Magazine article Screen International

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chair Rob Friedman Steps Down

Magazine article Screen International

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chair Rob Friedman Steps Down

Article excerpt

Rob Friedman has stepped down as co-chair of Lionsgate motio picture group.

The executive has been named special advisor, office of the CEO, the studio's CEO Jon Feltheimer said on Friday.

Friedman has served nearly five years at Lionsgate since it acquired Summit Entertainment and in that time has worked with Patrick Wachsberger to assemble a mighty slate, although the last year or so has seen a number of titles perform below expectations.

Motion picture group co-chair Wachsberger will remain in place and continues to also oversee the company's international sales operation.

The motion pictures group leadership team includes motion picture group co-president Erik Feig, Lionsgate co-COO Steve Beeks, chief brand officer and president of worldwide theatrical marketing Tim Palen, president of acquisitions and co-productions Jason Constantine and president of domestic theatrical distribution David Spitz.

While the international sales portion of the theatrical business has continued to be robust, Lionsgate has faltered at the North American box office following the end of the Hunger Games franchise.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant performed below expectations earlier this year and dipped well below the numbers of the previous two instalments, prompting talk that the 2017 finale Ascendant might debut on TV and inspire a small screen spin-off.

Lionsgate's immediate prospects at the North American box office are encouraging based on strong receptions at the Toronto International Film Festival for Deepwater Horizon, Blair Witch and La La Land, which premiered in Venice. …

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