Adam Goodman out as Paramount film president, offered production deal

Adam Goodman is leaving his job as the president of Paramount Pictures' film group, according to an internal memo from the studio's Chairman and Chief Executive Brad Grey. 

In the note to staff obtained by The Times, Grey said Goodman is "transitioning out" of his executive role and has been offered a production deal on the lot. Grey said he hopes "to continue our relationship moving forward."  

Goodman is leaving Paramount as the studio struggles with a thin film slate. Its next major movie, "Terminator: Genisys," doesn't come out until July 1. 

The Viacom-owned movie studio's domestic box-office market share has trailed competitors in recent years and in 2014 ranked last among the six major studios in ticket sales. Its movies grossed about $1 billion total from the U.S. and Canada last year. 

The studio produces and releases fewer movies than its major Hollywood rivals. Last year, it put out 12 titles, compared to 29 from Fox and 19 from Sony Pictures, according to Rentrak.  

It last ranked No. 1 in 2011, led by "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and movies from Marvel and DreamWorks Animation. But DreamWorks Animation now has a distribution deal with Fox and Marvel is owned by the Walt Disney Co. 

Despite having more than a year left in his contract, Goodman is expected to leave soon. It is unclear who will replace him, but a person close to the studio said the company is looking both at internal and external candidates. 

Grey told employees that he expects to decide on a successor for Goodman within the next 60 days. 

"During his tenure, he has shepherded a diverse and successful slate of films, which he and his team worked on tirelessly and with great passion," Grey said. "His skill at making our pictures as good as can be is among his many meaningful contributions to our studio, and I am truly grateful." 

Goodman took on the role of film group president in 2009, replacing John Lesher, who was fired. Before Paramount, Goodman served as production president at DreamWorks, which was acquired by Viacom in 2006. Grey first brought Goodman to Paramount in 2008. 

Under Goodman, Paramount has released hits such as "World War Z" and last year's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot. The studio also took on the lucrative, low-budget "Paranormal Activity" franchise. 

He is credited with shepherding the first "Transformers" film that resulted in Paramount's key series of tent pole action movies, as well as helping to breathe new life into the "Mission: Impossible" franchise. 

Its biggest film last year was "Transformers: Age of Extinction," which grossed $1.09 billion worldwide with the help of huge sales overseas, especially in China. It also distributed the Oscar-nominated civil right drama "Selma." 

So far this year, the studio has enjoyed a hit in "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," but it also has suffered misses from "Project Almanac" and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2." 

In Viacom's most recent quarterly earnings report, Paramount posted a $60-million operating loss in the October-December 2014 quarter on $720 million in revenue.

Los Angeles Times staff writer Meg James contributed to this report. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
81°