Paramount Exec Ashley Brucks Circling Top Job At Screen Gems – The Dish

EXCLUSIVE: We are hearing that the top job at Screen Gems, which is being vacated by Steve Bersch, is poised to go to Paramount EVP Ashley Brucks.

Again, with all these exec talks, put an asterisk on this in case things falls apart, but we hear Brucks is the top choice. She’s been involved with such Paramount horror franchise hits as Scream, A Quiet Place and Paranormal Activity.

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Recently, Scream VI at close to $169M became the third-highest-grossing movie in the Dimension/Spyglass franchise worldwide, but it also had the biggest global opening ever for the series at $67M. A Quiet Place, with a global franchise gross of $638.2M from two movies, speaks for itself — a beefy cash cow. The spinoff A Quiet Place: Day One is expected to hit theaters on March 8. For a label like Screen Gems, which is looking to revive itself, Brucks will come in quite handy.

We are told that Sony has been interviewing candidates since June to lead its genre division, which recently hit a home run with this year’s highest-grossing horror movie, Insidious: The Red Door ($188.5M), also the highest-grossing in the Blumhouse franchise. Bersch was key in landing the Insidious franchise for Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions out of TIFF Midnight Madness back in 2010.

As we first told you, Bersch’s departure, set for the end of the year, was extremely amicable, with Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group CEO and Chairman Tom Rothman championing the former Fox vet to stay on the Culver City lot. Scott Strauss, EVP Production at Screen Gems, also is exiting when Bersch departs. It remains to be seen if Bersch’s and Brucks’ time will coincide at Screen Gems.

When Paramount Players was merged under Paramount Motion Picture Group early last year under co-heads Mike Ireland and Daria Cercek, Brucks, previously SEVP Production at the studio, became Head of Development at Paramount Players.

Brucks is 15-year vet of Paramount Pictures. She began her career at DreamWorks as a production and development executive.

We’ll let you know when this all becomes official.

Sony did not respond for request to comment.

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