Erik Lomis, president of theatrical distribution at MGM, died Wednesday at the age of 64 at his home in Santa Monica. His cause of death was uncertain.
Lomis just this past month oversaw the theatrical release of MGM’s “Creed III,” which has been the studio’s biggest box office hit in decades outside of the James Bond franchise. As head of MGM’s distribution wing United Artists Releasing, Lomis has also overseen the release of the Bond film “No Time to Die” and the Oscar-winning drama “Women Talking.”
His recent run at MGM/United Artists was his second stint with the studio, having served as president of Worldwide Theatrical Distribution, Home Entertainment & Acquisitions during the ’90s and 2000s, handling the release of films like Reese Witherspoon’s comedy “Legally Blonde” and Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films like “Goldeneye” and “Die Another Day.”
From 2011 to 2016, Lomis served as the head of distribution for The Weinstein Company, where he oversaw the release of several major Oscar winners such as Best Picture winners “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” and David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” He then went to Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and led the creation of a distribution wing for the independent studio, which released the Adam McKay-directed Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” and Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
At the time of his death, Lomis was working on the distribution of Ben Affleck’s true-story sports drama “Air,” which earned strong reviews at SXSW this past weekend and is set for theatrical release on April 5.
Lomis was a strong champion of theatrical releasing at a time when studios were experimenting with release strategies and streaming-first models in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was tasked by MGM’s new parent company Amazon Studios to oversee a pivot back to movie theaters buoyed by an Amazon-funded marketing blitz for films like “Creed III” and “Air.”
Lomis is survived by his wife, Patricia Laucella; his children, Natalia Jovovich, Nicole Rose Lomis and Zach Lomis; his stepmother, Joanne Lomis; sister, Sandy McGuigan; and brother Charles Lomis.