Jeffrey Godsick has been named President of Marketing at the new, as yet unnamed joint venture between Twentieth Century Fox and Walden Media. The new company will market family films produced by both Walden Media and Fox. The announcement was made today by Fox Filmed Entertainment Vice Chairman Robert Harper, Anschutz Film Group CEO David Weil and Walden Media CEO Cary Granat.
Godsick, who currently serves as Executive VP of Marketing at Twentieth Century Fox, will oversee the new venture’s own fully dedicated marketing, publicity and promotions staff. He will assume the new position in January, and will relocate from the Fox lot to new Fox-Walden offices in Century City.
Commented Bob Harper: “Having worked closely with Jeffrey for twelve years, I am delighted that he has chosen to bring his terrific showmanship and executive experience to our joint venture with Walden. This is a very exciting time for our new company and, as we prepare to launch our first releases, we look forward to Jeffrey using his creative energy and leadership skills to form a cutting-edge marketing machine.”
“We’re very pleased that Jeffrey will head the joint venture’s marketing efforts. He has the right experience, family film sensibility and entrepreneurial spirit to do a great job,” said Anschutz Film Group CEO David Weil.
“We were able to work with Jeffrey for the release of Because of Winn-Dixie, where he demonstrated the ability to successfully blend the styles of our two companies in developing marketing and publicity strategies for the film. We look forward to working with him as we develop this new venture together,” said Walden Media CEO Cary Granat.
Commented Jeffrey Godsick: “The opportunity to create a new kind of marketing organization from the ground up, while working for two companies whose executives and product I respect so much, is the most exciting challenge of my career.”
Godsick, a twelve-year veteran at Twentieth Century Fox, joined the company as Senior VP, Publicity and Promotions, before being promoted to Executive VP, Marketing. At Fox he has overseen campaigns for Independence Day, The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, The Day After Tomorrow, the X-Men films, Cast Away, Ice Age, Minority Report, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Moulin Rouge, Walk the Line, and many, many others. Previously, he was a senior executive at Rogers & Cowan.
The new Fox-Walden venture will bring movie audiences everywhere quality family-friendly pictures at a variety of budget levels. Movies released under the new company will encompass all genres and will generally be MPAA-rated “G” and “PG.” ‘G’ and ‘PG’-rated pictures make up ten percent of films released, but they dominate the marketplace with almost 30 percent of the gross.
The company’s first releases will be Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, a Mandate Pictures co-production written and directed by Zach Helm, starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman, produced by Richard Gladstein and Jim Garavente, and slated for release November 16, 2007; and The Dark is Rising, the first film adaptation of Susan Cooper’s acclaimed The Dark Is Rising Sequence, directed by David Cunningham, produced by Marc Platt, written by John Hodge, and which begins production early next year.
Fox will distribute all titles the new company markets. Fox will have first look rights at future projects from Bristol Bay Productions (Ray, Sahara), Walden Media’s sister company under Anschutz Film Group.