Mattel is opening up a new business unit to focus on developing and producing movies inspired by the toyco’s franchises. Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club, Mirror Mirror) has been appointed to lead Mattel Films as executive producer and will report to CEO Ynon Kreiz.
Brenner has previously held executive positions at Twentieth Century Fox, Miramax and Relativity Media.
The announcement follows hot on the heels of the launch of Mattel’s global franchise management division earlier this week. Designed to unify functions such as content development, consumer products and strategic partnerships, this new team will be led by former Saban CEO Janet Hsu.
Kreiz stepped into the CEO role at Mattel in April, following Margo Georgiadis’ departure after just 14 months in the position. Previously chairman and CEO at Maker Studios, Kreiz has significant experience in entertainment and marketing. In June 2017, Mattel unveiled a five-pillar strategic plan with a focus on building its Power Brands—including American Girl, Barbie, Thomas & Friends, Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels—into 360-degree connected systems of play and experience. A brand development framework was also created to extend those IPs into content and live experiences.
This week’s division launches come in the wake of Mattel’s global net sales falling 14% to US$840.7 million in Q2 2018. Following the second-quarter declines, the toymaker announced it would cut more than 2,200 jobs, representing 22% of its global non-manufacturing workforce.