Thomas Rothman is a successful media executive best known for producing two of the highest-grossing films of all time, Titanic and Avatar, both directed by James Cameron. Rothman is the chairman of TriStar Productions, a joint venture with Sony Pictures and TriStar that will produce films in the United States. In the past, Rothman has been the chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment until September 2012.
As noted in the Columbia Law School Magazine (where Rothman attended) article by Ian Daly, he began his career at Fox in 1991 as the founder of Fox Searchlight Productions, the division at which he worked for the next 18 years. He is responsible for Fox’s highest profits during any period of its history. The company was nominated for more than 150 Academy Awards and won the Academy Award for Best Picture on three separate occasions. During Rothman’s tenure, Fox earned more than $30 billion at the box office and produced the two highest-earning films of all time.
A Distinguished Career in Motion Pictures
Rothman has long been involved with high-quality films in Hollywood, beginning with his involvement in Jim Jarmusch’s early film Down By Law, starring Tom Waits. He took on the role of executive vice president of Columbia Pictures in 1987, taking on complete responsibility for production and development. Two years later, he was elected president of the Samuel Goldwyn Company. It was here that he produced some of his finest work up to that point, including Henry V, Wild At Heart, Truly Madly Deeply, Much Ado About Nothing, The Madness of King George and the Longtime Companion. Rothman had more than a passing involvement in these pictures, personally assuming the role of producer and seeing to the daily operations of their development. He is responsible for producing three films that won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or during his time at Samuel Goldwyn Company.
A Modern Marathon Man
These days, Rothman is actively involved in his work as the president of Sony Pictures, where he moved after Fox Filmed Entertainment. He says that he is always concerned about making money for his shareholders and for his investors, and that he spends most of his time ensuring that he will continue to do so. Recently, Rothman expounded on the changes that serial television has brought to the film industry. He noted that TV series such as Breaking Bad and The Wire have made it possible to depict very complex character on screen, while previously, characters were limited by the three-act format.
In a conversation with Hollywood Reporter, Rothman revealed that he has always been the type of executive to tries to thwart people’s expectations. In his own words, he has always tried to “zig when other people zagged.” Whatever he chose to do, it certainly paid off, and he is universally considered one of the best film executives in the business, respected by filmmakers and investors for his creativity and ingenuity.
Power of the Web
Rothman is also a major proponent of the ability of social media and the Internet to play a major role in the shaping of films. He has stated that the audience is more in tuned to every aspect of movie making. For more information on Tom Rothman, see his profiles below:
Tom Rothman Official Website
Tom Rothman on IMDb
Tom Rothman in the Los Angeles Times
Tom Rothman on Twitter