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Very devastating news: MGM and United Artists release head of distribution Erik Lomis passed away suddenly Wednesday at his home in Santa Monica, our sources learn. No details were provided regarding his death. He was 64 years old.
Loomis has been a leading figure behind many filmmakers, including works by Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Adam McKay, Sylvester Stallone, Ryan Coogler, David O. Russell, Lee Daniels, Tom Hooper to name a few, and more recently, Michael B. Jordan with Creed III.
On the heels of Amazon’s purchase of MGM, Lomis, who has jumped, has become a trusted advisor to Amazon Studios president Jennifer Salke as the operator looks to capitalize on more big-screen hits.
Loomis gave Amazon a big taste at the box office with its first theatrical success third dogma, which opened to over $100 million worldwide and is currently grossing over $225 million at the global box office. It was Loomis’ bold decision to move Creed III From thanksgiving and put it in march that’s where the boxing pic will be away from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and access to premium screens. The success of this rescheduling maneuver speaks for itself. Loomis will be missed by many.
Loomis recently advocated for Amazon to move Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s first feature under the Artists Equity label, air, From Prime Video to a theatrical release this Easter weekend after it was tested through the roof. There’s already heat on this movie after its SXSW premiere last week.
“I don’t think the industry will realize until two months from now how Eric Lomis is George Bailey,” said EDO box office analytics partner Derek Maclay, a lieutenant with Lomis during the MGM distribution days in the early 2000s. “He has been so many things to so many people that he touches them and does them quietly, and he is intertwined in everything we do.”
An insider equated Loomis’ death here with that of former Academy President and Fox vet Tom Chirac, specifically in connection with the distribution chief’s fundraising efforts with Will Rogers. An industry colleague who worked with Loomis at MGM said, “When Eric called you, you never said ‘no.'”
During his career, Loomis has led MGM distribution two different times, overseeing several James Bond releases and becoming an important advisor to franchise producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. This past fall, Lomis hosted and was the lead organizer for the Broccoli and Wilson’s Will Rogers Pioneer Award.
A fierce believer in show business at all costs, Loomis protected Daniel Craig’s swan song 007, no time to die, During the pandemic from the beginning to the premium release of video on demand or broadcast on the day and date when many circles in the world were closed. He first saw how Covid would affect the entire business in March 2020, which resulted in a delay No time to dietheatrical release from Easter that year through October 2021. Loomis, sticking to his guns, made sure No time to die big screen released; The film ended up grossing over $774 million worldwide, one of the highest-grossing pictures during the pandemic era.
UAR/MGM recently won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay winner The woman speaks From Sarah Polley.
Lomis was well respected, not only in exhibition circles but among rival filmmakers and distribution heads, for his razor-sharp style of business, sharp distribution strategies, and shrewd box-office prognostications. It was not uncommon for the filmmakers’ agents to call Loomis on weekends to evaluate him, even though their client might not have attended a film at his studio. Loomis’ notable distribution heads during their early days include Lionsgate’s President of Domestic Distribution David Spitz, Paramount’s President of Domestic Distribution Chris Aronson, and President of Worldwide Domestic Distribution Jim Orr. This list also includes McLay, who runs Edward Norton’s box office analytics company EDO.
Lomis grew up in the showbiz world, and learned the ground up as a movie theatre, in Philadelphia. His father, Irv Loomis, worked for the Philly circuit company SummerCorp; Lomis would end up becoming Sameric’s main buyer. Sameric was eventually acquired by United Artists Theatres, then the largest theater chain in the country, and Loomis would go on to head the national film division.
During Lomis’ early-2000s run at MGM, he served as President of Worldwide Theatrical Distribution, Home Entertainment, and Acquisitions. While there, he oversaw local theatrical distribution as well as the marketing and distribution of MGM’s theatrical, home entertainment, and takeover titles. He was an executive director and senior consultant at MGM for over 15 years. As President of Domestic Distribution from 2000-2005, he was part of the Green Light Committee and oversaw distribution. Legally blonde, barbershop And four of the James Bond movies incl Goldeneye, tomorrow you don’t die, the world is not enough And Die another day.
In 2011, Lomis was hired by The Weinstein Co. as President of Distribution, raking in more than $1.5 billion at the domestic box office for the brand. He catapulted the studio genre and award-winning fare to great heights including Tarantino’s Django Unchained ($162.8 million, $426 million USD) and Inglorious Basterds ($120.5 million, $321.4 million), Hooper King’s speech ($138.7 million, $484 million USD), Russell silver linings playbook ($132 million domestic, $236 million USD), Lee Daniels Butler ($116.6 million domestic, $177.3 million USD) and an Academy Award winner Imitation game ($91 million domestic, $233.5 million USD). Loomis would later handle additional marketing duties at the studio.
Among his latest TWC wins was arranging Tarantino’s Game Launch The Hateful Eight 70mm for the filmmaker, picking up idle projectors and bringing them to theaters. In one instance during the Westwood LA premiere, Loomis rolled up his sleeves and walked into the projection booth to revive a problematic projector.
In March 2016, Lomis left The Weinstein Company for Megan Ellison’s Annapurna as she was building out her studio’s distribution and marketing department. Annapurna would enter into a joint distribution and marketing operation with MGM, called United Artists Releasing, which Lomis eventually led to its absorption by Amazon. Loomis has released Annapurna films such as MacKay’s Oscar-winning comedy Vice About former Vice President Dick Cheney and Kathryn Bigelow Detroit. With UAR, feature animation is nurtured Addams family which grossed over US$204 million; Ridley Scott Gucci house ($153 million WW); Comedy Anne Hathaway – Rebel Wilson hustle ($97 million WW); Channing Tatum dog ($85 million WW); Anderson was nominated three times for an Academy Award Licorice pizza ($33 million WW), which has been a bright spot for furnishings homes during Covid; Produced by Dwayne JohnsonAnd Florence Pugh – starring Fighting with my family ($42 million WW); Biography of Aretha Franklin respectStarring Jennifer Hudson. And of course there was rocky spin off creed A franchise that has grossed over $612 million from WW.
Loomis is survived by his wife, Patricia Lausella, Lionsgate’s head of legal and business affairs; his children, Natalia Jovovich, Nicole Rose Loomis, and Zach Loomis; his stepmother, Joanne Loomis; Sister Sandy McGuigan; and his brother, Charles Loomis.
“Travel geek. Incurable music expert. Food maven. Troublemaker. Lifelong student. Avid tv junkie.”