2017 was a rocky year behind the scenes at Warner Bros. First Walter Hamada became the new president of DC films, and now a bigger shakeup went down today.
WB announces that Toby Emmerich will now serve as the Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, with full oversight of its movie studio, worldwide theatrical production, marketing and distribution.
GUYS! This is a big deal.
Check out the official announcement below:
WARNER BROS. TO RESTRUCTURE GLOBAL THEATRICAL AND HOME ENTERTAINMENT OPERATIONS
Toby Emmerich to Become Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group with Oversight of
Worldwide Theatrical Production, Marketing and Distribution
Blair Rich to Serve as President, Worldwide Marketing,
Warner Bros. Pictures Group and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Ron Sanders to Serve as President, Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures Group
In Addition to Responsibilities as President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Highly Respected Feature Film Marketing and Distribution Executive Sue Kroll to Become
Studio-Based Producer at Warner Bros. Pictures
(January 9, 2018 – Burbank, CA) – To enhance its competitiveness in the global marketplace, Warner Bros. is reorganizing its global theatrical and home entertainment operations, the Studio announced today. Toby Emmerich will now serve as Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, with full oversight of worldwide theatrical production, marketing and distribution. Blair Rich will head global theatrical and home entertainment marketing as President, Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures Group and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Ron Sanders will serve as President, Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, assuming responsibility for global theatrical distribution while retaining his role as President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
As part of this reorganization, Sue Kroll, who previously served as President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, will become a studio-based producer at Warner Bros. with responsibility on a broad portfolio of films expected to include “A Star is Born” and “Motherless Brooklyn” with additional titles to be announced shortly.
“All of our businesses, including film and home entertainment, continue to rapidly evolve based on consumer tastes and technology, and we need to constantly adapt our operations to stay ahead of these changes, while preserving our creative excellence,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. “Bringing together film and home entertainment marketing and distribution will allow us to strategically manage film titles through their entire lifecycle. We’ll be better able to respond to consumer demand, while still creating unique theatrical and home entertainment experiences, and provide increased benefits to our filmmaking, exhibition and retail partners. We’re fortunate that we have a deep bench of highly talented executives to help us navigate these changes.”
In her new role, Rich will lead the development and execution of all marketing campaigns for both the Studio’s global theatrical and home entertainment releases. She has oversight of Warner Bros. Pictures’ worldwide creative advertising, publicity, media, global digital, global promotions and worldwide research groups. She will also oversee the Home Entertainment marketing operation.
“I’ve known and worked with Blair for years—she’s a fantastic marketer, highly respected and as creative as she is strategic,” said Emmerich. “The Pictures Group has an incredible marketing team, and with Blair at the helm, they’ll continue to set the industry standard for excellence.”
Most recently, Rich led the marketing efforts on “IT” and helped direct the campaigns for a number of Warner Bros. Pictures’ critical and global box office hits, including “Dunkirk,” “Wonder Woman,” “The LEGO Batman Movie” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Sanders will assume oversight of the teams responsible for all matters relating to global film distribution and release functions. He will also retain his responsibilities as President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
“Now more than ever, we need to be responsive to consumers’ changing moviegoing habits, and we’re looking to Ron to help us maximize the value of our film titles across their entire release, from theatrical to in-home and mobile,” said Tsujihara. “I’m excited for him to bring his expertise, experience and global relationships to our worldwide film distribution operations.”
Under Sanders’ leadership, WBHE consistently holds the top market share in Hollywood in home entertainment. Sanders oversees the global distribution of home entertainment products from Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Warner Bros. Television Group and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. He is also responsible for the Studio’s videogame publishing business, and helped build WBHE into the industry’s largest digital distributor of films and TV shows through VOD and EST.
“With our Pictures Group wrapping up a fantastic year, I’m excited that Toby will be taking on this expanded role at the Studio,” continued Tsujihara. “Over the last 12 months—and really throughout his career—he’s proven he has great instincts, the ability to balance the creative and commercial needs of the Studio, a deep well of experience and a leadership style that inspires those around him. I look forward to our continuing partnership.”
“I’m humbled and honored to have this opportunity to help continue Warner Bros. Pictures’ legacy of creativity, innovation and excellence,” said Emmerich. “We will remain focused on being the first choice for the world’s best filmmakers, whether they’re making their first film or their 34th. Between Warner Bros. and New Line, we have an incredible wealth of talented executives who Kevin and I feel lucky to work with, and who we know will consistently deliver successful film slates year after year.”
The Rich and Sanders promotions are effective immediately.
During the transition, Kroll will report to Tsujihara as a special advisor on the restructuring, including overseeing the high-profile awards campaigns for “Dunkirk” and “Wonder Woman,” as well as advise on select upcoming releases, including “Ready Player One,” slated for release March 30. She will move into her producer role April 1.
“I’d like to thank Sue for her incredible contributions to our film operations over the last twenty-plus years,” said Tsujihara. “With her at the helm of our film marketing and distribution efforts, the Studio has consistently been recognized as the industry’s gold standard, a tastemaker and the place where top filmmakers want to work. Sue is both creative and strategic, and has amazing relationships with filmmakers, so I have no doubt she’ll be a huge asset to our production operations. I’m really excited to be working with her in this new role.”