Screen Gems has a new leader.
Ashley Brucks has been named president of the Sony film division, best known for its lower-budgeted genre and comedy fare.
The exec, coming in from Paramount where she served as an exec vp at studio label Paramount Players, steps into the shoes worn by Steve Bersch, who stepped down last week and retired after a 16-year stint at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Bersch oversaw several divisions, including faith-based Affirm Film, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Screen Gems. Brucks, who begins her post Nov. 13, will only lead the latter and will report to motion picture group president Josh Greenstein and Sanford Panitch. (Affirm will continue to be run by Rich Peluso and SPWA will still be headed by Joe Matukewicz. Instead of reporting into Bersch, the pair will now report into Greenstein and Panitch.)
Brucks is coming in with plenty of genre experience. The 15-year Paramount vet is credited for bringing in the original Paranormal Activity, the found footage horror movie that begat a nearly billion dollar franchise. She also oversaw A Quiet Place and its sequel, A Quiet Place Part II, with spinoff A Quiet Place: Day One slated to arrive in theaters on March 8. And she was Paramount’s lead on the recent revival of the Scream horror franchise, 2022’s Scream and 2023’s Scream VI, with the two bringing in more than $306 million worldwide and was made with Spyglass Entertainment.
The exec was appointed senior executive vp and head of development of Players in March 2022 when the previously standalone division merged with Paramount Motion Picture Group. Prior to that, Brucks had been a senior exec vp of production at the studio.
Brucks was rumored for the Screen Gems role almost as soon as Bersch’s retirement was announced, with her deal finally inking yesterday. Below is the note that Greenstein and Panitch sent to staff last night.
While the trades were premature in reporting this, we are excited to let you know that starting November 13, Ashley Brucks will join the Motion Picture Group as President, Screen Gems, guiding production for our genre label.
Ashley has overseen some of the most successful genre films in recent years. She most recently served as Senior EVP and Head of Development at Paramount Players. Over her nearly 15-year tenure at Paramount, she brought in the original Paranormal Activity and went on to oversee all seven installments in the nearly billion-dollar franchise. Ashley also oversaw the critically acclaimed box office hits A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, along with Scream and Scream VI, The Lost City, and sleeper hits Crawl and Pet Sematary. She began her film career at Dreamworks.
We are thrilled to embark on this new chapter with Ashley and have confidence that her leadership will shape a great future for Screen Gems. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Ashley when she starts.
As you all know, Screen Gems is just one part of Steve Bersch’s portfolio, and he will be here until December 1 helping with the transitions across his many operations.
Josh and Sanford