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Dennis Maguire Named President of Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment Worldwide

15 Oct, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Dennis Maguire

Veteran home entertainment executive Dennis Maguire has been named president of Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment Worldwide, replacing former president Kelley Avery, who left the studio in May.

Maguire, who joined the studio in 2006 as president of international operations with Paramount Home Entertainment, will oversee the studio’s sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content in the United States, in addition to overseeing 12 offices internationally.  

Under his leadership, Paramount Home Entertainment’s international operations in 2007 for the first time generated more than $1 billion in revenue. Maguire also advanced the studio’s business interests in Russia and China through partnerships with Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video, respectively.

He reports to Rob Moore, vice chairman, Paramount Pictures. 

“Dennis has an exceptional understanding of the home entertainment industry on a worldwide basis,” Moore said. “He has been an integral part of the phenomenal growth of our international business, building strong relationships and overseeing our expansion into new regions.”

Moore, who headed Paramount Home Entertainment operations following Avery’s departure, said Maguire’s promotion precludes the appointment of successors to oversee domestic and foreign home entertainment operations.

“We will no longer have a separate president of international or domestic [operations],” Moore said. “Dennis will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of both domestic and international.”

Moore said the home entertainment industry has experienced as much change in the past year as it did in the previous 10 years, underscored by the burgeoning rise of kiosk rental.

The studio in August signed a five-year distribution deal with Redbox that calls for the kiosk operator to pay Paramount $575 million in revenue through 2014. The studio has the option to terminate the deal after four months. Moore said the studio’s relationship with Redbox would be tested in the fourth quarter.

“We have three giant titles [Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Star Trek] in the next six weeks that will be very informative as to what our perspective on [kiosks] is,” Moore said. “[We will be] getting a sense of what the impact of Redbox is, if any, on sales and our overall revenue profile.”

Moore denied speculation the studio was looking to meld home entertainment operations in “some giant joint-venture option” with a third party or studio.

“Ultimately, the marketing and sale and distribution of our home entertainment product is a critical component of the studio and certainly something we are going to manage and control directly,” he said.

Moore said every element of how the studio creates physical media and gets it into stores and sold will continue to be analyzed in context with today’s revenue environment.

“While maybe for 25 years video delivered consistent revenue growth, that has certainly not been the case over the last 12 to 18 months,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time focused on the top line of this business, we also need to spend a reasonable amount of time looking at the bottom line.”

Moore said he has maintained a separation between physical and electronic distribution (which is headed by Tom Lesinski) due to DVD and Blu-ray continuing to represent a “gigantic” business despite the lack of significant growth this year.

He said the retail, marketing and distribution components of home entertainment represent a completely different business than a digital license relationship with third parties such as Apple iTunes, Microsoft Xbox Live and Netflix.

Moore said the studio had success last year with the digital distribution of Jackass 2.5, generating incremental revenue he said helped offset (but not replace) declines in packaged-media sales.

“A key right now is looking at every element of your cost structure and saying ‘how do I make sure more of this revenue gets to the bottom line,’” the vice chairman said.

Maguire’s responsibilities also include oversight of Paramount Home Entertainment’s efforts on behalf of MTV Network Properties, CBS, PBS, Hasbro, and fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.  

Prior to Paramount, Maguire spent 23 years at Buena Vista Home Entertainment, most recently as president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment International, where he oversaw all international sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution of the company’s home entertainment products, leading the division to record-setting results.

Maguire thereby joins Universal’s Craig Kornblau as former protégées of former Disney Studio chief Bill Mechanic who went on to head separate studios.


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