EXCLUSIVE: I understand that New Line veteran Russell Schwartz is already signed to become President of Theatrical Marketing. And Marvel veteran Dana Precious is in final talks to assume the newly created position of President of Creative Advertising and Research. Both Schwartz and Precious will report directly to Relativity‘s President Tucker Tooley. “It is a coup for Relativity to get both Russell and Dana who have overseen some of the biggest movies in recent years,” according to a source close to the studio. Relativity hopes to make the formal announcement early next week. The news follows criticism inside and outside Relativity of the handling of movie marketing by Terry Curtin – culminating in this weekend’s flop film pickup Paranioa. “Relativity is losing confidence in its marketing head,” a source close to the studio told me this morning when weekend box office results were announced. “Granted it is an incredibly crowded and down marketplace, but marketing should have at least opened the film to $10 million.” Curtin is leaving the studio with an uneven record since 2011 with highs of The Immortals and Act Of Valor and lows like Mirror Mirror. Schwartz and Precious will jointly oversee all aspects of markeing campaigns for Relativity’s growing film slate which includes Luc Besson’s action comedy The Family, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon, Jimmy Hayward’s upcoming animated buddy comedy Free Birds, and Scott Cooper’s Out Of The Furnace. “Relativity has a strong slate in the second half of 2013 and early 2014 so they wanted to get a team with Russell and Dana’s track record and experience,” a source tells me.
Schwartz was formerly President of Theatrical Marketing at New Line Cinema and managed or created marketing campaigns for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Wedding Crashers, Elf, Rush Hour 2 and 3, and The Notebook among other films. Most recently, Schwartz was a consultant to Relativity and President of Pandemic Marketing Corporation, an agency developing strategic marketing for feature films.
Precious was formely EVP of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing at Marvel where she oversaw marketing campaigns for Thor and Captain America. Before that, she was EVP of Theatrical Marketing at Fox and EVP of Domestic Theatrical Marketing at Sony. Most recently, she was EVP of Creative Advertising and Brand Marketing at The Cimarron Group.
(Nikki Finke is currently on vacation.)