Fox Domestic Distribution Boss Chris Aronson Among First Round Of Exec Cuts In Disney-Fox Merger

Esteemed Fox Domestic Distribution Boss Chris Aronson is leaving the studio as the Disney-Fox merger comes to fruition, Deadline has confirmed.

News about Aronson’s departure happened today as the new conglom cuts employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level, with Fox being hit first. Variety reports that as many as 4K jobs will be cut. The first wave of cuts will be small and targeted.

Aronson is a 30-year-plus industry veteran who joined Fox in 2005 as SVP, General Sales Manager East. He came to the company from MGM Distribution Co. where he served as EVP, General Sales Manager, responsible for all of MGM’s theatrical distribution activities in the U.S. and Canada. Aronson was promoted to EVP, General Sales Manager in 2012. A month after that announcement Aronson was promoted again and succeeded then distribution chief Bruce Snyder.

Aronson is a respected guy in distribution circles, and his background, and knowledge in this business would be prized by any studio. Disney-Fox’s loss is another studio’s gain. Aronson is responsible not just for the successes of Avatar, and the X-Men franchise, but for propelling Logan and Deadpool to be the first two superhero R-rated mega hits.  Aronson recently turned Bohemian Rhapsody into a $215-plus domestic hit. That movie was perceived as damaged goods by the industry when word hit of Bryan Singer’s firing. Aronson knew how great the film was, got it out of the holiday glut and moved it to the first weekend of November where the pic overindexed in its opening to a $51M stateside opening.

Last fall, Aronson received ShowEast’s “Salah M. Hassanein Humanitarian Award” which is presented to a company or individual in the industry that has made an impact in the philanthropic community. Aronson has been heavily involved in the Will Rogers Motion Picture Foundation for two decades, having most recently served as President and Chairman. Aronson has also served on the board of the Lollipop Theater Network for over 10 years. He has been a Variety Club supporter for over 25 years for both the northern and southern California chapters.

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