NEW YORK — Village Roadshow Pictures has promoted Steven Krone to chief operating officer and executive vice president. Krone had been exec VP of business and legal affairs.

VRP chairman and CEO Bruce Berman said that with the production company’s volume growing, the time was right to elevate Krone, who will run the business side while production prexy Bernie Goldmann spearheads the creative side. Both report directly to Berman.

Berman took the VRP reins when the producing and co-financing division of Australia-based Village Roadshow formed a joint venture with Warner Bros. to partner on 20 films over five years.

VRP has quickly filled half that quota, becoming financial partner on such films as “The Matrix,” “Analyze This” and “Practical Magic” as well as the upcoming Samuel L. Jackson starrer “Deep Blue Sea,” the George Clooney/Mark Wahlberg/Ice Cube drama “Three Kings” and the Matthew Perry/Neve Campbell/Dylan McDermott pic “Three to Tango.”

VRP is finalizing the casting on its first homegrown film in the joint venture, the Val Kilmer starrer “Mars.”

“Our expanding slate of development and production dictates that I focus even greater attention on the pictures, which in turn created the need for a single executive coordinating all of VRP’s other activities,” Berman said. “This is the role that I envisioned for Steve when he joined Village Roadshow, and he has developed the strong working relationships necessary to get the job done, both within the Village group and with our partner Warner Bros.”

Krone will oversee all business and administrative matters for VRP, including marketing and distribution, legal affairs, accounting, finance and physical production.

He’ll also manage the business aspects of the WB joint venture and serve as liaison between VRP and its parent company in Australia. Krone will continue negotiating talent deals for VRP, though more of that responsibility will be borne by business and legal affairs VP Linda Mack.

Krone came to VRP a year ago from the entertainment law firm Gang, Tyre, Ramer and Brown. Before that, Krone clerked for U.S. Supreme Court justices William J. Brennan Jr. and David Souter.