You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lionsgate Co-Chair Rob Friedman Steps Down

Rob Friedman is stepping down as co-chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group and has been named special advisor to CEO Jon Feltheimer.

Friedman, 65, is a 40-year veteran of Hollywood with stints at Warner Bros., Paramount, Summit, and Lionsgate. He and Patrick Wachsberger were the key officials behind the 2007 expansion of Summit and the “Twilight” franchise, which led to Lionsgate buying out Summit for $412 million in early 2012.

“Rob has played an integral role in leading the successful growth and diversification of our Motion Picture Group over the past four years, and he has helped assemble one of the strongest and most exciting film slates in our history,” Feltheimer said. “We look forward to his continued guidance and counsel in navigating a fast-changing industry environment. In his capacity as my special advisor, he will be working closely with me on our OTT platforms, Atom Tickets partnership, and other new ventures.”

The Motion Picture Group will continue to be run by its current leadership team that includes Wachsberger as Motion Picture Group co-chair; Co-President Erik Feig; Co-COO Steve Beeks; Chief Brand Officer and President of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing Tim Palen; President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Jason Constantine; and President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution David Spitz.

“Our current Motion Picture Group leadership has the complementary skills and forward-looking vision to capitalize on opportunities in a dynamic global marketplace,” Feltheimer continued. “They are the right team to continue to accelerate the momentum of our slate and to lead our film business to the next level of performance.”

Lionsgate saw its largest success from “The Hunger Games” movies, which launched in 2012, grossed nearly $3 billion and transformed Jennifer Lawrence into a worldwide star. But it has struggled to duplicate that since with the “Divergent” series and misfires like “Gods of Egypt”; its top grosser this year is “Now You See Me 2” with $360 million worldwide.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work closely with Jon, Michael Burns, and the rest of the Lionsgate leadership team in helping to guide the overall strategic direction of the company,” said Friedman. “It has been a privilege to serve as co-chair of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group for the past four years, and I have been fortunate to work with a team of world-class executives in every facet of our film business.”

Lionsgate has a pair of potential awards season contenders in Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” and Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” — both which premiered to strong reviews at the Venice Film Festival. Other prominent upcoming titles include “Power Rangers,” “Deepwater Horizon,” “Patriots Day,” “Wonder,” and “American Pastoral.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • The Moneychanger

    Toronto Film Review: ‘The Moneychanger’

    Uruguayan auteur Federico Veiroj (“The Apostate,” “Belmonte”) broadens his usual intimate dramatic scope to diminishing returns for his fifth feature, “The Moneychanger,” . Adapted from a novella by compatriot Juan Enrique Gruber, the period (mid-1950s to mid-1970s) tale centers on the eponymous character, an amoral currency exchanger, who winds up laundering some of the dirtiest [...]

  • Send Me to the Clouds

    Film Review: ‘Send Me to the Clouds’

    The social and economic pressures felt by China’s “leftover women” — referring to those older than 26 and unmarried — are examined in “Send Me to the Clouds,” a rewarding dramedy about a 30-ish journalist seeking financial reward and sexual fulfillment after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Bold by mainland standards for presenting a positive [...]

  • Jamie Bell Without Remorse

    Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.” Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

  • Todd Phillips Joaquin Phoenix Joker Movie

    What's Woker Than 'Joker'? Film Critics Made Everything Political at Fall Festivals

    “Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” asks Joaquin Phoenix, playing a deranged incel version of the DC supervillain in “Joker,” the unconventional comic book movie that’s sucked up much of the air from the fall festival circuit. Like an aggro caricature of the “involuntary celibates” who troll message boards online, [...]

  • Running Against the Wind

    Young Africans' Dreams Are Focus of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda Oscar Picks

    Films about young Africans trying to fulfill their dreams in the face of war, poverty, tradition and other forms of adversity have been submitted for Oscar consideration by three East African nations. The selections by Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to compete in the international feature film category reflect the relative youth of filmmaking in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content