Disney Extends Chairman Alan Horn’s Contract Through 2018

Disney has reupped Alan Horn’s contract as chairman of the Walt Disney Studios through 2018.

The former president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. Entertainment has been at Disney since June 2012.

Horn, 71, oversees worldwide operations for the studio, including production, distribution, and marketing for live-action and animated films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, as well as marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. He also oversees Disney’s music and theatrical groups.

The extension of Horn’s contract is a major sign of support from Disney chief Bob Iger.

One of Hollywood’s more respected studio heads, Horn retired from Warner Bros., where he had launched the wildly successful “Harry Potter” franchise and rebooted DC’s Batman and Superman movies. At the time of his departure, the 69-year-old executive was considered out of touch with the kinds of films moviegoers were seeking at the multiplex.

But Iger saw Horn as a way to stabilize Disney’s film operation, which was on shaky ground under Rich Ross, and as a leader who could refocus the studio on franchises that could cross over and prop up the rest of the Mouse House’s divisions.

Disney’s studio has enjoyed one of the best runs in its history under Horn’s helm. It’s already grossed more than $1 billion at the international box office this year thanks to “Frozen,” “Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Horn replaced Ross as chairman of Walt Disney Studios shortly after “John Carter” flopped. With the exception of “The Lone Ranger,” most of the releases under Horn’s helm have broken out as big hits, starting with sequels to “Iron Man,” “Thor” and “Captain America,” and the animated “Brave,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Planes,” “Monsters University” and “Frozen.” Upcoming films include this year’s “Million Dollar Arm,” “Maleficent,” Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Cinderella,” “Into the Woods,” and the next “Star Wars” sequels and spinoffs.

“The Avengers” was released just before Horn joined Disney.

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