EXCLUSIVE: Tom Molter, Warner Bros Pictures’ Executive Vice President, International Distribution, is leaving the company. Molter has been a longtime key executive whose departure was announced internally in a memo sent to staffers today, and obtained by Deadline (read it below). The separation is understood to be due to recent organizational changes.
Molter, who has been present through regimes with Sue Koll and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, has navigated and provided leadership for the theatrical division for many years. He originally joined the international distribution team in 2004. Since 2016, he has been at the helm of the strategic development of theatrical growth opportunities and revenue streams for the offshore division, as well as maximizing sales and distribution efforts with Warner Bros’ overseas network of affiliates and licensees worldwide. He has also overseen the day-to-day operations of film distribution, including dating strategies, competitive positioning, filmmaker and exhibitor trade relations, box office and film rental performance in more than 125 territories internationally. (Folks who cover international box office have appreciated his straight-shooting attitude.)
Here’s today’s memo on Molter’s exit from Ron Sanders, President, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution and President, Warner Bros Home Entertainment (story follows):
I wanted to let you know that Tom Molter, EVP International Theatrical Distribution, will be leaving the team at the end of November.
Tom has been part of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group for 15 years and made a number of valuable contributions to our success during his tenure. As the growth of the international theatrical business skyrocketed over the last two decades, Tom was a key member of the team that helped Warner Bros. navigate the arena to become a recognized leader at the overseas box office.
Tom’s a talented distribution executive and a terrific colleague. Please join me in thanking him and wishing him all the best.
At WB, Molter’s efforts have contributed to numerous record breaking years. Last year was the biggest ever for WB International, surpassing $3.6B. The mega-hits included Aquaman with $813M at the overseas box office and coming in as the largest grossing DC film and the 2nd highest grossing WB film of all time. In addition, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, took in $494.2M offshore; Ready Player One made $445.5M; The Meg surprised with $384M; and The Nun became the 2nd highest grossing horror film internationally with total of $248.4M.
Molter also facilitated the studio’s rapid overseas growth in digital and 3D business. Additionally, he has been instrumental in the studio’s growth in the Chinese market, with 2018 being a banner year, grossing nearly $1B in WB box office.
Molter also served as the key executive on all international exhibition issues, spearheading strategic partnerships with cinema circuits and other parties to develop and implement new revenue opportunities, working hand-in-hand with the domestic distribution team. He also collaborated with WB Technical Operations, Post Production and filmmakers on all international release strategies, new technology developments, and on ensuring the timely, efficient and cost-effective delivery of the Studio’s feature films to the international markets.
Having joined Warner Bros’ international distribution team as Vice President in 2004, he moved up the ranks before taking his expanded role as Executive Vice President in 2016.
Prior to joining the studio, Molter served as Vice President and Managing Director, Worldwide All Media, for the Motion Picture Association. Under the direction of Jack Valenti, he was responsible for the formulation of policy and implementation of strategies to address trade and regulatory issues relating to major studio theatrical, home entertainment, television and online distribution and marketing in the U.S. and abroad.