A month after winning the best picture Oscar for “Spotlight,” Open Road Films has named veteran executive Jonathan Helfgot as president of marketing as chief marketing officer Jason Cassidy departs the company.
Helfgot will report directly to Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg.
Helfgot joins Open Road Films from Rec Room, an original and branded content studio, which he founded and where he most recently served as managing partner.
At Rec Room, Helfgot and his partners worked with clients including Sony Pictures, Fox, Warner Bros, HBO, Netflix, Paramount, Universal, Disney and FX. Rec Room also has digital series in development with networks including Comedy Central and E! Entertainment. The remaining Rec Room partners will continue to oversee these projects under a new banner.
Before founding Rec Room, Helfgot served as executive VP of worldwide marketing for Anschutz Film Group and was senior VP of marketing strategy and research at 20th Century Fox.
At Anschutz Film Group, Helfgot oversaw all marketing, advertising and publicity efforts for Walden Media and Bristol Bay Productions, in addition to managing Walden’s branding strategies across publishing, licensing, promotions, outreach and new media.
While at Fox, Helfgot crafted and implemented strategic marketing campaigns for more than 150 films, including “Avatar,” “Borat,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “The Simpsons Movie” and the franchises “X-Men,” “Ice Age,” “Night at the Museum” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”
“Jonathan is a widely respected and rising star marketer, and will bring a boldly strategic and innovative point of view to our campaigns,” said Ortenberg. “He is a proven leader with big ideas, and I am thrilled to bring him on board.”
Helfgot said: “Open Road Films is a dynamic studio that has released some of the highest quality films in recent memory. With an incredible slate in front of the company, I am thrilled to join Tom Ortenberg and his team, and excited to work with one of the best marketing departments in town to create engaging and ground-breaking campaigns.”
Open Road was founded in 2011 by AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group, the two largest theatrical exhibition companies in the United States. Its top domestic grosser was “The Nut Job” with $64 million, followed by “The Grey” at $51 million and “Spotlight” at $44 million.
Besides “Spotlight,” its other notable releases include “Nightcrawler,” “End of Watch” and “Chef.” Key upcoming titles include “Mothers Day” and Oliver Stone’s “Snowden.”