This isn’t a surprise, but Sony Pictures marketing chief Josh Greenstein just announced internally that Motion Picture Group domestic marketing president Dwight Caines, who has been at SPE for 19 years and in the role for the past three years, is exiting this summer after he completes work on the studio’s summer tentpole Ghostbusters. Christine Birch has been named president and Andre Caraco will be promoted to co-president of domestic marketing for the Motion Picture Group after that. Birch will report to president of worldwide marketing and distribution Greenstein, and Caraco (who has been with Sony since 1989) will report to Birch.
A change in the ranks had been expected for some time and comes after a number of box office disappointments including The Brothers Grimsby and a less than expected domestic opening for Money Monster. The next film up from Sony is The Shallows this weekend, followed by Ghostbusters on July 15.
Greenstein sent an announcement to the press following his email to staff this AM, that reads: “Dwight approached me several weeks ago to say that he wanted to make a change and explore other opportunities after the Ghostbusters marketing campaign is completed. He and his excellent team remain tireless in their creativity and drive to deliver on all our films, and we are looking forward to a great summer and fall.”
Birch, who had spent 12 years at Sony prior to head of DreamWorks marketing, was lured back to the studio by Greenstein earlier this year with responsibilities that began overlapping with Caines.
The new team will now continue work on the upcoming slate that includes hopefuls Magnificent Seven, Sausage Party, Passengers, The Dark Tower, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Blade Runner.
Here’s the email just sent out by Greenstein:
From: Office of Josh Greenstein
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2016 9:40 AM
To: Office of Josh Greenstein
Subject: Marketing News
Today we are announcing that Dwight Caines, president of domestic marketing for MPG, will be leaving SPE later this summer.
Dwight has been with SPE for 19 years, where he built a world-class digital marketing function from the ground up, and transformed the way we market our films to consumers. He is an extraordinarily talented marketing executive and leader, and it has been a pleasure to work with him.
Dwight approached me several weeks ago to say that he wanted to make a change and explore other opportunities after the Ghostbusters marketing campaign is completed. He and his excellent team remain tireless in their creativity and drive to deliver on all our films, and we are looking forward to a great summer and fall.
I want to thank Dwight for his hard work and leadership and wish him the very best in the next chapter of his career.
A note from Dwight is included below.
Concurrent with Dwight’s departure, I am pleased to announce that Christine Birch will be promoted to president of domestic marketing for the Motion Picture Group, and that Andre Caraco will be promoted to co-president of domestic marketing for the Motion Picture Group.
Christine, who re-joined SPE earlier this year to spearhead creative marketing strategy, is a seasoned executive who spent 12 years in senior marketing roles at Sony Pictures before going on to serve as president of marketing at DreamWorks, where she worked on a diverse slate of films, including the launch of the global franchise Transformers, and the Academy Award winner The Help. More recently, at FilmDistrict and Focus Features, she oversaw campaigns including Academy Award® winner The Theory of Everything. Christine truly understands the strategies and tactics needed in order to turn a film campaign into an engaging conversation with our consumers.
Andre has led the studio’s national publicity team in the marketing group since 2006. He originally began his career at our own TriStar Pictures in 1989, where he rose to eventually head the department. Andre has overseen campaigns for SPE’s most successful films and franchises, including Spider-Man, The DaVinci Code, and James Bond. He is an asset to our team, with a deep well of knowledge, skill, and relationships that make him a highly effective leader.
Christine and Andre are the right executives to launch the incredible new slate we have rolling out this year, including Inferno, Magnificent Seven, Sausage Party, Passengers, The Dark Tower, Spider-Man, Blade Runner, and many others. They are a key part of the fantastic team we now have in place to market and distribute these movies across the globe, and to be very successful in the years ahead.
Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication.
NOTE FROM DWIGHT CAINES:
To my Sony family,
It is with mixed emotions, and after much reflection, that I write to let you know that after nearly 20 years with Sony Pictures (and hundreds of movies) I have decided to pursue other interests.
As I look back on my career at SPE, I can happily say that I’ve accomplished everything that I set out to do. I am especially proud of launching our digital marketing efforts on a global basis, and to have been the first digital marketer to be appointed head of marketing at a major studio. I won’t forget the movies we opened to #1 at the box-office during my tenure as head of marketing including Angry Birds, Spectre, Hotel Transylvania 2, Goosebumps, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Equalizer, Fury, and 22 Jump Street.
I want to thank Josh and the entire management team for being so supportive of my decision. My time at SPE has been amazing and I will always look back on it fondly. I have great confidence in all of you to continue to meet the many opportunities and challenges ahead.
I will work with you all to ensure a smooth succession plan.