Here’s my post from October 12th that reported this would happen and my column from LA Weekly that fleshes out the story. So the Warner Bros news release was just sent to me about Jeff Robinov’s promotion to president of the Warner Bros Pictures Group effective January 2008. He’ll oversee a reorganized division to include worldwide production, marketing and distribution operations as well as Warner Independent Pictures. So this is a very big job. But with limitations because, interestingly, boss Alan Horn still retains final greenlight authority even if he does seem to relinquish day to day oversight of everything else to Robinov. Hollywood will certainly be buzzing about this expected, but still unexpected, development because of the slump that Warner Pictures has been in of late (with a few exceptions). I’ll have a separate analysis later, probably tomorrow…
November 26, 2007 – Burbank, CA) Jeff Robinov has been named President of the newly formed Warner Bros. Pictures Group, which brings together the Studio’s motion picture production, marketing and distribution operations as well as Warner Independent Pictures into a single entity. Robinov will assume his new post January 2008, it was announced today by Alan F. Horn, President & Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros., to whom he will continue to directly report, and who will continue to have final greenlight approval of the Studio’s films.
In his new post, Robinov will assume greatly expanded responsibilities beyond those of his previous position as President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, including having the presidents of domestic and international marketing and distribution now report directly to him. He will maintain oversight of all aspects of creative production and have increased input and involvement on projects from initial pitch to exhibition, with the heads of physical production, post production, theatrical music and Warner Independent continuing to report directly to him. Robinov will also continue to share oversight of the Studio’s direct-to-platform production arm, Warner Premiere, with the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.
The formation of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group and its centralized reporting were implemented to streamline the Studio’s film production process and bring those businesses’ organizational structures in line with Warner Bros.’ television and home entertainment operations.
“Jeff brilliantly balances creativity with commerce and is most deserving of this promotion and greatly expanded role within the company,” said Horn. “He has helped shape the Studio’s event-film strategy and really delivered on that promise with an enviable roster of films earning over $100 million, film slates generating numerous billion-dollar-plus years at the box office and Academy Award recognition. Having demonstrated his leadership instincts and skills, Jeff is now poised to lead the Pictures Group into exciting new territory as the film business undergoes creative and technological changes every day.”
“Jeff’s promotion and the formation of the Pictures Group are the third phase of our overall plan to strategically align all of Warner Bros.’ major business units into operating groups in order to maximize their potential,” said Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. “Jeff and his senior team have a done a fantastic job in developing, producing, marketing and distributing our films to audiences around the world, and we feel this new organizational structure, which consolidates and streamlines our global film activities, will allow them to achieve even more. As Alan and I lead the company through the constantly evolving entertainment landscape, it’s crucial that we have an executive of Jeff’s caliber overseeing our feature film activities.”
“I’m honored that Alan and Barry have entrusted me with this responsibility and am excited by the challenges of my new position,” said Robinov. “Warner Bros. is a great company, and I can’t wait to build upon its amazing cinematic history. This is an exhilarating time to be making movies, and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Robinov was promoted to President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures in 2002. Under his leadership, the division has crossed the billion-dollar mark every year since then in both domestic and international box office grosses. In 2004, Warner Bros. Pictures International became the first studio to cross $2 billion in overseas box office receipts ($2.19 billion). In 2005, Warner Bros. Pictures had its best domestic box office year to date ($1.38 billion); that same year, the Studio set a domestic box office record by having three films cross $200 million in a single year (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Batman Begins, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
Also during his tenure, Warner Bros. Pictures has won Best Picture Academy Awards for Million Dollar Baby and The Departed and the Best Animated Feature Oscar for Happy Feet. Other notable films produced under Robinov’s leadership include 300, Ocean’s 13, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Superman Returns, Syriana, Ocean’s 12, The Polar Express, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Troy, The Last Samurai, the three The Matrix films and Cats & Dogs.
Prior to serving as President, Robinov had served as Executive Vice President, Production for two years, having joined Warner Bros. Pictures in 1997 as Senior Vice President, Production. Before coming to the Studio, Robinov spent three years as an agent with International Creative Management, handling the careers of such writer-directors as the Hughes brothers (From Hell), the Wachowskis (The Matrix) and Academy Award winner Chris McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects). Robinov started his career as an agent at Writers & Artists.