As a movie studio with a diversified upcoming slate and powerful television production arm, reinforced with an iconic century-old library, Paramount Pictures is well positioned to thrive far into the future, according to President and CEO Jim Gianopulos.
The studio head, who has built a new management team since taking the helm at Paramount last year, sat down with CNN Money’s Dylan Byers at the Milken Institute Global Conference earlier this month to discuss the resurgent business.
“We’re content creators,” Gianopulos said. “We’re storytellers. For us, our primary focus is theatrical distribution as a studio, and, in television, the creation of television programming.”
Television Production Ramps Up As Diverse Theatrical Slate Debuts
Both sides of the business – television and theatrical – have powerful catalysts driving them. The Paramount Television production studio, which has grown rapidly behind a string of premium-content hits such as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, TNT’s The Alienist, and USA Network’s Shooter, is on track to reach $400 million in revenues this year.
The forthcoming theatrical slate, which has been rejiggered under the current management team, will include sequels, reboots, animated films, and tie-ins to other Viacom brands through its Paramount Players division. At last month’s CinemaCon, Gianopulos detailed this lineup, which stands out for its diverse offerings that will appeal to both mass and niche audiences.
“We have an old saying that’s always worked for us – make it for someone, or make it for everyone,” he said, citing the forthcoming Mission: Impossible – Fallout and recent smash hit A Quiet Place as projects with mass appeal.
Meanwhile, Book Club – set to drop in theaters this Friday with a headlining cast of Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen – has been tailor-made to appeal to an adult female demographic.
“For them, that is Star Wars,” he said. “That’s their movie. Something that people feel an identity to. They made this for me. This is something relevant and relatable to me. You can continue to make a broad variety of films, and in the process, be very successful.”
A Rich History That Continues to Build the Present
For all the buzz around the studio’s yet-to-be-released films, one of Paramount’s under-appreciated strengths is its deep content warehouse that stretches back to the dawn of the industry.
“We also have a library that goes back 100 years, so in terms of monetizing that library and having outlets for it that people can appreciate movies that maybe they haven’t seen for a long time, this has been a great time for people who own and create content,” Gianopulos said.
Still, not everything in that library is reboot material. “What makes those favorites is their uniqueness, and their historical legacy,” Gianopulos said, promising that The Godfather and Raging Bull would be shielded from the remake machine.
While at Milken, Gianopulos also spoke on a panel about “Defining Your Brand in the Modern Media Landscape” alongside executives from Lionsgate, YouTube, NBC Entertainment, and MGM.