The former Sony Pictures exec has the title of President, AMC Programming — which also happens to be the title that Robert Lenihan has. What’s the difference? Lenihan will continue to oversee “AMC’s film buying and day-to-day programming operations,” the company says, while John Calkins will “lead the company’s partnerships with Hollywood studios and other entertainment companies.” What kinds of partnerships? The company doesn’t say, though I’m told that his new job isn’t about lining up alternative content such as concerts and sports events for slow nights.
In any event, the move to exhibition is a big change for Calkins, who will be based in Los Angeles. He drove Sony Pictures’ efforts to promote UltraViolet streaming and electronic sell through before he left the company in early 2012. He had been EVP Digital Distribution and Commercial Innovation in the home entertainment unit, and SVP Corporate Development at Warner Bros. AMC chief Gerry Lopez says that Calkins will help the No. 2 theater chain to “generate greater revenue and profitability through our productive theaters and moviegoer relationships.” And Chief Content & Programming Officer Elizabeth Frank says the exec will “enable AMC and our studio partners to realize opportunities in the theatrical business and more broadly as the industry evolves.”