Lionsgate is now taking the second step of Hollywood rehab: not just recognizing it has a problem but hiring even more executives to fix it. The studio has brought in marketing guru Terry Press just a day after adding former Disney exec Chris LeRoy as an in-house consultant on the distribution side. Press is reporting to Lionsgate President of Marketing exec Tim Palen. I said it before but it’s worth repeating: 2011 has been a disaster for Lionsgate which must get ready for 2012 when potential blockbusters like The Hunger Games debut. But as good as Press and LeRoy are, they can’t make miracles if the product stinks. I truly hope the good buzz surrounding Hunger Games from the bestselling book trilogy bears fruit for its planned film franchise. Press, of course, worked for Walt Disney Studios and then DreamWorks before going out on her own. She’s a consultant to down-but-not-out CBS Films which is changing its business model. And she was working closely with Scott Rudin as an adviser. Emphasis on the word ‘was’. Rudin has a long and unfortunate history of bad behavior to those close to him: he was so miserable to Press during the tail-end of the Oscar marketing campaign for The Social Network and the beginning of the one for this year’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo that they’ve recently and quietly parted company, according to my Sony sources. So, from my view, even working for Lionsgate right now is better than working for Rudin.
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