Brad Grey, Paramount’s Comeback Kid?


Bill Clinton, it turns out, doesn't have a lock on being the comeback kid. Let me offer up Brad Grey, the Paramount Pictures chairman vilified last year as the movie studio exec who chased away Steven Spielberg. That's still a major league problem for Grey, who will probably see Spielberg shuttle off to another studio any day now. But give the Paramount biggie some credit for a summer lineup that could produce Hollywood's heftiest box office for parent Viacom.

By now you know the Iron Man story. The turbocharged Robert Downey Jr. flick about a man and his suit has turned comic book company Marvel into a movie production phenom. But less well-known is that Paramount, which distributed the film under a 2005 deal with Marvel, will most likely pocket a cool $60 million profit—with just about no risk, mind you. Add that to the almost certain boffo performance of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which Paramount releases on May 22, as well as Dreamworks Animation's Kung Fu Panda (opening June 6), and Paramount's studio $104 million operating earnings are likely to jump by 60% this year and double by 2009, figures Bernstein Research analyst Michael Nathanson

(Business Week)

Film Business, Hollywood, Producers

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