution in the movie business,” said Paramount chairman-CEO Brad Grey. “We are grateful to Andrew for all he has done to help us build Paramount Intl., and we look forward to Anthony joining our team and bringing his extensive international experience to bear for our pictures.”

Marcoly himself was part of a wave of change at Disney. He left the studio in early 2010 when Mouse House topper Rich Ross reorganized the exec ranks and put Chuck Viane in charge of of international sales and distribution. Marcoly became a strategic adviser to 3D licensor RealD in October 2010.

Marcoly had spent 26 years with the Mouse House. Under his leadership, the studio launched numerous high-profile releases internationally, including the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Marcoly also previously served as exec VP of distribution and acquisitions for Buena Vista Intl. and senior VP of distribution.

Paramount also recently announced the formation of a home media distribution division that aims to consolidate the studio’s home entertainment, digital licensing and television licensing activities worldwide under a single mantle, headed by Dennis Maguire.

Industry stalwart Cripps became prexy of PPI in 2006, after overseeing the United International Pictures split across 16 territories, a joint venture which distributed Universal and Paramount pictures internationally. Before stepping into this role, he served as president and chief operating officer of UIP for seven years and began his career at the international distrib in 1986, where he joined as exec assistant to the general manager of Japan in 1986.

Since heading up PPI, he has overseen the release of pics such as the “Transformers” franchise, both “Kung Fu Panda” pics, “Thor” and both instalments of “Iron Man.”

Cripps’ departure from the company is likely to come as a shock to many international bizzers as his tenacity and longevity with the company have come hand in hand with his commitment to international distribution of studio pics.

His departure comes a week after Sony Pictures Releasing Int’l. topper Mark Zucker stepped down after 27 years with the company.

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