Focus Features has promoted president Andrew Karpen to co-CEO, and has signed a new multi-year contract with CEO James Schamus.
Ever since Karpen launched Bleecker Street in 2014, the mini-major has had a busy release slate, including “Danny Collins” (starring Al Pacino), “I’ll See You in My Dreams” (Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott), “Trumbo” (Bryan Cranston), “Eye in the Sky” (Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul), “Captain Fantastic” (Viggo Mortensen) and “Denial” (Rachel Weisz). The studio crashed the Oscar party with actor nominations for Cranston and Mortensen.
Upcoming films include “Breathe,” directed by Andy Serkis and starring Andrew Garfield; and “The Man Who Invented Christmas” with Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce.
Before forming Bleecker Street, Karpen was at specialty label Focus Features, which he joined in 2002 as chief operating officer, responsible for the company’s finance, operations and strategic planning. With his promotion to president in 2006, he had additional responsibilities including domestic marketing, publicity and distribution. He also took on management responsibility for Focus Features Intl. In 2012, he was promoted to co-CEO. Notable prestige titles during his Focus tenure include “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Lost in Translation,” “Atonement” and “Milk.”
Karpen began his industry career at Miramar Films, where his four-year stint saw him promoted to senior vice president of finance & operations, followed by executive posts at Sunbow Entertainment, Independent Pictures as CFO and Oxygen Media as senior vice president of finance & planning.