He will continue to report to Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Chairman Tom Rothman. Greenstein joined the studio in 2014, having been hired away from Paramount by Amy Pascal, Rothman’s predecessor. His employment status has been closely monitored, and there had been mutterings that he might decamp Sony at the end of his deal for a return engagement at Paramount or segue to 20th Century Fox.
It wasn’t clear how Greenstein would get along with Rothman, given that he had been hired by Pascal. However, Rothman has been courting the executive to remain on board, according to insiders, arguing that after several bruising years at the box office, Sony was turning a corner. His pitch, it appears, worked.
“Josh is a true star in our industry,” Rothman said in a statement. “Not only has he shown extraordinary skill at the head of our campaigns, he has also been an outstanding leader in restructuring our marketing and distribution teams around the world to better align with a constantly-evolving marketplace. The studio is in a stronger position now than when Josh arrived in 2014, and his brilliant work has been integral to that growth. He kicks my butt on the golf course, but is otherwise a tremendous partner.”
“Sony Pictures is my home and I could not be happier,” Greenstein said. “The studio has undergone enormous change since I arrived, but today I feel like we are hitting on all cylinders. I especially want to thank Tom, from whom I have learned so much since we started working together. Tom deserves enormous credit for the many positive changes in the Motion Picture Group over the last couple years, and I am excited to work with him to continue that momentum.”
Greenstein’s first years at Sony were tough ones. He arrived right before the company went through a devastating cyber attack that resulted in a wave of embarrassing headlines and Pascal’s ouster. He was also saddled with a slate of uninspired offering such as “The Brothers Grimsby,” “Aloha,” and “Chappie” that were greenlit under the previous regime.
However, Sony has been on stronger footing of late. It scored two hits this summer with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” a wall crawler reboot produced in conjunction with Marvel, and “Baby Driver,” Edgar Wright’s poppy crime thriller. Not everything worked for the studio. Its adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” was not warmly embraced. Looking ahead to the end of the year, the studio has a remake of “Flatliners,” Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” and a sequel to “Jumanji.”
Rothman got his own plug this week. In a company memo obtained by Variety, Tony Vinciquerra, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s newly appointed chairman and CEO, made a point of singling out the studio chief’s work.
“Despite industry-wide box office challenges this summer, our motion picture group, led by Tom Rothman, delivered multiple big wins,” he wrote. “Looking out across our slate, we feel very optimistic that it is within our reach to have one of the most profitable slates in recent years, demonstrating that our turnaround efforts are taking hold.”