UPDATED with Helfgot info, 9:06 AM: In what marks three presidents of marketing in one year, Open Road has moved Loren Schwartz into the lead role replacing Jonathan Helfgot, who replaced Jason Cassidy just a year ago. Helfgot is leaving the company to join 20th Century Fox as EVP Theatrical Marketing, reporting to marketing head Pam Levine.
He starts at his new post on May 8. It marks Helfgot’s second stint at the studio where he worked from 2004-11.
Schwartz, who comes to Open Road from Screen Gems, will report directly to Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg. In addition, Liz Biber has been promoted to President of Publicity and will continue to report to Ortenberg. She has been head of publicity since the company’s inception in 2011.
Helfgot worked on Open Road’s Sundance favorite Before I Fall, Oliver Stone’s controversial Snowden and the Jamie Foxx action-thriller Sleepless during his stint at Open Road. He also previously led marketing efforts at Walden Media as EVP Worldwide Marketing for the Anschutz Film Group.
Open Road most recently worked on the marketing and distribution of The Promise in what amounted to a service deal for Survival Pictures. The marketing materials for the Terry George-directed film were strong and did the best they could to open the picture, albeit at an odd time and having to go wide. Because of that, The Promise opened to only $4M this past weekend after Survival Pictures pumped in over $90M. Gotta give both Survival Pictures and Open Road credit for bringing the historic film to market — the first one about the Armenian genocide with A-list stars.
Schwartz, who now steps into Helfgot’s old post, previously was EVP Marketing at Screen Gems, where he oversaw films such as Evil Dead, Resident Evil, Think Like a Man, Heaven Is for Real and The Vow. He will jump into the fray for Open Road’s upcoming late-summer slate that includes Midnight Sun, starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, on August 4 and toon sequel The Nut Job 2 on August 11.
On September 8, Open Road will release the Reese Witherspoon-starring Home Again, the film written and directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer and produced by her mother Nancy Meyers, and All I See Is You on September 15, directed by Marc Forster and starring Blake Lively and Jason Clarke.
The following month on October 13, Schwartz will oversee marketing on Reginald Hudlin’s biopic Marshall, which stars Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall along with Josh Gad, Kate Hudson and Sterling K. Brown.
Following that is Show Dogs on February 16, which is a live-action, family comedy from director Raja Gosnell.
Schwartz’s most recent position was EVP Genre Marketing and Advertising at Warner Bros. But he is really a longtime Sony guy. Prior to that, he was SVP Creative Advertising at Columbia Pictures, where he worked on more than 60 films, including Superbad, Pineapple Express, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Anger Management and 50 First Dates.