1. David Hail, 34 (pictured, left)
Senior publicist, 20th Century Fox
Recently promoted, Hail, who started at Sony Pictures Animation, works closely with 20th Century Fox to formulate film messaging and publicity strategies for all DWA feature films. He worked on the release and awards campaigns for the Oscar-nominated “Kung Fu Panda” and “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Puss in Boots.” Additional campaigns include the “Madagascar” franchise, “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “Shrek Forever After,” “Megamind,” “Rise of the Guardians,” “The Croods” and “Turbo.” Hail is focused on this year’s awards season and next year’s slate of films, which includes “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “Home.”
2. Matthew Milam, 31 VP, production, Skydance Prods. (pictured, center)
Milam cut his teeth on lower-budget horror pics and comedies such as “The Grudge 2,” “30 Days of Night” and “Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” while a creative exec at Mandate Pictures, a post he received after rising from assistant to story editor within nine months. During his three years at Warner Bros., he established strong talent relationships while helping develop fanboy-friendly titles like “Clash of the Titans” and its sequel, “Terminator Salvation,” “The Informant,” as well as bigscreen DC Comics adaptations like “Justice League.” David Ellison’s Skydance recruited him in 2011 and he’s now helping build the company’s “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible” franchises as well as such original tentpoles as “Hitman’s Bodyguard”; comedies “Bad in Bed” and “Ladies’ Night”; Dark Horse Comics’ adaptation of “Hyde”; Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s “License to Steal”; and the Mary Parent-produced “Our Name Is Adam.” He’s also overseeing sci-fier “Geostorm,” which Dean Devlin will direct.
3. John Friedberg, 32 (pictured, right)
Executive VP, international sales, QED Intl.
Friedberg joined QED in 2006 and was promoted to exec VP in 2011, with responsibilities that include production, finance, business affairs, sales and distribution. He recently negotiated a distribution deal in China for “Fury,” working with lenders to extend an aggressive advance rate. He is also pursuing emerging digital platforms globally, and the enormous growth potential represented by China, India, Russia and Latin America.
Fabian Castro, 34
VP, multicultural marketing, Universal Pictures
Castro joined Universal in 2010 and leads outreach efforts to U.S. Hispanic auds for titles across Universal’s slate. He managed successful campaigns for “Fast and Furious 6,” “Despicable Me 2,” surprise horror hit “Mama” and “The Purge,” all of which delivered sizable Hispanic audiences. To reach the Latino audience in support of “Despicable Me 2,” Castro worked to develop six unique Spanish-language TV spots highlighting the film’s Mexican villain El Macho.
Adam Rosenberg, 36
Executive VP, production, MGM
Spurred by his passion for film, Rosenberg ditched a burgeoning equities trading job to deliver Gersh’s mail, then assist Scott Rudin and Jonathan Glickman before landing at MGM as it merged with Spyglass Entertainment. Promoted to exec VP in early 2013, Rosenberg now oversees such franchise reboots as “RoboCop,” Tom Cruise’s “The Magnificent Seven” and Brett Ratner’s “Hercules” production. “He truly cares about making movies and understands the importance of fiscal responsibility,” says Ratner.
(Profiles by Andrew Barker, Iain Blair, Peter Caranicas, Randee Dawn, Marc Graser, Carole Horst, Maane Khatchatourian, AJ Marechal, Alex Stedman, Allegra Tepper)