Universal is prepping for two break-ups: the Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn comedy and the studio’s 2007 split from Paramount on the UIP distribution venture.
U’s David Kosse, prexy of international marketing and distribution, took a key step April 27 by hiring Duncan Clark as his No. 2. Duo met last summer in Tokyo when Clark, former prexy of Col TriStar Intl., was advising UIP on “War of the Worlds.”
Clark will relocate from Los Angeles to London, where U’s new foreign distrib ops will be headquartered. It will start with eight markets (Spain, Germany, Italy and Russia among them) and add new offices for the U.K. and Oz by next spring.
Key goal is to fully exploit not just tentpoles — next summer’s “Bourne Ultimatum” and “Evan Almighty” — but a wide array of other pics ranging from Adam Sandler laffer “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” to Robert DeNiro‘s “The Good Shepard.”
Clark’s task is to use smart marketing and a growing international appetite to boost films that are successful Stateside but which don’t appear at first glance to have much potential overseas.
“Next year’s slate is right in our sweet spot,” Kosse says.