Here’s some big news. After former DC Films head Walter Hamada left Warner Bros. Discovery, he has landed at Paramount Pictures in an exclusive, multi-year production deal. Huge win here for the Melrose lot with an executive who steered DC not only to its highest grossing film in Aquaman with $1.1 billion worldwide, but it was also behind The Conjuring franchise, the highest-grossing horror series of all time with more than $2 billion at the global box office.
Hamada’s contract begins on January 1 and he will be the architect of Paramount’s mainstream horror genre pod, with the mission of releasing several low- to mid-budget films a year across theaters and streaming. Paramount had a big win this fall with the horror film smile, which was originally intended for Paramount + but meant a theatrical release where it grossed nearly $210 million worldwide, with more than $100M from that stateside.
“With his track record of pioneering success, Walter is the ideal partner and visionary to build our mainstream horror genre franchise business,” said Paramount Pictures president and CEO Brian Robbins. “As shown by a great performance of smile, there is a huge appetite for original, high-concept storytelling in the global market, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Hamada said: “I’m delighted to collaborate with Paramount Pictures with the sole aim of creating exceptional films in the horror genre. During my career, nothing has been more enjoyable than discovering new, emerging filmmakers and writers and unleashing their brilliance in a studio. Thanks to Brian and the whole team at Paramount Pictures for this great opportunity, I can’t wait to get started.”
Among Hamada’s other DC credits: He was also behind the label’s second-highest-grossing film, the multiple-Oscar-winning title that earned the best R rating ever at joker, which generated more than $1 billion worldwide. He also shepherded the DC titles The Batman, Black Adam, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman 1984 a Shazam!as well as the studio’s upcoming DC releases including The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom a Shazam: Fury of the Gods.
Prior to DC, Hamada was EVP Production at New Line Cinema where he was behind the scenes The Conjuring series and 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 worldwide box office receipts.
Last night, Paramount showed their awards season contender Babylon, by Oscar-winning filmmaker Damien Chazelle at the Film Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Wilshire Boulevard.
Hamada is represented by attorney Jeff Frankel.