Brad Grey is not used to fighting from a deficit. Seriously. This is the man who helped usher in television hits in the past like “The Sopranos” and “The Larry Sanders Show” on HBO among others.
When Grey took over Paramount Pictures in 2005, the studio was in trouble. The year before, Paramount didn’t have a single film in the top 20. It’s highest-grossing that year was “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which grossed $94.6 million. The next year was slightly better, thanks to “War of the Worlds” and “The Longest Yard,” but it seemed Paramount was close to becoming a studio of the past rather than the future.
Yet, Grey turned those fortunes around. By 2007, Paramount not only two of the top five films of the year, but “Shrek the Third” nearly topped “Spider-Man 3” for the annual crown with $321 million.