After a string of successes — “Transformers,” “G.I. Joe” and most recently “Ouija” — Hasbro has promoted its filmed entertainment chief Stephen Davis to the newly created role of executive VP, chief content officer.
In the new position, Davis will develop entertainment content for Hasbro’s brands across multiple platforms, and will retain oversight of the company’s Hasbro Studios division in Los Angeles, as well as the global licensing and publishing teams, in-house commercial production at Cakemix Studios, and Hasbro’s stake in the Discovery Family channel, formerly The Hub.
He will also work closely with Hasbro president and CEO Brian Goldner to manage Hasbro’s new film label Allspark Pictures, whose first projects include “Jem and the Holograms” and an animated “My Little Pony” film. The banner will enable Hasbro to take more financial and creative control over its projects.
“AllSpark Pictures is an evolutionary step in our entertainment strategy that allows us greater control of the film process and an increased opportunity to reach multiple audiences including and beyond young children,” Goldner said. “In Steve’s newly evolved role, we will work together to leverage our extensive experience in TV and film production to develop fresh and compelling movies based on select Hasbro brands for our global audiences.”
In addition to new “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” sequels, as well as Allspark’s “Jem” and “Pony” pics, Hasbro Studios has films based on “Magic: The Gathering” set up at 20th Century Fox, and “Candy Land” at Sony. “Monopoly,” “Risk” and “Hungry Hungry Hippos” also are being adapted, while “My Little Pony” and “Littlest Pet Shop” are popular series for the company on Discovery Family. It recently sold “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” to Cartoon Network.
Hasbro’s teen-targeted horror film “Ouija,” was co-produced with Platinum Dunes and Blumhouse Prods for around $5 million and went on to scare up more than $57 million at the worldwide box office since Oct. 24.
“During the past several years, we have been steadily building our omniscreen storytelling capabilities, globally reaching kids and families everywhere that they are consuming content,” said John Frascotti, president, Hasbro Brands, to whom Davis reports. “Today’s appointment not only recognizes the tremendous vision and momentum that Steve has brought to Hasbro Studios and to Hasbro, but also reflects the decision to closer align storytelling to the transformative work our teams are doing to bring branded play to life around the world.”
Davis has run Hasbro Studios since its launch in 2009, the same year “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” debuted in theaters.
As Hasbro studios added more films, including the “G.I. Joe” franchise, and began developing more films like “Monopoly” and “Candy Land,” and expanded its TV presence with original productions for The Hub, Davis gained responsibility for all of Hasbro’s global film activities, and assumed responsibility for its global licensing and publishing division in 2013.
Before joining Hasbro, Davis was CEO of Family Entertainment Group.
“Storytelling is the power behind successful brand building,” Davis said. “Using great stories and great characters to drive innovation in all that we do is an important strategic differentiator for Hasbro. I look forward to ensuring that our stories continue to connect and engage with today’s consumers around the world, in all forms and formats – across digital, television, animated and live action films.”