The movie starring Tom Cruise won’t be out until December 21. But Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told investors at the Goldman Sachs Annual Communacopia Conference today that he’s “hoping to create new franchise” from the novels created by Jim Grant (who uses the pen name Lee Child). It goes to the heart of a strategy that he says will lead to “a good year” for Paramount. “We reduced the number of releases to about 15 a year and focused on existing franchises, developing new franchises, and developing our brands.” In addition to Reacher, he says that “we’re going to have a Jack Ryan franchise” — referring to the character featured in The Hunt For Red October and Patriot Games. He’s also upbeat about new versions of Transformers, and the planned film built around Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Although the film operation has struggled to recoup revenues lost from the decline of DVD sales, Dauman says Paramount’s productions have “driven some value for the rest of the company” including at EPIX and the overseas Paramount channels. “I’m very pleased with how they’ve performed and where they are.”
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