Bob Berney on the New Landscape for Theatrical Distribution

By Daniel Loria
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In this week’s episode of The Boxoffice Podcast, distribution veteran Bob Berney joins Boxoffice Pro editorial director Daniel Loria in a conversation about the seismic changes affecting theatrical distribution and exhibition as audiences return to theaters.

After starting his career programming independent and specialty films for movie theaters in Texas, Berney made the jump to distribution and went on to release some of the most successful arthouse titles of the last three decades. Roles at IFC Films (Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIEN, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING), Newmarket Films (THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, MONSTER, WHALE RIDER), and FilmDistrict (INSIDIOUS, DRIVE) preceded his appointment as head of marketing and distribution at Amazon Studios in 2015. During his four years at Amazon, Berney helped launch the tech giant’s foray into theatrical distribution with a strategy that embraced traditional theatrical releases and promoted a diverse slate of crossover independent titles like MANCHESTER BY THE SEA and THE BIG SICK.

Berney left Amazon to relaunch his own distribution company, Picturehouse, in 2019. In this interview, Berney shares his insights on the current volatility affecting the theatrical market as streaming companies make a play for big movies and major franchises at the multiplex, while specialty players learn to adapt to a market without the influence of the film festival circuit.