STX Entertainment’s president and CCO Oren Aviv is set to leave his position in the wake of the company’s UglyDolls flop. The US$100-million animated feature brought in just US$26.4 million at the box office worldwide.
Aviv joined the studio when it launched in 2014 to lead development and production of its movie slate, including its first animated feature UglyDolls. Prior to joining STX, he had done stints at Disney and Fox in various marketing roles. He’ll be moving on into a consulting position upon his departure.
In a statement from the California-based company, chairman and CEO Robert Simonds said, “Oren is transitioning from his full-time duties at STX and I’m happy to say that he will remain on as a strategic consultant for us as we begin our push into the next phase of the UglyDolls franchise with our animated series at Hulu.”
STX is now shifting its focus to a TV and digital content strategy for its upcoming UglyDolls series for Disney-owned SVOD Hulu, which will be driven by STX’s television team. The company and the streamer signed a development deal for a 26-episode animated TV series based on the film in May 2018. Two seasons are currently in pre-production. Hulu has the exclusive US SVOD rights to the UglyDolls film, while STX holds the international rights to the series and movie. Premiere dates for the movie and series on Hulu are yet to be announced.
STX is also focusing on other extensions of the brand, including consumer products from global master toy partner Hasbro. Other agents include White Space Entertainment and CPLG. STX’s existing content deal with China’s Alibaba Pictures remains unchanged. The companies are co-producing and co-financing UglyDolls content to grow the franchise globally. Their deal includes the UglyDolls movie, the Hulu series, digital and print publishing, mobile and educational games, soundtrack and music, and licensing programs covering toys, dolls, collectibles and arts & crafts. The UglyDolls movie will premiere in China on August 8 and products are currently available via Alibaba’s e-commerce platform.