According to rumors, Paramount EVP Ashley Brucks will take over Steve Bersch’s position as CEO of Screen Gems.
Again, with all these executive negotiations, mark this with an asterisk in case everything doesn’t work out, but we understand Brucks is the preferred candidate. She was a part of the Paramount horror franchise smashes Paranormal Activity, Scream, and A Quiet Place.
Scream VI recently passed Avatar to become the third-highest-grossing film in the Dimension/Spyglass franchise globally with close to $169 million. It also had the biggest global opening for the series with $67 million. With a franchise gross of $638.2M WW from two films, A Quiet Place is a solid cash cow. On March 8 of next year, A Quiet Place: Day One is anticipated to open in theaters. Brucks will be helpful for a label like Screen Gems that is trying to get back on track.
According to reports, Sony has been interviewing applicants since June to head its genre division, which recently scored a home run with Insidious: The Red Door ($188.5M), this year’s best grossing horror film and the highest-grossing entry in the Blumhouse franchise. In 2010, Bersh played a crucial role in helping Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions get the Insidious franchise from TIFF Midnight Madness.
As we previously informed you, Bersh’s exit, scheduled for the end of the year, was quite amicable, with Tom Rothman, CEO and Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, advocating for the former Fox veteran to remain on the Culver City set. When Bersch leaves, Scott Strauss, Screen Gems’ EVP of Production, also leaves. If Bersh and Brucks time will coincide at Screen Gems is yet to be determined.
Early last year, Paramount Players and Paramount Motion Picture Group amalgamated under the leadership of Mike Ireland and Daria Cercek, and Brucks, who had previously served as the studio’s SEVP of Production, was promoted to Head of Development.
Brucks has worked for Paramount Pictures for 15 years. She worked as a production and development executive at DreamWorks to start her career.
Whenever this all becomes official, we’ll let you know.
Requests for response from Sony were not answered.