A former Fox movie executive who was behind some of that studio’s blockbusters is the new chairman of Sony’s motion picture unit, succeeding Amy Pascal.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Tom Rothman, who shepherded two of the biggest hits of all time in “Avatar” and “Titanic,” brings a track record of success with big-budget films to the job. Among his tasks will be trying to distance the studio from the recent hack attack that helped bring down Pascal.
As previously reported, Pascal was forced out by Sony in part because of embarrassing emails that were exposed by the cyberattack.
The hiring comes after Sony has struggled at the box office and come under criticism for a “lackluster film slate,” the report notes.
“In Rothman, Sony gets an executive with a reputation for keeping a close watch on the bottom line, even while shepherding big-budget movies. He has built strong relationships with A-list filmmakers and talent such as George Clooney, Jodie Foster and Ang Lee,” the Times reports.
Said former studio exec Joe Pichirallo, who worked with Rothman at Fox Searchlight: “Sony is sending a clear message that, in the modern studio world, costs have to be kept under control. If you’re looking for someone who’s run a studio, who keeps costs under control and puts big movies together, he’s got all that.”