LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. said Thursday that it hired former president of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Alan Horn, to lead its movie studio as chairman, in a personnel move that attempts to right the wrongs that led to blockbuster bomb “John Carter.”
Horn oversaw the hugely successful runs of the “Harry Potter” and “The Dark Knight” movies at Warner Bros. and is one of the highest-profile executives in Hollywood. Horn had stepped down at Warner Bros. in April 2011 and had a consulting agreement through 2013. He’s also credited as a producer on the upcoming “Hobbit” movies.
Horn starts at Disney on June 11, just under two months after former chairman Rich Ross stepped down in a move widely seen as taking responsibility for “John Carter,” the science-fiction movie set on Mars which caused an epic $200 million write-off for Disney.
Horn will oversee worldwide production, distribution and marketing for live action and animated films from Disney, Pixar and Marvel and movies made by Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios.
“He’s earned the respect of the industry for driving tremendous, sustained creative and financial success, and is also known and admired for his impeccable taste and integrity,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement. “He brings all of this to his new role leading our studio group, and I truly look forward to working with him.”
“I’m incredibly excited about joining The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainment companies in the world,” said Horn in the statement.
Horn helped Warner Bros., a division of Time Warner Inc., become the global box office leader for seven years of his 12-year tenure. He oversaw all eight films in the “Harry Potter” series, as well as “The Dark Knight,” ”Sherlock Holmes,” ”Million Dollar Baby,” and the “Ocean’s Eleven” trilogy.
Before joining Warner Bros., Horn cofounded and was CEO of Castle Rock Entertainment, which made such films as “A Few Good Men,” ”The Shawshank Redemption” and “When Harry Met Sally.” Horn has also served as president and chief operating officer of News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox.
Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Barry Meyer wished Horn well in a statement. “He’s been a part of some of the most popular films produced in the last decade, and we’re very happy for him,” Meyer said.
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