Tom Rothman, the new chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s movies unit, has had a busy week.
In the studio’s first executive change since he took over in February, Rothman on Thursday named Hannah Minghella president of TriStar Pictures. Minghella was previously president of production at Sony’s Columbia Pictures unit, a position that will no longer exist.
It’s a significant move for Sony, which first hired Rothman 2013 to revive the largely dormant TriStar label. He was later elevated to the top motion picture job as the replacement for Amy Pascal, who stepped down in the aftermath of last year’s devastating cyberattack.
TriStar is poised to release a number of important movies for Sony, which has struggled to produce box-office hits as of late. Sony is currently ranked last among the six major studios, according to Box Office Mojo, not helped by flops like Adam Sandler’s “Pixels.”
TriStar’s titles include ambitious projects like “The Walk,” directed by Robert Zemeckis, and “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” from Ang Lee.
The company also is moving TriStar executive David Beaubaire to tentpole label Columbia Pictures, where he will take the role of executive vice president of production. Movie producer Palak Patel is joining Columbia, also as EVP of production.
Minghella, Beaubaire and Patel will report to Doug Belgrad, the president of Sony’s motion picture group.
Beaubaire will continue to oversee the finishing touches on projects he was working on for TriStar, including “The Walk,” “Billy Lynn” and Jodie Foster’s “Money Monster.” In turn, several of Minghella’s projects will move to TriStar.
Commenting on the shuffle, Rothman said in a statement that “studios often have too many layers of development executives to be fast and effective, and that’s surely what we need to be.”
He added, “We want seasoned, empowered execs who can make decisions and have direct responsibility to get films made.”
The announcement comes a day after Sony announced dates for 16 upcoming films through summer 2019, including two “Bad Boys” sequels and a “Jumanji” remake.
Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder