The former 20th Century Fox domestic distribution boss returns to work with his former 20th Century boss Jim Gianopulos and former marketing colleague Marc Weinstock, effective Dec. 2. Chris Aronson has been named President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution for the Melrose lot and will will report to Weinstock, Paramount’s President of Worldwide Marketing & Distribution and Mary Daily, Co-President of Worldwide Marketing & Distribution.
Aronson is highly respected, not just in the overall distribution and exhibition community, but by filmmakers as well, a true visionary when it comes to the trade and knowing what works in the theatrical space. In the wake of Disney deciding they couldn’t fit him in the new merger, many wondered where Aronson would land, and the logic was that it was always here, back with his Fox pals at Paramount. Aronson oversaw the distribution of such Fox hits as Avatar, Bohemian Rhapsody, the X-Men franchise, Deadpool series, the Ice Age pics, Walk the Line and much more.
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Kyle Davies, who has headed Paramount’s domestic distribution division since 2016 will be exiting his role.
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“Kyle is the consummate professional and has been an incredible asset to Paramount’s distribution business, as well as a fantastic colleague to all of us fortunate enough to work with him,” say Weinstock and Daily. “We thank him for his dedication and service.”
Davies is a great guy, who arrived at Paramount from Relativity when the studio was in a real mess, weeks before Rob Moore departed and before studio boss Brad Grey passed away. Davies took Mission: Impossible – Fallout to the Tom Cruise franchise’s highest grosses ever in its 22 year history with $220.1M as well as making A Quiet Place a spring breakout hit with $188M, Book Club a destination for senior filmmgoers with close to $70M, and manuvering Bumblebee via a fierce Aquaman holiday season with a $127M stateside gross.
In his role, Aronson will oversee all aspects of domestic theatrical distribution, including theatrical sales, in-theatre marketing, operations, and overall distribution strategy.
Weinstock and Daily stated: “In an ever-evolving distribution landscape, Chris has the ideal balance of experience in the arena and strategic acumen, as well as strong filmmaker relationships. We are thrilled to have him onboard and can’t wait to see where his leadership takes our distribution strategy and team.”
Aronson is a 30-year-plus industry veteran who joined Fox in 2005 as SVP, General Sales Manager East. He came to Fox from MGM Distribution Co. where he served as EVP, General Sales Manager, responsible for all of MGM’s theatrical distribution activities in the U.S. and Canada. Aronson was promoted to EVP, General Sales Manager in 2012 at Fox. A month after that announcement, Aronson was promoted again and succeeded then distribution chief Bruce Snyder. Prior to MGM, Aronson served as SVP for box office analytics firm Rentrak Corporation.
Last fall, Aronson received ShowEast’s Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Awar” which is presented to a company or individual in the industry that has made an impact in the philanthropic community. Aronson has been heavily involved in the Will Rogers Motion Picture Foundation for two decades, having most recently served as president and chairman. He has also served on the board of the Lollipop Theater Network for over 10 years. He has been a Variety Club supporter for over 25 years for both the northern and southern California chapters.
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