Belson, who reports to Sony motion picture group chairman Tom Rothman, has been on the Culver City lot since 2015, and is largely credited with reviving the division thanks to hits like the “Hotel Transylvania” franchise and the recent, genre-bending “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
In her expanded role, Belson will tackle series projects for TV and streaming partners. She will liaise with Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins and work with Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television Studios. Her new title will read as president, Sony Pictures Animation, features and series.
“For the last few years, Sony Pictures Animation has thrived under Kristine’s expert leadership,” Rothman tells Variety. “Under her watch, we’ve seen ‘Hotel Transylvania” grow to a $1.3 billion franchise and the team win their first ever Oscar for ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.’ Our animation business has never been healthier, and we are excited she will be expanding her talents into the TV and streaming space.”
Output from SPA has increased significantly under Belson’s watch, Variety reported at length in February. In addition to franchise IP, Belson is shepherding original and filmmaker-driven projects. Those include the Phil Lord and Chris Miller-produced original animated comedy, “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” from director Mike Rianda; the animated musical “Vivo” with original songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda; a reimagining of the cult series “The Boondocks” for HBO Max; and an Elvis-inspired animated comedy for adults, “Agent King,” at Netflix.
“All of us at Sony Pictures Animation are thrilled to be getting into new territory by expanding our animation slate to include serialized stories, for every audience.” Belson said. “I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to do things that no other theatrical animation studio in Hollywood is doing, and we have a lot in store.”
Prior to joining SPA, Belson spent nearly a decade at DreamWorks Animation where she executive produced “How to Train Your Dragon” and “The Croods.” She arrived at DWA with 15 years of experience in live-action and animation, having done a lengthy tour of duty as vice president of production at the Jim Henson Company.