As STX Entertainment ramps up its international business under the stewardship of David Kosse, the company has set Andy Leyshon as UK Managing Director. He will be tasked with overseeing distribution in the UK. The hire re-teams he and Kosse from their Universal days.
Kosse for 10 years ran international at Universal and now is President of the London-based STX division dedicated to identifying and executing on global opportunities for development, production and distribution. Leyshon is yet another Universal exec to join the ranks of STX. STX Motion Picture Group chairman Adam Fogelson was previously Universal Pictures Chairman. Ex-Uni exec Michael Joe was named STX Film Group COO in April.
Leyshon’s first initiative will be overseeing sales and distribution of an untitled action-comedy directed by Nash Edgerton and co-financed by STX and Amazon Studios. STX launched international sales on the film, which stars David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Thandie Newton, Yul Vasquez and Sharlto Copley, in Cannes.
The exec joins STX from Universal Pictures UK, where he served as head of sales for the UK and Ireland. Leyshon had been Sales Director for Universal Pictures UK & Eire since 2006 and, during his tenure with the company, launched the UK office as a territory start-up operation. Throughout his career, he has planned releases on more than 230 titles, including 52 that debuted to No. 1 in the UK and 38 earning over £10M each. From 2000 to 2006, Leyshon also held senior sales position at Momentum Pictures where he and Kosse first worked together.
“I’ve known and worked with Andy for 15 years across two companies,” says Kosse. “He has great taste and a fantastic knowledge of the UK market, and he knows how to handle all types of films. I’m tremendously excited that he is joining us and helping build our new distribution business here in London.”
Founded by Bob Simonds in 2014, STX has quickly ramped up as a player. The company has pics already under its belt that include The Gift, The Boy and current release Bad Moms. On deck are a new movie with Sylvester Stallone and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Setting a record for a Cannes deal this past May, STX landed The Irishman with hopes to reunite Scorsese with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, as well as to team Al Pacino with Scorsese for the first time. Kosse was instrumental in that deal which came after a heated bidding war.
STX this week entered final talks to close a deal on the script for the action-pic Red Widow, from screenwriter Matthew Altman. It also made a decision to exit as distributor and co-financier of Barbra Streisand’s Gypsy.