June 27, 2011

THE BIJOU: Universal’s Status Stays Quo

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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The periodic rumor that Universal Pictures is due for a major shake-up can be put to rest… for now.  It’s been announced that President and COO Ron Meyer has signed a new deal that runs through 2015.  Assuming Meyer stays through his entire contract (always less than a certainty when it comes to studio headx), he will have been running Universal for a solid 20 years, an amazing run in this business.  (One would need multiple hands and feet to count the organizational changes at Universal’s sister TV network NBC during that time.)  The studio’s been having a strong summer, with FAST FIVE earning $600M worldwide and BRIDESMAIDS blowing past any and all expectations, proving itself the sleeper of the season.

The cynical might note that this announcement is being made before the openings of Universal’s low-key LARRY CROWNE, likely to be very far behind TRANSFORMERS this weekend, and COWBOYS & ALIENS, a CG epic that still doesn’t have its marketing message straight.  But those are questions for another day; for now, a salute to Meyer’s remarkable longevity is due.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."