Warner Bros. Pictures’ 30-year vet Jeff Goldstein has been promoted to president, domestic distribution, it was announced today by Sue Kroll, President, worldwide marketing and distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, to whom Goldstein will report.
In his new role, Goldstein will oversee the daily oversight of Warner Bros. Pictures’ domestic distribution, and work closely with Kroll on broader, long-term strategy and planning for the group. Goldstein started at Warner Bros. as an intern in the Los Angeles office. He then relocated to the company’s regional offices in Florida, Ohio and Massachusetts. Prior to his promotion, Goldstein served as EVP and General Sales Manager, domestic distribution, a post to which he was promoted to in 2000. Before that, he served as the department’s SVP and general sales manager.
Warner Bros. stateside is having a healthy year with close to $1.5B, +11% over 2015. A summer slate led by Suicide Squad, The Legend of Tarzan, Central Intelligence and Conjuring 2 brought $872.6M to the Burbank, CA-based studio lot, +41% from last year’s May-Labor Day weekend period. To date in 2016, Warner Bros. counts six $100-plus grossing titles (Sully will cross in the near future), with two of those, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, clicking past the three-century mark at the U.S./Canada box office. And you can expect the studio to clean up when Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters on Nov. 18.
Veronika Kwan Vandenberg is also expanding her role under the new title, president, international distribution and growth initiatives. The announcement of her new role comes on the heels of Warner Bros. International crossing the $2B mark. She will maintain strategic oversight of foreign theatrical distribution, while expanding WB’s growth in China and developing the studio’s theatrical business overall. This includes aligning business and and technology initiatives around the globe and building partnerships to support new in-cinema experiences. She will work closely with Richard Fox and Gillian Zhao, Warner Bros.’ country manager in China to build long-term directives for the market. Kwan Vandenberg continues reporting to Kroll. Two highlights this year for Warner Bros. in China include Batman v. Superman which minted close to $96M and The Legend of Tarzan where it made $46.2M.
“This strategic realignment will capitalize on our continued domestic and international growth,” said Kroll in a statement. “Jeff is an accomplished distribution executive, and this promotion recognizes the many contributions he’s made to Warner Bros. Pictures. During his long tenure at the Studio, he has established himself as extremely knowledgeable and well-respected among his peers. I look forward to working closely with him as film distribution and exhibition continue to evolve.”
“Having worked closely with Veronika for many years, it’s clear to me that no one understands the incredibly complex and crucial international marketplace better than she does,” said Kroll. “Veronika has successfully built many enduring partnerships for Warner Bros. during her almost three decades at the Studio, so I’m pleased that she’ll be parlaying her experience into driving key theatrical growth opportunities for the company.”
Thomas Molter, who serves as EVP, international distribution, will continue to oversee all aspects of daily activities, including local market strategy implementation, managing and directing country-specific opportunities, as well as the division’s foreign exhib partnerships. He will continue to report to Kwan Vandenberg, and will also work in tandem with Goldstein to oversee collaborations partnerships with multi-national theater chains. Molter will maintain oversight of the technical aspects of Warner Bros.’ foreign operations, including satellite and digital delivery, and future distribution efficiencies. In addition, he will work with Kroll and Kwan Vandenberg on foreign’s strategic initiatives.