Here’s some big news. In the wake of former DC Films boss Walter Hamada departing Warner Bros Discovery, he’s landed at Paramount Pictures in an exclusive, multi-year production deal. Huge gain here for the Melrose lot with an executive who not only steered DC to its highest-grossing movie in Aquaman with $1.1 billion worldwide, but also was behind The Conjuring franchise, the highest-grossing horror series ever with more than $2 billion in global box office.
Hamada’s deal starts January 1 and he’ll be the architect of Paramount’s mainstream horror genre pod, with the mission to release several low- to mid-budget films per year across theatrical and streaming. Paramount had a major win this fall with the horror movie Smile, which was originally destined for Paramount+ but pivoted to a theatrical release where it amassed close to $210 million worldwide, with more than $100M of that stateside.
“With his track record for groundbreaking success, Walter is the ideal partner and visionary to build out our mainstream horror genre franchise business,” said Paramount Pictures president and CEO Brian Robbins. “As evidenced by the fantastic performance of Smile, there is a tremendous appetite for original, high-concept storytelling in the global marketplace, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Said Hamada: “I am thrilled to collaborate with Paramount Pictures with the singular goal of creating exceptional movies in the horror genre. Over the course of my career, nothing has been more gratifying than discovering emerging, first-time filmmakers and writers and unleashing their brilliance in a studio setting. Thank you to Brian and the entire team at Paramount Pictures for this tremendous opportunity, I can’t wait to get started.”
Among Hamada’s other feathers at DC: He was also behind the label’s second highest-grossing movie, the multi-Oscar winning and top-grossing R-rated title of all-time in Joker, which grossed more than $1 billion worldwide. He also shepherded the DC titles The Batman, Black Adam, The Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman 1984 and Shazam!, as well as the studio’s upcoming DC-based releases including The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam: Fury of the Gods.
Prior to DC, Hamada was EVP Production at New Line Cinema where he was behind The Conjuring series and the adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic horror novel IT, which became a global phenomenon and the highest-grossing horror film in history with more than $704 million in global box office receipts.
Last night, Paramount showed off their awards-season contender Babylon, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Damien Chazelle, at the Movie Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Wilshire Boulevard.
Hamada is represented by attorney Jeff Frankel.