Tom Ortenberg, the founding CEO of Open Road Films, is leaving the studio at the end of the year and is expected to start a new company as he prepares for the next chapter of his distinguished career, it was announced Thursday.
Ortenberg had signed an extension when Tang Media Partners bought Open Road from AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment Group, though his deal included an opt-out clause that Ortenberg chose to exercise. His exit was described as amicable, and he leaves the company in the capable hands of Rob Friedman, the former Lionsgate exec who is now in charge of Global Road Entertainment, which encompasses Open Road Films, IM Global and IM Global Television.
Under Ortenberg’s leadership, Open Road released Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight, which won Best Picture, as well as great movies like Nightcrawler, End of Watch, The Grey, Snowden and Bleed for This.
Ortenberg is expected to stick around through the end of the year to prepare the company’s 2018 slate, which includes the Johnny Depp vehicle LAbyrinth and the Bella-Thorne-Patrick Schwarzenegger film Midnight Sun.
Prior to Open Road, Ortenberg worked for Lionsgate and steered that fledgling studio to a Best Picture win for Crash.
In my dealings with Ortenberg, he has always been a mensch, treating me with fairness, kindness, and respect. I consider him to be one of Hollywood’s smartest executives, and I wish him luck with the next chapter of his career, whatever that may be.
Deadline broke the news of Ortenberg’s exit.