President of Worldwide Music/Executive VP of Theatrical
POWER MOVE: Platinum soundtrack singles from Adele and Pitbull, to cap box-office domination.
THE RUNDOWN: Sony/Columbia Pictures was the top film distributor in the United States in 2012, with its 19 films released during the year plus six holdovers pulling in $1.8 billion, according to Box Office Mojo. The studio also produced two of the most talked-about singles from movies: Pitbull’s 1.6 million-seller “Back in Time” and Adele’s James Bond theme “Skyfall,” a Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee that has sold 1.4 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Then there’s Becky G, the 15-year-old singer/rapper that Lia Vollack tapped for “Hotel Transylvania.”
“I like to feel I’m supporting new artists,” Vollack says, noting that Becky G’s producer, Dr. Luke (No. 38), will have a role in several 2013 Sony film soundtracks, including “The Smurfs 2,” which will have new and established artists. “The Smurfs” earned $142.6 million domestically and $421.1 million internationally, “so we’re really looking for an artist with appeal overseas, as well as domestically. We’ll have another Bond film [in 2014], and it will be a challenge to follow Adele.”
When it comes to music at Sony Pictures, Vollack oversees the creative, budgets and marketing. A key project will be the One Direction concert film slated for Aug. 30. “The Justin Bieber film [in 2011] hit a good balance between the documentary on his life, behind the scenes and performance,” she says. “For artists with this kind of fan base it can work, but it has to be timed at the right point in their career.”
Vollack’s new role supervising the adaptation of Sony movies into musicals hasn’t yet moved past the script stage. “The development process in theater is so much slower,” she says. “It’s like animation. I’m impatient, so I’m trying to change it.”