Paramount, along with the rest of Hollywood, is also colliding with Silicon Valley. Netflix, which occupies a rented office tower six blocks from Paramount headquarters, has been swallowing the entertainment business whole. This year, the streaming service will pump out about 90 movies, including documentaries. To compare, the five conventional studios left standing — Paramount, Universal, Sony, Disney and Warner Bros. — will make about that many combined. Paramount is set to contribute 13.
The old-line film business is only going to become tougher as streaming services proliferate. Apple intends to roll out its multibillion-dollar TV and movie offering in the months ahead. Facebook has recently gotten serious about marketing its Watch video-on-demand platform. Scrambling to keep pace, entertainment companies like Disney and Warner Media have bulked up — Disney with its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox assets and Warner by selling itself to AT&T for $85.4 billion — and plan to introduce their own megawatt streaming services by the end of the year. Next to those supertankers, Viacom is the corporate equivalent of a canoe.
As important as TV is to Paramount’s financial future, Mr. Gianopulos said movies would always be the company’s anchor. To that end, in September 2017 he hired one of Hollywood’s top producers, Wyck Godfrey, whose resume includes the “Twilight” blockbusters, as president of the film division. Supporting Mr. Godfrey are new marketing, publicity and animation chiefs.
“It sounds trite, but you are only as good as your team,” Mr. Gianopulos said. “And all of the key people that I have brought in are accomplished, experienced executives.” He added of the new hires, perhaps commenting indirectly on hotheads who have left the studio: “None of them are screamers. None of them are hyperbolic. They’re all grown-ups. They’re all collaborative.”