Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg announced today that Lejo Pet has been tapped to join the company as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions. Pet will oversee all aspects of the division, including its diverse theatrical slate, and will report directly to Ortenberg.
Pet arrives from Paramount Pictures where he served as Vice President of Acquisitions and handled the acquisitions for various international territories on titles including “Goat”, “The Intervention”, “Ashby”, “Hell or High Water”, “The Gift” and “Spotlight”. Prior to Paramount, Pet served as Vice President of Acquisitions for Exclusive Media, where he acquired independent films for U.S. distribution and international sales. Before that, Pet was part of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions for six years, where he was involved in the acquisition of such titles as “The Raid”, “Robot & Frank” and “Predestination”. He also spent two years with Screen Gems working on productions such as “When a Stranger Calls” and “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”.
“Lejo is a smart, seasoned executive with unique expertise in the independent acquisitions arena,” stated Ortenberg. “He will be a key leader at Open Road and we are delighted that he is joining our team.”
“In just a few years Open Road has established a fantastic track record as a supporter of films that achieve critical acclaim and find enthusiastic audiences. I am proud to be joining this passionate, accomplished team,” added Pet.
About Open Road Films
Open Road Films is a leading, independent, theatrical motion picture company, releasing a diverse slate of star-driven films, which has included multiple #1 releases and enormous critical response. The company was founded in 2011 by AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC) and Regal Entertainment Group (Regal), the two largest theatrical exhibition companies in the United States. The uniquely formed company is widely known as a filmmaker-focused distributor that supports both box office hits and top prestige titles.
Open Road Films led the 2016 critically acclaimed film “Spotlight” to win the Oscar for Best Picture, becoming the youngest studio in history to win the big prize. The film, which earned almost $45 million at the U.S. box-office, stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup was directed by Tom McCarthy, who also won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, with his co-writer (and executive producer) Josh Singer. “Spotlight” has won numerous high profile critics and guild awards, including the Screen Actors Guild Best Ensemble Award and the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature Film. “Spotlight” also appeared on over 250 critics’ Top Ten lists for 2016.
Other notable Open Road Films releases include: “Nightcrawler”, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which took the #1 spot at the box-office during its opening week and received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay, along with a Golden Globe nomination – it was named one of the best films of 2014 by the AFI and National Board of Review and top critics nationwide; the hit film “Chef”, written by, directed by and starring Jon Favreau along with Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey, Jr.; The Nut Job, which opened to over $25 million at the box office as the highest ever opening for an independent animated film; “The Grey”, directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Liam Neeson, which opened #1 at the box office; “End Of Watch”, directed by David Ayer and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, which opened #1 at the box office; “Rosewater”, written and directed by Jon Stewart; “A Haunted House” starring Marlon Wayans; and “Side Effects”, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum.
Upcoming Open Road Films releases include: “Bleed For This”, starring Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart and Katey Sagal and directed by Ben Younger; “Sleepless”, starring Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan; “The Nut Job 2”, the sequel to the 2014 hit animated film, featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham, Bobby Moynihan, Bobby Cannavale, Isabela Moner, Gabriel Iglesias, Sebastian Maniscalco and Peter Stormare; “Blazing Samurai” (8/25/2017), the animated family film featuring the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Mel Brooks, Michael Cera, George Takei, Gabriel Iglesias, Aasif Mandvi, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Yeoh and more; and “Show Dogs”, a live action family comedy from the director of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”, “Scooby Doo” and “The Smurfs”.
The company, led by industry veteran CEO Tom Ortenberg, is based in Los Angeles.