By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

ADRIAN SMITH NAMED PRESIDENT, SONY PICTURES RELEASING DOMESTIC DISTRIBUTION


Adam Bergerman and John Spinello Named Assistant General Sales Managers

CULVER CITY, Calif., January 29, 2013 – Adrian Smith has been promoted to the position of president of Sony Pictures Releasing Domestic Distribution, it was announced today by Rory Bruer, president of Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment.  In conjunction with the promotion, Adam Bergerman and John Spinello have been named Assistant General Sales Managers for Domestic Distribution and each will report to Smith.

The promotions are part of a realignment of the studio’s domestic distribution division. Commenting on the announcement, Bruer said, “For nearly 25 years, Adrian has helped to make our domestic team the best in the business. He is one of the most savvy and skilled sales executives in our industry. Adrian is both respected and beloved by our team and our exhibition partners.”

Smith added, “Adam and John collectively bring over 30 years of experience to the company – both have been with us since the mid-1990s and have played key roles in building all of our key franchises, from Spider-Man and Men in Black to Robert Langdon, not to mention the three biggest James Bond films of all time.  It’s an honor to work with two of the most accomplished and well regarded sales executives in the industry and these promotions are well-deserved. I feel privileged to work with such a dynamic and experienced distribution team.”
Smith is a veteran of hundreds of release campaigns, joining Sony Pictures in 1989 as western district manager for TriStar Pictures.  In 2000, he was named senior vice president and western division manager for Sony Pictures Releasing, and in 2011, he was appointed executive vice president and general sales manager, overseeing domestic sales for all Sony Pictures films.  He began his career at Mann Theatres in Westwood in 1976, then segued to the sales department at United Artists in 1979.  He joined 20th Century Fox in 1983, then was appointed branch manager at Cannon Releasing in 1985.

Spinello joined Sony Pictures in 1997 as managing director, Eastern Sales Division and was promoted to vice president, Eastern Sales Division in 2003.  He was again promoted to senior vice president / division manager Eastern Sales Division in 2008.  He began his career at United Artists Theaters in 1991, joining their film division in 1992 and overseeing numerous territories.

Bergerman joined Sony Pictures in 1996 as a booker for the Eastern Division, was promoted to sales manager Eastern Division in 1998, district manager for the Eastern Division in 2001, vice president / managing director for the Eastern Division in 2009, and senior vice president / division manager for the Western Division last year.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in 159 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/

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“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
~ Brett Ratner Has A Sad

“The loss of a local newspaper critic is a real loss. People who know the local audience and know the local cultural scene are very important resources. You can’t just substitute the stuff that comes in from nowhere through syndication or the wire. I think at the same time, some of the newer outlets have really beefed up and improved their coverage and made room for criticism. The real problem is in the more specialized art forms — fine arts, classical music, dance and jazz, say. There is a real slowing of critical voices, partly because those art forms have smaller audiences. Newspapers and magazines can say that doesn’t get enough traffic, so we don’t have room for that. To me, that’s especially worrisome. This is the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do, which is not to try to figure out what people are already interested in and recite that back to them, but to hopefully guide them to something that they should be interested in, connecting potential audiences with more interesting work.

“Then again, not everyone needs a critic. People have been going to movies for more than 100 years now, and probably the vast majority of those people have not read movie reviews or cared what critics thought. But there has always been an important subset that wants to know more, that wants to think about what they’ve seen and what they’re going to see, and wants someone to think along with. I think critics are important, not just as dispensers of consumer advice — though that’s certainly part of it, too — but as trusted voices and companions for people to argue with in your head when you’re going to movies or afterwards.”
~ A. O. Scott