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Power Players

No. 51
Lia Vollack

President of Worldwide Music
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Film music maven ...

Coming of age in the punk era with Richard Hell and the Ramones, Lia Vollack has leaned on her DIY ethic to navigate different directions for Sony in a world where soundtracks have fallen out of favor. She created specialty digital label Madison Gate to handle film music that otherwise wouldn't see the light of day. Its latest releases are Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' soundtrack to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"-71% of its 42,000 sales are downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan-and the jazz score to "Midnight in Paris," which has sold 15,000. Early in 2011 a second volume of music from "Country Strong" cracked the 100,000 mark. Vollack was key in handling the award campaigns for Reznor and Ross' first collaboration, the soundtrack to "The Social Network," a moment in film history that made the rock world take notice. "Moneyball," "Bad Teacher" and "Friends With Benefits" were among the 28 Sony films that grossed $1.3 billion in the United States last year, according to figures compiled by Box Office Mojo. "The types of opportunities to meld all the parts, cross-promoting music, books and films," she told Billboard in November, "we weren't able to do them a few years ago." In her job since 2000, she proved Sony right for promoting her with the "Charlie's Angels" soundtrack that featured Destiny's Child's "Independent Women Part I," a No. 1 single for 11 weeks. Adept in dealing with major artists, composers and number crunchers, Vollack has developed a reputation for bringing artists into the film world who otherwise might not be involved. She connected Chris Cornell with the James Bond film "Casino Royale," Paul Westerberg with the animated "Open Season" and a host of pop talent with the country music spoof "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story." And with no financial or contractual relationship with Justin Bieber, Vollack secured an exclusive Bieber video to screen before last year's "Arthur Christmas" as a treat for his fans. The coming summer includes the third "Men in Black" ("MIB3") and the fourth "Spider-Man" ("The Amazing Spider-Man"), plus a reimagining of "Total Recall" and films from Adam Sandler and Kevin James. Big-time, new-school Hollywood power.

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