Jimmy Spitz, president of domestic distribution for Columbia Pictures since 1981, has resigned and will be replaced by Jeffrey Blake, the No. 2 distribution official at rival Paramount Pictures, it was announced Wednesday. In the last year, Spitz oversaw the distribution of such hit films as "City Slickers," "Boyz N the Hood," "My Girl" and "The Prince of Tides."
Industry sources said Spitz was forced out, in part, because of marketing problems related to Columbia's recent youth boxing film "Gladiator," which scored high with test audiences but failed dismally at the box office. Spitz's departure follows that of Paula Silver, who as head of marketing at Columbia was also blamed for the poor showing of "Gladiator."