MGM to Relaunch Orion Pictures, Sets February Release for Maria Bello’s ‘Every Day’

YA romance will be first release of new standalone distribution company

LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 14: Actress Maria Bello attends the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala 2015 at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on March 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Human Rights Campaign)

MGM is relaunching Orion Pictures as a new, standalone U.S. theatrical marketing and distribution company, MGM’s Chairman and CEO Gary Barber announced Wednesday.

Veteran entertainment executive John Hegeman will be appointed to the newly created role of President of Orion Pictures. He will report to Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s President of the Motion Picture Group, beginning next week.

The first film set to be released under the new standalone label will be Michael Sucsy’s YA romance “Every Day,” starring Angourie Rice, Maria Bello and Debby Ryan. The film will hit theaters on Feb. 2, 2018. “Every Day” is based on the best-selling novel of the same name and tells the story or a 16-year-old girl who falls in love with a spirit named A.

“Orion is one of MGM’s legacy brands that has released crowd-pleasing hits like ‘The Terminator,’ ‘Robocop,’ ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ and ‘Hoosiers,’ and such critically acclaimed films as ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and ‘Dances With Wolves,’” Barber said. “We couldn’t think of a better time to revitalize this nostalgic brand and return to U.S. theatrical distribution utilizing this label, with John leading the marketing and distribution efforts.”

“After working together, we saw first-hand John’s ingenuity in creating disruptive marketing campaigns with limited budgets. He is the ideal executive to lead Orion as he has proven that he can deftly craft strategies for releases, spanning all genres, to reach targeted audiences without the burden of high-cost traditional advertising,” added Glickman.

Under the new Orion Pictures label, Hegeman will build out a theatrical distribution, marketing and digital team and will be responsible for the marketing and distribution of four to six modestly budgeted films a year.

Hegeman joins Orion from Blumhouse Productions’ BH Tilt, where he served as president of the division. There, he oversaw the successful wide release of James Gunn’s “The Belko Experiment” earlier this March.

He also spearheaded releases such as “The Green Inferno,” “The Darkness” and “Lowiders.” Prior to BH Tilt, he held various executive positions including Chief Marketing Officer for New Regency, and President of Worldwide Marketing for both Lionsgate and Artisan Entertainment.