You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Paramount Chief Jim Gianopulos Touts Turnaround, Acknowledges Years of Flops

Jim Gianopulos wants theater owners to know that it’s a new day at Paramount. The newly minted studio chairman inherited a company that had been weighed down by flops such as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Downsizing,” and “Suburbicon.”

“It’s no secret we’ve had some difficult years at the box office,” Gianopulos said at the exhibition industry confab CinemaCon. He then pivoted to a larger argument that in his first months on the job, he’d begun to assemble the creative and business team necessary to turn things around.

“We’re laying the foundation…to deliver to you films for every possible audience for years to come,” he said.

Gianopulos, the former head of 20th Century Fox’s film studio, is also benefiting from some lucky timing. “A Quiet Place,” the low-budget thriller that his predecessor Brad Grey greenlit, has been a box office force, earning $135 million domestically. A sequel is already in the works.

Of course, a studio of the size and scope of Paramount needs more than one franchise in order to remain relevant at a time when Disney, Universal, and Warner Bros. have vacuumed up a lot of compelling comic book series, animated hits, and science-fiction adventures.

Gianopulos predicted that his core group of newly appointed executives will be able to restock Paramount’s cupboards. He’s tapped former Awesomeness TV CEO Brian Robbins to run a new division, producing films derived from the Viacom brands such as Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, and Comedy Central.

Gianopulos said the films from this unit “give voice to and reflect the stories of this audience.”

The studio has also tapped “Twilight” producer Wyck Godfrey to help revitalize Paramount’s production operations, as well as signed production deals with Hasbro, Tyler Perry, and others. The Hasbro pact will lead to new G.I. Joe, Micronauts, and Dungeons & Dragons movies.

Turnarounds typically take several years, but Gianopulos predicted that “A Quiet Place” will mark a new day and phase for Paramount. To that end, the studio highlighted a number of upcoming releases such as “Bumblebee,” “Book Club,” and “What Men Want.”

If Gianopulos can’t breathe new life into Paramount, he could give acting a try. Before taking the stage, he appeared in an extended video that found him begging a dim-witted airline employee to get him on a flight to Vegas (he good-naturedly let her compare him to a mob boss and bridge troll). There was also a dream sequence in which Gianopulos was spliced into “Titanic,” failing to hold on to Rose before she plunged into the icy waters of the Atlantic.

On a corporate level, at a time when the movie business is being upended by new streaming services and declining attendance, there are plenty of icebergs for Gianopulos to avoid.


More Film

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab

    TorinoFilmLab Announces Selections for 2019 ScriptLab (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TorinoFilmLab has announced the 20 feature projects and five story editor trainees who have been selected to take part in the 2019 edition of ScriptLab, an initiative focused on the development of fiction feature film scripts in early development stage. Beginning in March, this year’s participants will team up with filmmakers from around the [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    North American Box Office Declines From Last Year With Weak Presidents Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” easily won a tepid Presidents Day weekend with a $34.2 million at 3,790 North American locations, estimates showed Monday. Overall domestic moviegoing for 2019 has plunged 22.1% to $1.24 billion as of Monday, according to Comscore. That’s $350 million below the same date a year ago and the lowest figure at this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content