BREAKING: Wolfgang Hammer and Terry Press have been named co-presidents of CBS Films. This cements a structure that has worked since Amy Baer left the studio and CBS Films ramped up its activity acquiring finished films. In his title as COO, Hammer oversaw the acquisitions of The Mechanic, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen and The Women In Black, and Press has been been at the center of the marketing and release campaigns for those films. Through her 7570 Marketing, she has been consulting for CBS Films since 2010. “In Terry and Wolfgang, we are fortunate to have two very skilled executives, each with terrific knowledge of the business and strong resumes of innovation,” said CBS Corp president and CEO Leslie Moonves, to whom they will report. “They both possess the ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ attitude for making, acquiring and marketing quality films for a division that is small in size, but laser-focused on assembling a mix of home-grown productions and acquisitions across a diverse range of genres. I look forward to the ongoing contributions they will make as they work together on all aspects of CBS Films to achieve our shared objective of developing great movies and growing this new part of our company.”
Press will oversee creative, distribution, marketing and physical production for CBS Films. She takes the full-time job after consulting on the release of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games. She was also a consultant on the releases Julie & Julia, The Social Network, Hugo and Valkyrie. During her tenure as head of marketing for DreamWorks, she oversaw campaigns for the films Saving Private Ryan, American Beauty, Gladiator and Shrek, among others. “Terry has been behind some of the biggest film campaigns of the past two decades,” Moonves said. “She is highly respected across the industry for her instincts, taste and ability to conceive and adapt campaigns for any film in any genre. We are thrilled that she will now be bringing her characteristic drive and creative energy to this new role at CBS.”
Hammer will oversee all business, finance, legal affairs and acquisitions for CBS Films, including films the division finances, co-finances or acquires as finished product. He oversaw deals for the Joel and Ethan Coen-scripted Gambit with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz; The Words, the Bradley Cooper-Zoe Saldana starrer that was acquired at the Sundance Film Festival in January; and the Martin McDonagh-directed Seven Psychopaths, which stars Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell. Hammer came to CBS Films from Lionsgate. “Wolfgang is one of the brightest new stars in the industry,” said Moonves. “He is an aggressive and innovative dealmaker with terrific passion and talent for identifying the right film at the right time. Since the day he arrived, he has been an integral part of the division’s growth and forward momentum, and played an important role in developing a slate of filmmaker-driven titles that have great quality and financial upside. His intelligence, business acumen and deal-making skills will be a key part of our effort, as we move to build our film division in the years to come.”
While the CBS Films slate has been largely acquisitions, the division will strike a balance between pickups and homegrown productions. The Woman In Black grossed over $54 million domestic, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, acquired at the last Toronto Film Festival for $5.5 million, is building in limited release. CBS Films recently wrapped the multi-generational comedy Get A Job with Bryan Cranston and Anna Kendrick, and this summer opens the horror pic 7500. Seven Psychopaths comes later along with The Words, followed by Gambit.