New Paramount Boss Keeps it Simple in First Public Comments

The former Fox film chief opened the VRTL Summit at the studio’s Hollywood lot

jim gianopulos
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New Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos kept his first public remarks extremely brief as he opened the studio’s virtual reality summit Wednesday morning.

He did not share any updates on the studio’s upcoming films or game plan, but pointed to its tradition of technology, mentioning that Paramount won the first technical oscar for “Wings.”

“Since the earliest days of cinema, creative storytelling and technology have merged to entertain audiences in new and more exciting ways,” Gianopulos said.

During his remarks at the VRTL Summit, Gianopulos also hinted at a future where virtual reality and augmented reality are common in feature films and TV, wondering how consumers and distributors will adapt to it.

“What is the future of narrative storytelling in AR and VR media?” he asked. “How do we access and distribute that? What devices and technology will consumers have?

Gianopulos was named Paramount film chief on March 27, replacing Brad Grey, who held the position for 12 years. The former Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox’s filmed entertainment group began his new job April 3.

Paramount has struggled in recent years behind some big-budget misses such as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” and “Monster Trucks,” the latter of which resulted in Paramount parent Viacom taking a $115 million write-down. The studio hasn’t placed higher than sixth in market share since 2011, and sits in sixth through the first nearly four months of 2017.