October 30, 2006 |
When John Lesher sold a film project to Paramount Pictures Corp. last year, the Hollywood talent agent couldn't have imagined he'd end up shepherding the movie into theaters as head of the studio's new specialty unit. "Babel," an intense drama starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, opened over the weekend, Lesher's first release under the Paramount Vantage banner.
June 27, 2006 |
Paramount Pictures plans a sweeping reorganization that will bring in house its two sister movie operations, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies, as part of an effort to end what has frequently been viewed as a dysfunctional relationship. Although all three are owned by parent Viacom Inc.
October 7, 2008 |
EVERYONE complains about how hard it is to find an audience for quality films, but no one ever talks about the force wreaking the most havoc on high-end movies -- the Oscars. Wherever you look these days, you can't help but see how the film industry's obsession with chasing Oscar glory has created an insupportable financial model for quality films and quality filmmakers. In the past year or so, a host of specialty film divisions and indie producers -- notably Picturehouse, Warner Independent Pictures, Paramount Vantage, ThinkFilm and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment -- have either gone out of business or suffered huge losses largely because they wildly overspent on Oscar campaigns or made films that couldn't compete in the overheated Oscar marketplace.
April 21, 2008 |
One part of Sumner M. Redstone's media empire took aim at the other Sunday, when Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures teamed up with two studios to create a premium television channel that would compete with Showtime Networks, which is owned by Viacom's sister company CBS Corp. The venture, as yet unnamed, could be risky, because the cable scene is already crowded with contenders airing feature films and developing original programming.
July 29, 2008 |
VARIETY'S venerable Peter Bart didn't like my Friday posting -- published in Saturday's Calendar -- about John Lesher running Paramount Vantage into the ground, calling it a shrill "rant," his way of saying that I lack the smooth, world-weary cynicism that colors Bart's own writing. He was also clearly peeved that I had the temerity to point out how Bart's trade paper, never one to ever step on any studio toes, had managed to cover the firing of 60 Vantage staffers in true accept-the-press-release style, failing to note that the staffers were taking the fall for Vantage's inability to make any money (while Lesher whooshed off to become Paramount's head of production)
July 25, 2008 |
Paramount Pictures has laid off 60 employees as a result of folding the marketing, distribution and physical production operations of its specialty film label, Paramount Vantage, into the main studio. "This completes the previously announced reorganization to consolidate into one group," Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said. Moore said the layoffs were mostly of mid- and lower-level employees from both Paramount and Vantage but also included four senior executives who lost their jobs last month.
February 4, 2009 |
Focus Features "Milk" Fox Searchlight "The Wrestler" Miramax "Doubt" Overture Films "The Visitor" Paramount "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" "Tropic Thunder" Paramount Vantage "Revolutionary Road" Sony Pictures Classics "Frozen River" "Rachel Getting Married" Universal "Changeling" "Frost/Nixon" Weinstein Co. "The Reader" "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" -- Tom O'Neil ...