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Kyle Davies Leaving Relativity to Head Distribution at Paramount (EXCLUSIVE)

Kyle Davies is nearing a deal to become Paramount’s head of distribution, Variety has learned.

No deal is signed yet, but one is expected. The veteran executive was serving as worldwide distribution president at Relativity and EuropaCorp’s distribution and marketing joint venture. He has been with Relativity since 2010, joining the studio when it acquired Overture Films’ marketing and distribution assets. Greg Forston will take over at Relativity and EuropaCorp’s distribution joint venture. He also joined the company as part of the Overture purchase.

Davies was under contract at Relativity and EuropaCorp, but Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh and EuropaCorp head Luc Besson both agreed to let him out of his pact, recognizing that positions like this at major studios rarely open up. Discussions about a possible move had taken place over six months.

Sources indicate that other executives outside of the company jockeyed for the post at the distribution joint venture, but Kavanaugh and Besson believed that Forston had the right temperament and relationships with the exhibition community to do the job.

Over the course of his career, Davies has overseen the release of such films as “Law Abiding Citizen,” “Limitless,” “The Immortals” and “The Visitor.”

The move to Paramount is a homecoming of sorts for Davies. Prior to joining Overture, he was senior vice president of the western distribution division at Paramount, joining the company after it acquired DreamWorks. Davies has ties to theater owners, having worked as an executive at National Amusements and General Cinema.

Relativity filed for bankruptcy protection last summer, and though the joint venture it launched with EuropaCorp continued to operate, it has dramatically reduced the number of films it distributes. Many Relativity productions, such as “The Bronze” and “Jane’s Got a Gun,” were sold off or pushed to other studios, and films such as “Masterminds” cannot be released until the company leaves Chapter 11.

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