Report: Comcast Wants Ron Meyer to Stay at Universal — For Now

The studio exec’s future had been in question due to uneven performance of Universal movies at the box office

Last Updated: May 17, 2011 @ 8:56 AM

With Universal Studios enjoying the two of the strongest openings of the year, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that studio chief Ron Meyer has been offered a contract extension.

Officials at Universal declined comment.

It makes sense that Meyer would be talking to his bosses about a new contract. His contract expires in December, 2012. On top of that, Comcast acquired the studio in January, and 

has made it clear that the company's first order of business is dealing with NBC.

TheWrap reported last month that Meyer had been given indications that Comcast did not intend to replace him in the immediate future.  

Also read: 'Fast Five' Is Racing Towards 2011's Best Start — But Will It Save Ron Meyer's Job?

Keeping Meyer, who been president and CEO for 16 years, would provide some stability in a tumultuous time. The studio recently fired its president of production, Debbie Liebling, after about two years on the job. Meyer ousted co-chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde in 2009.

And Hollywood has been aswirl with rumors that Meyer would not last long under Comcast ownership due to uneven box officer performance of Universal movies.

But these have been good weeks for Universal.

"Fast Five" has grossed more than $440 million worldwide — a giant payday on a movie budgeted at $85 million. The studio's comedy "Bridesmaids" opened this weekend with more than $26 million — well above tracking.

Comcast, a cable company, is known for its frugality, and Meyer seems to be adapting to that ethos lately: Universal's extremely expensive and ambitious "The Dark Tower" project is on hold while executives determine whether it's financially viable. And in March, the studio ditched plans to make Guillermo del Toro's  $150 million adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "Mountains of Madness."

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