Variety‘s Brent Lang reported Wednesday afternoon that Brad Grey has officially stepped down as CEO of Paramount. Grey, who was with the Company since 2005, oversaw the success of the “Transformer”, “Mission: Impossible”, and “Star Trek” franchises, but due to recent failures at the box office with “Ben Hur”, “Zoolander 2”, and “Monster Trucks”, has caused a downswing in output (Lang 2017).
“Paramount’s film output has shrunk dramatically in the past five years, and the studio posted a loss of $180 million during the most recent fiscal quarter and red ink of about $450 million for Viacom’s 2016 fiscal year” (Lang 2017).
Along with Paramount’s financial losses, Viacom, Paramount’s parent company, suffered corporate control against Philippe Dauman, former Viacom CEO and Shari Redstone, daughter of Summer Redstone, Viacom’s controlling shareholder (Lang 2017).
Bob Bakish, Viacom’s current CEO, believes that Paramount is vital to Viacom’s revitalization, outlining a plan that illustrates making at least one or two films per year from MTV and Comedy Central while Paramount can create features to fuel television programming (Lang 2017).
What is needed in Paramount and Viacom is a revitalization of form. Turning to television as the answer might be a start, but certainly is not a long term solution. The problem with films fueling television is that television tie ins with film do not do particularly well in terms of ratings (see Disney’s attempt at a Tron television show to serve as a tie in to “Tron Legacy” (2010) as an example).
Only time will tell if this move will be a good investment – for now, it is best to hope that Paramount and Viacom will make the right business decisions to produce quality content.
Lang, Brent. “Brad Grey Officially Out at Paramount.” Variety. N.p., 22 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.