EXCLUSIVE: This morning Sony Motion Pictures Group Chairman Tom Rothman informed studio staff about a round of recent promotions, with Josh Greenstein and Sanford Panitch each being named to the new shared position of President Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a title which has been vacant since Doug Belgrad’s departure.
It’s all for a job well done by the duo with Panitch in production and Greenstein leading global marketing and distribution as Sony recently saw their highest grossing movie of all-time with Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s $1.13 billion global gross, and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood being the highest grossing original film at the B.O. year to date with $357.6M (the filmmaker’s second-highest grossing movie after Django Unchained). Not to mention, Sony is primed to clear $1 billion at the domestic box office soon and potentially best their 2018 $1.3B take following the releases of such upcoming pics Zombieland: Double Tap, Charlie’s Angels, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Jumanji: The Next Level.
More riches are in store with Sony recently re-pacting with Disney’s Marvel and the label’s boss Kevin Feige on another Spider-Man Homecoming sequel starring Tom Holland.
Greenstein and Panitch’s responsibilities and reporting lines remain unchanged according to Rothman’s memo this morning. Panitch previously served as President of Columbia Pictures. Greenstein’s previous title was Sony Pictures President of Worldwide Marketing & Distribution. Last September, Rothman re-upped his deal at Sony in a multi-year deal as Motion Picture Group Chairman.
Previously announced, but noted in this morning’s memo are the promotions for Kristine Belson to President, Sony Pictures Animation, Feature and Series; and Spring Aspers to President, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, Music. Belson’s contract re-up expanded her scope to include producing series for TV and streaming. In launching pics such as Venom and Charlie’s Angels, Aspers has respectively brought such pop recording artists as Eminem and Ariana Grande to the table. Now more than ever in a millennial run social media world, pop artists help cut through the noise when it comes to raising a tentpole’s profile.
Below find this morning’s email from Rothman to staff:
From: Office of Tom Rothman
Sent: Thursday, October 3, 2019
To: Office of Tom Rothman
Subject: MPG Promotions
I am pleased to share with all of you some exciting news concerning several members of the senior leadership of our Motion Picture Group.
As you may have seen in the news yesterday, Kristine will now be expanding her responsibilities and increasing our efforts to move Sony Pictures Animation further into television and streaming series work. For the last few years, Sony Pictures Animation has been flourishing under her outstanding leadership, including winning the Oscar this year for best animated film. Effective immediately, her new title will be President of Sony Pictures Animation, Features and Series. In this capacity Kristine will liaise with Mike Hopkins and our television group, as she continues to report to me and shepherd all our feature efforts.
We also announced yesterday that Spring Aspers will be promoted to President, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, Music, in recognition of her terrific work. Spring is responsible for bringing Eminem to Venom, Post Malone to Spider-Verse, Ariana Grande to Charlie’s Angels, and a whole lot of cool to everything we do musically. It is particularly gratifying to see someone who has “come up” through the company flourish as Spring has.
And lastly, as you all know, we have had two successively strong years of feature hits from Columbia. Indeed, in just recent months we have had Columbia’s highest grossing film in history and the top original film of the year. These results speak to the fine production work of Columbia under Sanford Panitch’s leadership and the excellent worldwide marketing and distribution efforts led by Josh Greenstein. In recognition of their success, Sanford and Josh will each receive the new title of President Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a title which has been vacant since Doug Belgrad’s departure. Their responsibilities and reporting lines are unchanged.
Any individual success is, of course, a credit to all the teams working for and with these executives throughout the company, so we all share in their good news. I hope you will join me in congratulating all four of our colleagues.