This column is part of Variety's Broken Hollywood feature. For more execs and their opinions on the state of Hollywood, click here. Marketing costs have always been a challenge, and they continue to escalate. The cost of production is a major, major issue that has to be dealt with. We have to be in a business where we are profitable, and if you spend more than you make, you can’t be profitable. So I always look at costs as the...
The industry’s ultimate insider co-founded CAA and personally guided the careers of Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep and Cher, before joining Universal in 1995 as president and COO. He ran the studio for 18 years — the longest reign in Hollywood history — and racked up such hits as “ Erin Brockovich,” “ Gladiator,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “8 Mile,” “Meet the Parents,” “The Fast and the Furious” and “Despicable Me.”
Vice chairman of NBCUniversal since 2013, Meyer provides strategic guidance and counsel on all aspects of the company, including its valuable portfolio of film and television assets, as well as the global theme park businesses. Those parks — in Hollywood, Orlando, Japan and Singapore — are booming, and now earn more than $3 billion a year, in large part because of blockbuster attraction “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” a Warner Bros. property.
It was Meyer who made the deal with Warners boss and old pal Barry Meyer, and it was Ron Meyer who played a key role in NBCU’s $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, whose hits include “Shrek” and “Madagascar.” The high-school dropout and ex-Marine, who started as a messenger at the Paul Kohner Agency, signed a five-year contract extension with NBCU last year.