EXCLUSIVE: An internal restructuring has left Paramount’s EVP of production for animation Bob Bacon out of a job, exiting. He had been at the studio since 2011. Sources said that all physical production, live action and animation, will now come under the auspices of Lee Rosenthal, and as a result, Bacon’s position is being eliminated. This news comes at a time when the studio’s highest grossing film of the year is an animated title: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water which made $163M at the domestic B.O. and $311.6M worldwide. The other animated film put into production during Bacon’s reign is Chris Wedge’s Monster Trucks, which in May was pushed back a second time to March 18, 2016. That film, which carries a reported $125M pricetag, was announced as a potential franchise in 2013, with production starting on May 13, 2014. The film was scheduled for this summer, then moved to Christmas before being pulled from the 2015 schedule altogether.
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Bacon’s departure comes in a year when two Paramount executives have left: film group president Adam Goodman in February and president of domestic distribution Don Harris, who left in June after 14 years on the Melrose lot.
Bacon, a two decade-plus animation vet, came to Paramount from Disney where he served as the production executive on the studio’s surprise winter 2011 hit Gnomeo & Juliet ($194M worldwide), which he guided from start to finish. He was brought in at Paramount’s animation division a year before Dreamworks Animation moved to Fox in November 2011. When Bacon arrived at Paramount, the studio was coming off the Oscar-winning animated feature Rango ($245.7M) and The Adventures Of Tin Tin which was a global success ($374M). At Disney, Bacon served as an EVP at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he oversaw production, finance, technology and the day-to-day ops of 600 artists, technicians, and production staff. His credits include such titles Chicken Little, Beauty And The Beast, The Lion King and Lilo And Stitch.
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