In addition, Paramount’s current production president Elizabeth Raposo has extended her contract.
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Gianopulos has been running the studio since 2017, following the tenure of the late Brad Grey. During Gianopulos’ run Paramount released the hit horror/thriller A Quiet Place, turning into a franchise. That John Krasinski-directed movie starring Emily Blunt amassed over $340M-plus off a $17M budget. He also saw the Mission: Impossible franchise to its record gross with the release of last summer’s Fallout ($791M-plus worldwide). In addition, Paramount’s Elton John biopic Rocketman is poised to be an awards contender this season following its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. That Dexter Fletcher-directed pic has earned more than $186M at the global box office. Annual domestic B.O. grosses between 2017 and 2018 at Paramount rose 42% from $534.3M to $757M. Current domestic B.O. for Paramount through this past weekend is $363.7M with such notable pics as Ang Lee’s Gemini Man (Oct. 11), Skydance’s Terminator: Dark Fate (Nov. 1) and the Blake Lively spy pic The Rhythm Section (Nov. 22) on the horizon. In 2020, Paramount has Quiet Place 2 (March 20), The SpongeBob Movie (May 22), and Top Gun Maverick (June 26) to name a few.
On the TV side, Paramount has hit its stride, with 26 series ordered or in production and credits on hits like The Alienist on TNT, 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime Video.
Variety first reported the news about Gianopulos’ new deal. Reportedly Gianopulos’ contract was coming up for renewal and just so happened to be occurring prior to the CBS-Viacom merger. Prior to Paramount, Gianopulos was the Fox Filmed Entertainment Group chairman and CEO, overseeing 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, Fox 2000, Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions and Fox Home Entertainment.
Gianopulos, though he is widely respected and earned internal points for turning around Paramount, had been one of the only uncertainties in terms of the combined CBS-Viacom executive team. Viacom has recently made moves to solidify leaders of top business units like Nickelodeon and MTV.
CBS last fall locked up David Nevins in a promotion to chief creative officer and extended interim CEO Joe Ianniello’s short-term deal through the end of the year. Ianniello is expected to stay on at the combined company in a high-level role.
In releasing its third-quarter earnings last Thursday, Viacom said Paramount is on track for full-year profitability for the first time in four years. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish didn’t praise Gianopulos by name on the company’s conference call with Wall Street analysts, but he repeatedly emphasized the studio’s financial performance.
“There is no question that the turnaround phase is behind us,” he said. “We’re entering into a new phase of growth and vitality.”