Thursday, June 16, 2016

More Studio Shakeups

Change, as it often does, is roiling various movie studios. Fox will be changing captains:

Media giant 21st Century Fox is replacing the longtime chief of its movie studio, marking the latest move by Chief Executive James Murdoch and Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch to put their stamp on the company.

Twentieth Century Fox Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Gianopulos will step down from his post next year after working at the company for a quarter of a century ... Gianopulos, 64, will relinquish his position in June 2017 after his contract expires, the company said. He will then take on a “new strategic role,” though details of that position were not disclosed.

The elevation of Snider, 55, comes after Fox acknowledged earlier this month that as many as 400 employees of the movie studio and TV operations would exit after receiving lucrative buyouts offered to longtime staff members, with the aim of cutting $250 million in costs. The workforce reduction included the departure of many on Gianopulos’ team at the Century City studio. ...

This is called "sweeping with a wide broom". The studio head's staffers get the axe (and or "lucrative buyouts"), then the studio head is flung overboard.

In recent years, Fox has been a big player in animation. It continues to have prime time animation in its Sunday block of shows, and it release DreamWorks product theatrically along with wholly-owned Blue Sky Studio's features. The company will be losing distribution on DWA's movies in 2018, so what it will do to ramp up the number of animated features it rolls out is anybody's guess.

Perhaps, emulating Disney, it will start a second animated feature division, but I tend to doubt it. The Mouse owning two power-house theatrical animation units is an accident of circumstances more than anything else. The House of Murdoch is more likely to beef up its East coast cartoon studio rather than open a second name plate.


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