Kristine Belson, 54, president of Sony Pictures Animation (SPA), has renewed her contract with the studio.
Here’s what we know after the announcement.
- Belson’s responsibilities have been expanded. She will now produce animated series for tv and streaming, as well as films. This change is reflected in her new title: president, Sony Pictures Animation, features and series.
- She will continue to report to Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group. For tv projects, she will liaise with Mike Hopkins, chairman of Sony Pictures Television, and work with Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television Studios, on some projects.
- Prior to joining SPA in early 2015, Belson spent nearly a decade at Dreamworks Animation, where she produced and executive-produced films like The Croods and the first installment in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.
- She joined SPA after Sony’s first choice for the role, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, turned the job down. This fact, and the reasoning behind Belson’s appointment, were exposed in Sony’s email leak.
- Under Belson’s watch, the studio has undergone something of a turnaround. The first project she publicly announced was the much-derided The Emoji Movie. Since then, SPA has turned Hotel Transylvania into a $1.3-billion franchise and released the visually daring Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The studio stumbled again this year with The Angry Birds Movie 2, but has an expansive slate of upcoming original projects including features like The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Vivo, and series like The Boondocks (HBO Max) and the Elvis-inspired adult animated comedy Agent King (Netflix).
- “For the last few years, Sony Pictures Animation has thrived under Kristine’s expert leadership,” said Rothman this week. “Our animation business has never been healthier, and we are excited she will be expanding her talents into the tv and streaming space.”
- Belson on her expanded role: “All of us at Sony Pictures Animation are thrilled to be getting into new territory by expanding our animation slate to include serialized stories, for every audience. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to do things that no other theatrical animation studio in Hollywood is doing, and we have a lot in store.”
(Image at top © Michael Lewis.)