Miramax seeks marketing chief

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Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax Films, amid an unremarkable movie year, is seeking a senior marketing executive over its Miramax Films and Dimension Films divisions.

The newly created post will oversee all marketing for Miramax, its mostly art-house film label, and its growing Dimension division, which distributes broader commercial films such as the "Spy Kids" and "Scream" franchises.

Miramax has already targeted some candidates, according to executives familiar with the search. They include Alan Cohen, ex-president of marketing for Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Entertainment and most recently president-domestic theatrical marketing for 20th Century Fox, and Peter Graves, former president of marketing for Polygram Filmed Entertainment. Gundersen Partners, New York, is handling the search.

"Right now we haven't made any decisions," said a Miramax spokesman. "At this point anything else is just speculation."

veterans leave

The move comes as Miramax loses some veteran marketing executives. David Brooks, exec VP-marketing, who worked mostly on Miramax films, will be leaving soon to pursue other interests, and Lorin Prince, senior VP-marketing, who worked on both Miramax and Dimension, also left. Executives predict more departures will follow.

"There is just this huge hole there," said a marketing executive close to the company. "There are no senior marketing executives there anymore."

Miramax has had a mixed year so far, and some of its movies have not performed up to potential.These included "The Shipping News," "Kate & Leopold" and "40 Days and 40 Nights," all of which did not individually gross more than $40 million in U.S. box-office revenue. (The high-water mark for a wide-release film is $100 million.) Some recent films-"In the Bedroom" and "Iris"-did well with critics. But none received much post-Oscar box-office lift.

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