STX Entertainment Chief Brand Officer Patti Röckenwagner Exits Company

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Patti Röckenwagner is leaving STX Entertainment as the company’s chief brand officer, CEO Robert Simmonds wrote in a memo to staff on Friday.

“While I support her decision, personally I will miss her expansive worldview, strategic counsel and deep connections in the global media and business worlds,” Simmonds wrote in the email. “Those of you who have worked closely with Patti can no doubt attest to her insightful professional advice, expert leadership, and her effective oversight of our brand strategy and positioning.”

Röckenwagner joined STX in 2016 as the media and entertainment company’s chief communications officer before being promoted to her latest role in 2018.

Also Read: Netflix Hires STX’s David Kosse as New VP of International Film

Simmonds said in the memo that Röckenwagner is leaving to pursue “another opportunity,” though where she’s heading now was not announced.

Röckenwagner will stay with STX through a transitional phase. Simmonds said the company will have more to announce soon.

“It has been a fun, intense and rewarding time for STX and our industry, and there’s no other team I’d want to be on the ride with than with you,” Röckenwagner said in a statement. “I’m excited for your continued success and will be rooting for you.”

More to come…

Related stories from TheWrap:

Netflix Hires Production Exec Sheroum Kim From STX as Director of Independent Films

STX Entertainment Drops Plans for Hong Kong IPO

STX’s Bummer Summer: Weak Box Office and Hong Kong Market Woes Fuel IPO Questions

STX Chief Brand Officer Patricia Rockenwagner Exiting The Company

Read on: Deadline.

Patricia Röckenwagner, who was promoted a year ago to Chief Brand Officer of STX Entertainment, is leaving the company.
Last March, the company upped Röckenwagner from Chief Communications Officer to a larger brand role overseeing communications and ma…

TPG Puts Bill McGlashan On Leave Amid College Bribery Scandal

Read on: Deadline.

Bill McGlashan, the founder and managing partner of TPG Growth which is majority owner of CAA and helped launch STX Entertainment among other Hollywood entities, has been put on administrative leave by parent company TPG after he was among 46 people in…

Netflix Hires STX’s David Kosse as New VP of International Film

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Netflix announced on Monday that it has hired former STX Entertainment exec David Kosse to lead the streamer’s international team as the new vice president of international film.
Kosse, who will report directly to Netflix’s head of film Sco…

STX Entertainment Promotes John Friedberg to Head International Division

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

STX Entertainment announced on Monday that it has promoted John Friedberg to lead the international division for STXfilms.

Friedberg previously served as the president of international sales of STXfilms since 2015. In his new role, Friedberg will now oversee the international film strategy for the company, including leading STX’s worldwide acquisitions efforts, building on producer and filmmaker relationships to increase the volume of acquired films, as well as running the direct theatrical distribution business in the UK and Ireland.

Friedberg will also maintain oversight over the company’s international sales operations including its extensive network of international output arrangements.

Also Read: STX Acquires US Rights to Guy Ritchie’s Action-Comedy ‘Bush’ from Miramax

“I am tremendously excited to continue my long-standing relationship with Bob Simonds, Adam Fogelson, Tom McGrath and the STX team in my new role leading the international division of STXfilms,” Friedberg said in a statement. “I’m also excited to expand my mandate in leading the UK distribution business here in London, where we have an incredible team of executives, and a slate of exciting, commercial films. I have immense respect for David Kosse and wish him the best in his next endeavor.”

Friedberg will report to STX chief operating officer Thomas McGrath and will be based out of the company’s London office, which will continue to serve as headquarters for international sales and marketing, as well as the UK theatrical distribution business. David Kosse, who was recruited to launch STX’s international film division in 2016, is leaving for another opportunity.

Friedberg’s predecessor David Kosse recently left the company to lead the new international division at Netflix.

The shuffle comes as STX tries to extend its growth internationally following a lapsed IPO in Hong Kong last year.

Also Read: Seth Rogen and Michael Keaton in Talks to Star in Comedy ‘King of the Jungle’ at STXfilms

“The international business has never enjoyed a more dynamic period with the dramatic growth of the Chinese and Asian markets, the tremendous expansion of the Gulf Region and the opening of Saudi Arabia,” STX chairman and CEO Robert Simonds said in a statement. “John is an incredibly adept executive and we will rely on his demonstrated international expertise to build on our promise to develop, market and distribute star-driven content on a global scale.”

The company said it will have additional announcements concerning its international expansion in the coming weeks.

Friedberg was among STX’s first hires in 2015 and was responsible for helping to build the company’s extensive network of international distribution partners in more than 150 territories worldwide. During his tenure at STX, he lead the international acquisition and distribution of titles including “All the Money in the World,” “Den of Thieves,” “Peppermint,” as well as upcoming titles “Greenland,” “Horizon Line,” “The Marsh King’s Daughter” and “The Friend,” among others.

Also Read: ‘Get Out’ Star Allison Williams to Star in STX Survival-Thriller ‘Horizon Line’

Prior to joining STX, Friedberg spent a decade leading sales and distribution for QED International, where he developed financing and global distribution strategies for films such as David Ayer’s Fury, Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9” and the Robert De Niro-Zac Efron comedy “Dirty Grandpa,” among others.

“John has tremendous knowledge of the international market and an incredible eye for globally commercial content, and we are delighted to have him lead STX’s international film division, which he and David have grown into a full-service international distribution company,” McGrath said in a statement. “The international business has become increasingly critical in the film landscape ever since I was chairman of UIP while at Paramount. Today, the international environment is even more complex with the rise of different streaming services and various OTT platforms, and in John, we have a seasoned executive who is extremely well suited to navigate these opportunities for STX.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kevin Hart Partners With STXfilms on 2 Comedies

STX Entertainment Inks Partnership With Alibaba to Produce, Finance More ‘UglyDolls’

Netflix Hires Production Exec Sheroum Kim From STX as Director of Independent Films

STX Acquires US Rights to Guy Ritchie’s Action-Comedy ‘Bush’ from Miramax

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

STX has acquired the U.S. rights to “Bush,” the next film from director Guy Ritchie, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

The studio got the film, previously titled “Toff Guys,” out of the European Film Market from Miramax, which agreed to finance the picture and handle worldwide rights back in May 2018.

Matthew McConaughey stars alongside Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding and Michelle Dockery (taking over from Kate Beckinsale). “Bush” will explore the collision between old money in Europe and the modern marijuana industrial complex when a very British drug lord tries to sell off his empire to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires.

Also Read: ‘King Arthur’ Bombed: 6 Reasons Why

Ritchie, who is directing and producing, wrote the script with Marn Davies and Ivan Atkinson. Ritchie’s upcoming film is the live action remake of “Aladdin” at Disney, and “Bush” represents a return to his roots that he established with tongue-in-cheek crime movies like “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.”

“Bush” is currently in post-production and is expected to launch either late this year or early 2020, with STX planning a significant release.

CAA Media Finance brokered the deal for U.S. rights on behalf of Miramax.

Deadline was first to report.

Related stories from TheWrap:

John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video)

‘Aladdin’: Here’s the First Full Look at Will Smith’s Genie (Video)

Relax, Everyone – Will Smith Says His ‘Aladdin’ Genie Is ‘Gonna Be Blue’

STX Punches For Guy Ritchie Crime-Comedy ‘Bush’ In Splashy $7M Deal, EFM 2019’s Biggest

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: In the biggest deal to emerge from the 2019 EFM, STX has finalized a deal for U.S. rights to Guy Ritchie’s Miramax pic Bush — formerly known as Toff Guys — for around $7M plus a significant release commitment.
Multiple suit…

STX Entertainment Inks Partnership With Alibaba to Produce, Finance More ‘UglyDolls’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

STX Entertainment announced a new partnership on Friday with Alibaba Pictures to co-produce and co-finance global content using the UglyDolls intellectual property.

The groundbreaking deal includes the previously announced “UglyDolls” animated feature film, an animated TV series with Hulu, digital and print publishing, mobile and educational games, soundtrack and music, and merchandising and licensing programs covering toys, dolls, arts & crafts, collectibles and other ancillaries.

Alibaba, which boasts more than 600-million consumers across e-commerce, marketing, ticketing, digital media and entertainment platforms, provides STX with merchandising and consumer insights as well as a gateway into China.

Also Read: STX Sets ‘Uglydolls’ Animated Series, Feature Streaming Deal at Hulu

“It is an honor to bring a company of Alibaba’s unparalleled reputation, high quality and considerable assets into the STX family,” said STX Chairman and CEO Robert Simonds in a statement. “After collaborating on a number of projects, including co-producing the upcoming action sci-fi film ‘Steel Soldiers,’ this new venture further deepens our relationship and provides an incredible platform for us to create universally resonant content for audiences around the world.”

STX’s push into animation comes with the experience of its film division leaders. STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson, prior to coming to STX, was instrumental in establishing Illumination Entertainment and created “Despicable Me” at Universal Studios, and Oren Aviv, who as previous marketing chief for Disney and Fox Studios, handled Disney Animation, Pixar and Blue Sky Films, and notably, the “Incredibles” franchise.

Alibaba Pictures established its overseas offices in Pasadena, California in 2016 to find stories to invest in, produce and share with the market in China, one that is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest movie market by 2022, according to Ampere Analysis.

Also Read: Kelly Clarkson Signs on to Voice Lead in STX ‘UglyDolls’ Animated Feature

“This partnership with STX on ‘UglyDolls’ is very important to us because it allows us to build out this beloved global intellectual property for years to come leveraging the strength of the entire Alibaba ecosystem,” Wei Zhang, President of Alibaba Pictures, said in a statement. “More importantly, the values that UglyDolls stand for — believing in yourself, acceptance of differences, and never giving up on one’s dreams — are universal and ones we are proud to promote through our work.”

The “UglyDolls” film is directed by animation veteran Kelly Asbury and features a cast of music superstars including Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Blake Shelton, Janelle Monáe, Wanda Sykes, Emma Roberts, Gabriel Iglesias, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, Lizzo and Pitbull.

STXfilms will release “UglyDolls” in the U.S. on May 3, 2019.

Related stories from TheWrap:

STX Entertainment Drops Plans for Hong Kong IPO

Jennifer Lopez’s ‘The Hustlers at Scores’ in Talks to Move to STX Entertainment After Exiting Annapurna

Blake Shelton Joins Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas in STX’s Animated Film ‘UglyDolls’

Tracey Edmonds Inks First-Look Production & Development Deal With STXalternative

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: STXalternative, a division of Robert Simonds’ STX Entertainment, has signed a first-look development and production deal with Tracey Edmonds and her Edmonds Entertainment, to co-produce and co-develop scripted and unscripted content fo…

Robert Rodriguez’s VR Film ‘The Limit’ Debuts Across Major Headsets

Read on: Variety.

Will Hollywood star power get consumers to open their wallets for virtual reality (VR)? We may soon find out, thanks to “The Limit,” a new VR featurette from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez that was released for major VR headsets Tuesday. Starri…

Robert Rodriguez Launches VR Action Film ‘The Limit’ Starring Michelle Rodriguez

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

STXsurreal, the VR studio for Robert Simonds’ STX Entertainment, announced on Tuesday the launch of “The Limit,” a new VR film from director Robert Rodriguez.
Michelle Rodriguez, Norman Reedus “and YOU” star in the immersi…

STX Backs Away From Hong Kong IPO

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Six months after filing paperwork for an IPO with the Hong Kong stock exchange, STX Entertainment has backed away from those plans, an individual with knowledge of the situation tells TheWrap.

In a memo to employees that was provided to TheWrap, STX CEO Robert Simonds cited volatile political and market conditions in the region, as well as undisclosed better opportunities, for the company’s decision to allow its application on the Hong Kong exchange to lapse.

Simonds noted in particular recent deep declines for media and tech companies on the HK stock exchange, and said STX is in a strong financial position and can afford to wait until market conditions improve before trying again. Among those strengths, Simonds said the company has a positive cash flow and a cash balance of $160 million.

Also Read: STX Entertainment CEO Robert Simonds Withdraws From Saudi Conference Amid Khashoggi Disappearance

Simonds also indicated that since filing the paperwork in Hong Kong last April, STX was approached by international investors and has been presented with “two very compelling opportunities” that it considers more pressing than a Hong Kong IPO.

Simonds did not disclose the details of those opportunities in his memo — STX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When filing paperwork, STX hoped to raise about $500 million through the IPO, according to an L.A. Times report at the time.

Also Read: STXFilms Lands Global Rights to Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston Film ‘The Upside’ From Lantern Entertainment

Founded in 2014 to be a leaner movie and TV production house focused on mid-budget features, STX’s most recent releases include “Peppermint,” “The Happytime Murders,” and “I Feel Pretty.”

The studio’s biggest domestic hit was the 2016 R-rated comedy “Bad Moms,” which grossed $113 million domestically. “I Feel Pretty” earned $88 million earlier this year.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jennifer Lopez’s ‘The Hustlers at Scores’ in Talks to Move to STX Entertainment After Exiting Annapurna

Blake Shelton Joins Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas in STX’s Animated Film ‘UglyDolls’

STX’s Bummer Summer: Weak Box Office and Hong Kong Market Woes Fuel IPO Questions

Taraji P Henson-Sam Rockwell KKK Drama ‘The Best of Enemies’ Lands at STX

Dave Bautista Action-Comedy ‘My Spy’ Adds Ken Jeong, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Chloe Coleman to Cast

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

STXfilms announced on Wednesday that the studio’s upcoming action-comedy “My Spy,” starring Dave Bautista, has added “Crazy Rich Asians”-actor Ken Jeong to the cast along with Parisa Fitz-Henley (“Luke Cage”) and Chloe Coleman (“Big Little Lies”).

“My Spy” follows a hardened CIA operative (Bautista) who finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family.

The film, currently in production in Toronto, is being directed by Peter Segal (“Get Smart”) from a script penned by Jon and Erich Hoeber (“Red”).

Also Read: ‘Fantasy Island’: Dave Bautista in Talks to Join Film

“MY SPY is the perfect vehicle to highlight Dave’s undeniable humor and charm, while continuing to stay true to his action roots,” said STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson in a statement. “His father/daughter-like chemistry with Chloe Coleman is a true pleasure to watch, and we could not have asked for a stronger roster of funny and talented co-stars to round out the cast of this wildly entertaining film.”

STXfilms is a division of Robert Simonds owned STX Entertainment.

The studio is making it a point to get into the big-screen action genre. In addition to “My Spy,” STX has what it hopes will be a new franchise in “Muscle,” with Vin Diesel, as well as gritty cop action flick “17 Bridges” with Black Panther himself Chadwick Boseman.

STXfilms also has two Jason Statham projects: an untitled coproduction with Tencent Pictures and “Killer’s Game.”

Also Read: Chadwick Boseman’s ’17 Bridges’ Adds Taylor Kitsch, Sienna Miller and JK Simmons

And then there’s “Steel Soldiers,” the Robert Zemeckis produced sci-fi action feature co-produced with Alibaba Pictures.

Good Fear’s Chris Bender and Jake Weiner are producing “My Spy” alongside MWM Studios — the production company behind the National Geographic series “Genius” and the Oscar-nominated “Hell or High Water” — as well as Bautista, Segal and Jonathan Meisner.

Gigi Pritzker serves as a producer, Rachel Shane and Adrian Alperovich serve as executive producers, and Stacy Calabrese a co-producer, all on behalf of MWM Studios. Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber and Michael Flynn also serve as executive producers.

Also Read: Jennifer Lopez’s ‘The Hustlers at Scores’ in Talks to Move to STX Entertainment After Exiting Annapurna

STXfilms’ SVP of production Drew Simon and director of development Kate Vorhoff will oversee the production for the studio.

Jeong, who most recently appeared in the historic box office summer hit “Crazy Rich Asians,” is represented by Brett Carducci/Aligned Entertainment and ICM. Fitz-Henley stars in NBC’s “Midnight Texas” and is repped by Management 360, APA & Peikoff Mahan. Coleman is repped by Abrams Artists Agency & lawyer Ryan LeVine.

Related stories from TheWrap:

STX Entertainment CEO Robert Simonds Withdraws From Saudi Conference Amid Khashoggi Disappearance

Blake Shelton Joins Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas in STX’s Animated Film ‘UglyDolls’

Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston’s ‘The Upside’ Gets Long-Awaited First Trailer (Video)

STX Entertainment CEO Robert Simonds Withdraws From Saudi Conference Amid Khashoggi Disappearance

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Film producer and STX Entertainment CEO Robert Simonds has decided not to attend the Saudi Arabian Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, following the disappearance and presumed death of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A spokesperson for STX told TheWrap Simonds would no longer be attending.

Simonds is the most recent media executive to back out of the conference, following Thursday’s mass exodus that included Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and L.A. Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong and a number of media outlets.

Also Read: Steven Mnuchin Still Plans to Attend Saudi Conference Despite Journalist’s Disappearance (Video)

CNN, which was a expected to be a sponsor for the conference, backed out early Friday, joining both The New York Times and Economist as media partners who have dropped out of the event, often dubbed “the Davos of the Desert.”

Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and critic of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Top Turkish security officials have since contended that they lured Khashoggi into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and murdered him with a 15-man hit team that then dismembered his body with a bone saw, The New York Times reported. Khashoggi was has been a longtime regime dissident and most recently a sharp critic of their ongoing war in Yemen.

The kingdom has denied the accusations, but the latest reporting from CNN suggests that Turkey has both audio and video evidence to corroborate the claims.

Related stories from TheWrap:

New York Times Cancels Hosted Saudi Arabia Trips After Khashoggi Disappearance

Viacom Ceo Bob Bakish Joins Media Exit From Saudi Conference After Journalist’s Disappearance

CNN Pulls Out of Saudi Arabia Conference Amid Khashoggi Disappearance

STX Has Acquired Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Hustlers’; Constance Wu Joins Cast

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE, UPDATED with more info: STX has acquired the Jennifer Lopez Hustlers project, which was cut loose by Annapurna earlier in the day. At the same time, Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu has joined the cast.
Soon after the news broke today tha…