We are hearing that Chris Petrikin, EVP of Global Communications and Corporate Branding, is leaving Paramount. The news comes in the wake of Jim Gianopulos’ planned departure from the Melrose Lot as Chairman and CEO, and Brian Robbins adding oversee of the motion picture studio to his growing portfolio. A Paramount spokesperson could not be reached.
Petrikin has served in the post for four-plus years and followed Gianopulos over to Paramount from 20th Century Fox where he previously spent ten years with the former studio boss as Chief Communications Officer. Petrikin is known for his solid and extensive relationships with journalists, keen industry counsel and overall an effective communicator for the studio. From a press pov, he’ll be greatly missed. Throughout his career between 20th Century Fox and Paramount he has provided deft guidance on the box office, as well as varied studio affairs.
At Fox, Petrikin also oversaw corp comm, media relations, trade advertising, awards campaigns, special events and charitable activities for the studio’s global operations.
Previous to Fox, Petrikin served as SVP of Communications at William Morris. He cut his teeth in the business as a reporter and editor for Variety, Daily Variety, Inside.com and Inside Magazine and contributed to such outlets as GQ, Esquire, the Los Angeles Times, Premiere Magazine and Salon.com. He’s also a Tulane University grad.
There are a handful of former 20th Century Fox execs still left at Paramount who worked with Gianopulos including President of Motion Picture Group, Emma Watts; President of Domestic Distribution, Chris Aronson; and President of Worldwide Marketing & Distribution Marc Weinstock.
Despite what is perceived as a severe pivot for the studio under ViacomCBS from motion picture to streaming, we heard earlier this week that Paramount will remain on course with theatrical releases in the future; just not as many; and believe it or not, they’ll respect a window.
Paramount recently, due to the pandemic, moved its remaining theatrical releases out of 2021, i.e. Top Gun: Maverick, Jackass Forever and Clifford the Big Red Dog. The first two were respectively re-dated for Memorial Day weekend 2022 and Feb. 4 while Clifford is waiting for a new date.
Currently Paramount has 13 features dated for 2022: Scream, Jackass Forever, Rumble, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Lost City of D, Top Gun: Maverick, Transformers Rise of the Beasts, Under the Boardwalk, Secret Headquarters, Mission: Impossible 7, untitled Paramount release, untitled Bee Gees movie, and Babylon — that is if ViacomCBS doesn’t change their minds on those pics’ distribution plans.
Deadline's Anthony D'Alessandro contributed to this post.