Paramount Snags Home Entertainment, TV Rights to Three Romulus Entertainment Movies

Paramount Pictures on Sept. 8 announced that it has secured home entertainment and television licensing rights to three feature films from Romulus Entertainment.

The films will be released in select U.S. theaters by Vertical Entertainment in tandem with their release on home entertainment platforms.

“We are delighted to bring these exceptional films to audiences around the world through a combination of home entertainment platforms and television licensing,” said Dan Cohen, president of the ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group. “With top-notch casts and creative talent, these films offer gripping stories that will appeal to a wide array of viewers.”

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The three films included in the agreement are:

Dreamland, starring Margot Robbie as an outlaw bank robber during the Great Depression who becomes involved with a young man who must choose between collecting the bounty on her head or following his heart. Aside from Robbie, the film stars Finn Cole, Travis Fimmel, and Garrett Hedlund. It was directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte and written by Nicolaas Zwart.

Jungleland, in which Charlie Hunnam and Jack O’Connell play brothers trying to escape their circumstances by traveling across the country for a bare-knuckle boxing match that becomes a fight for their lives. The film, directed by Max Winkler, was co-written by Winkler, Theodore B. Bressman, and David Branson Smith. Jessica Barden also stars.

Gully is about three disaffected teens who roam the streets of Los Angeles, seeking seek revenge for all the ways the world has failed them through a series of increasingly violent crimes. The film stars Amber Heard, Jonathan Majors, John Corbett, Terrence Howard, Charlie Plummer, Robin Givens. Nabil Elderkin directed the film, which was written by Marcus J. Guillory.

The deal was negotiated by Lauren Fisher for Paramount Pictures, Brad Feinstein from Romulus Entertainment and Andrew Kramer of Loeb & Loeb.

Paramount’s Dan Cohen Adds Duties With Viacom/CBS Re-Merger

ViacomCBS announced a series of senior executive changes to go into effect following regulatory approval of the $30 billion re-merger between the two media  companies.

Dan Cohen, president of worldwide home entertainment and television distribution, Paramount Pictures, has been named president, global content licensing at ViacomCBS when the merger is finalized.

Cohen was promoted to worldwide home entertainment and television distribution president in February, assuming the role previously held by Mary Daily, who had overseen international theatrical marketing and home entertainment for Paramount since 2017, but was promoted to co-president of worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution.

Previously, Cohen served as Paramount’s president of worldwide television licensing.

Before joining the studio in 2017, he spent more than 20 years at Disney-ABC, where served as EVP of pay television and digital for Disney-ABC worldwide home entertainment and television distribution. There, he licensed films and series, including across digital platforms, on behalf of Walt Disney Studios, ABC Studios and Disney Channel.

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Cohen reports to Armando Nuñez, president and CEO of CBS global distribution group, and chief content licensing officer of CBS, who will also serve as chairman, global distribution and chief content licensing officer at ViacomCBS.

Nuñez will oversee all content licensing, including worldwide distribution and domestic syndication, for ViacomCBS-owned programming to third-party platforms.

“These appointments mark an important step in the integration of CBS and Viacom,” Bob Bakish, CEO of Viacom and soon-to-be CEO of the combined companies. “The seasoned executives we announced today will capitalize on ViacomCBS’s must-watch programming, iconic library and franchises, as well as its global production capacity to drive important new distribution, content licensing and advertising opportunities all over the world.”

 

Paramount Mining TV Production Gold

Paramount Pictures is in the midst of a turnaround that pledges fiscal-year 2019 (ending Sept. 30) profitability for the first time since 2015.

While the vaunted studio improved first-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018) operating income by $40 million — its eighth consecutive quarter of improvement — due the theatrical performance of Bumblebee and Instant Family, a key profit driver was television content production.

Television revenue in the quarter ballooned 84% year-over-year driven by the release of Netflix’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Berlin Station,” on Epix, the recent greenlight for a third season of “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” on Amazon Prime Video, and production of Netflix series “Maniac” and “13 Reasons Why,”among others.

Studio boss Jim Gianopulos contends the agreement with Netflix and other streaming services replicates past industry practices around “movie-of-the-week” productions for broadcast TV.

“The difference, of course, is that the quality of these films is much higher, making these relationships even more valuable,” Gianopulos said last November when announcing an agreement with Netflix to produce original movies for the streaming service.

To Bob Bakish, CEO of corporate parent Viacom, Paramount’s renewed success underscores a case study driven by new management.

Speaking Feb. 26 at the Morgan Stanley technology, media & telecom confab in San Francisco, the executive’s comments coincided with the promotion of Dan Cohen to president of worldwide home entertainment & television distribution.

Cohen’s priority will be television production, a business Bakish said didn’t exist at Paramount four years ago. The unit generated $400 million in revenue in 2018 — and is expected to grow 50% to $600 million in 2019.

“It’s not about delivering shows, it’s about delivering hits,” Bakish said.

 

Cohen Tapped as President of Worldwide Home Entertainment & Television Distribution at Paramount

Paramount Pictures Feb. 26 announced the promotion of Dan Cohen to president of Worldwide Home Entertainment & Television Distribution.

Cohen, previously President of Worldwide Television Licensing, assumes the role previously held by Mary Daily, who had overseen International Theatrical Marketing and Home Entertainment for the studio since 2017, but earlier this month was promoted to co-president, Worldwide Theatrical Marketing & Distribution. He reports to Andrew Gumpert, Paramount’s chief operating officer.

Bob Buchi remains president of Worldwide Home Entertainment and reports to Cohen.

Cohen and Buchi are both veterans of Walt Disney Studios’ mighty home entertainment operation.

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Cohen joined Paramount in 2017. Prior to that, he spent 20 years at Disney/ABC, most recently as EVP of Pay Television & Digital for Home Entertainment & Television Distribution for The Walt Disney Studios. There, he distributed catalog properties including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC & Disney Channel.

Buchi has been with Paramount since 2006. He assumed leadership of the studio’s entertainment division in 2015. He began his career in home entertainment at Walt Disney Studios, and subsequently oversaw marketing at DreamWorks Home Entertainment. He later oversaw family brand marketing at Universal Studios Home Entertainment before joining Paramount.

“Dan has been an indispensable leader in the licensing space, both for Paramount and in the industry at large,” said Gumpert. “He has a proven track record of business growth, and I am confident that, along with Bob Buchi and his team, he will more than excel in overseeing our home entertainment and television distribution businesses.”