Markus Zimmer is stepping down as managing director of Concorde Filmverleih, one of Germany’s top independent film distributors, after 17 years in the role. Zimmer, who has also served as head of film acquisitions and as a producer for the Tele Muenchen Group for 20 years, said Monday that he would leave the company at the end of this year at his own request to pursue new projects.
Zimmer was responsible for the acquisition of more than 250 feature films during his two decades at Tele Muenchen Group (TMG), as well as their subsequent release by Concorde. These ranged from the blockbuster “Twilight” (pictured) and “Iron Man” franchises to Oscar winners “The Queen” and “The Iron Lady,” and titles by celebrated auteurs including Martin Scorsese (“Shutter Island”), Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”), David Lynch (“Mulholland Drive”), Terrence Malick (“The Tree Of Life”), Lars von Trier (“Dogville”) and Terry Gilliam (“The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus”).
The “Twilight” franchise was Zimmer’s most successful acquisition and release, grossing more than €129.2 million ($173.8 million) for Concorde in Germany. The “Twilight” films make up five of the company’s top six performing titles of all time, according to comScore.
Top Concorde releases in 2016 have included the final part of Felix Fuchssteiner’s time-travel trilogy “Emerald Green” (“Smaragdgrun”), which grossed €4 million ($4.6 million); the final theatrical feature in the YA “Divergent” series, “Allegiant,” ($4.1 million); and Swedish comedy “A Man Called Ove” ($3.9 million).
“Markus Zimmer is the most defining personality in my more than 40 years’ professional experience in the feature-film sector,” said Herbert G. Kloiber, chairman of TMG. “His incredibly sound knowledge, his prudent, always considered actions and, above all, his outstanding reliability and taste enabled him to become a supporting pillar of the Tele Muenchen Group.”
Holger Fuchs, currently head of marketing and sales at rival Constantin Film, has been tapped to succeed Zimmer as head of distribution for Concorde from Jan. 1, 2017.