The last several years have been ones of change and some uncertainty for the landscape of the major Hollywood film studios.
AT&T bought WarnerMedia, Disney bought Twentieth Century Fox, and the “Big Five” film studios (Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, and Sony) are starting to feel the pressure from a sixth heavyweight, Netflix. Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group chair Tom Rothman has watched it all happen from his various positions as a film studio executive. Over the course of three decades he’s been with Columbia Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn and spent 18 years in various roles at Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Searchlight.
He came to Sony Pictures in late 2013 to head up TriStar Productions before being promoted to chair of Sony’s Motion Picture Group. He oversaw Sony’s most profitable movie slate in over a decade in 2018, including “Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle,” a film that became Sony’s highest-grossing, wholly-owned film ever, and the critically acclaimed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” one of only a handful of non-Disney films to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Ahead of Sony’s release next week of the Quentin Tarantino-directed film “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood,” Rothman joins Larry Mantle on FilmWeek to talk about the successes and challenges he’s faced guiding a major film studio, how the shifting studio landscape changes the way he approaches his job, and how he plans to keep Sony competitive in a world where franchises and reboots dominate at the box office.
Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Pictures Group