×

Artisan Block party ends

CEO Malin to steer ship solo

After months of negotiations, Artisan Entertainment president Bill Block has closed a deal to leave his post a year before his contract is up.

With Block’s departure, what was once a triumvirate will be a solo act for CEO Amir Malin. In July 1997, when Artisan was created from the ashes of Live Entertainment, Mark Curcio was the company’s CEO, with Block and Malin serving as co-presidents. Curcio left Artisan last June.

Block, who remains a major shareholder with about 9% of the company, told Daily Variety that he plans to seek another company in need of resuscitation. “Artisan’s objectives were reached and its turnaround has been completely successful,” said the agent-turned-production exec. “In the near term I’ll be spending more time in New York, talking to and working with capital sources there. I’d like to find another distressed asset that needed management packaging.”

Block said he planned to remain in the media business, allowing that could also include publishing, exhibition, TV stations and video distribution.

At Artisan, Block oversaw new productions and was directly involved in such films as Roman Polanski’s “The Ninth Gate,” Steven Soderbergh’s “The Limey,” David Koepp’s “Stir of Echoes” and the current theatrical release “Made,” directed and written by Jon Favreau.

Block was also instrumental in a number of acquisitions, including “The Blair Witch Project.”

“He’s the guy who brought me into the company,” Malin said. “His expertise on the creative side as well as with talent was instrumental in putting some great pictures onscreen. Bill and I have been friends well before our days at Artisan, and I am incredibly happy for him and the next stage of his career. I am sure that I will seek Bill’s advice and counsel on additional projects in the future.”

Before Artisan, Block was head of West Coast operations for ICM from 1992-97 and founder of the Intertalent Agency. His clients included thesps Kim Basinger, Samuel L. Jackson, Steven Seagal, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta and Forest Whitaker, as well as filmmakers Sam Raimi, Roland Emmerich, William Friedkin, George Armitage, Stephen Hopkins, Peter Hyams and Herbert Ross.

More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content