Some people just have a knack for churning out hits and being able to accurately predict trends. Tom Rothman, who has spoken openly of his desire to consistently make money for shareholders, is one of those rare individuals. Named Chairman of TriStar Productions in 2013, Rothman had been a force in the industry long before he was tapped to join Sony Pictures Entertainment in making TriStar Productions a success.
Born in Baltimore, Rothman began to distinguish himself as an overachiever at a young age. He attended Brown University, where he was a Division 1 lacrosse player and graduated Magna Cum Laude. After teaching English, he then studied law at Columbia University and was honored as a James Kent scholar. He practiced as a lawyer before becoming a producer in 1986, with the Jim Jarmusch film Down by Law. By 1987, Rothman was an executive vice president at Columbia Pictures. He then went on to work at Samuel Goldwyn Company, where he exhibited a keen eye for spotting talent. Anthony Minghella, Ang Lee, and Kenneth Branagh were some of the filmmakers whose work Rothman promoted to colleagues.
It was in 1994 that Rothman began his tenure as the president and founder of Fox Searchlight. A revolutionary type of division at the time, it went on to enjoy tremendous success and produce many award-winning films. The Brothers McMullen, Fox Searchlight’s first film, won at Sundance. For this new division, many more triumphs were to follow. In 2008, the wildly popular Slumdog Millionaire won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Up until 2012, Rothman continued to work at Fox Filmed Entertainment in some capacity, whether he was serving as president of production or CEO. Rothman identifies as a film buff and has managed to make many artistic films extremely profitable. When talking about his time at Fox, Rothman said,”I tried to be fiscally prudent so that I could be creatively reckless.”
Rothman sees opportunities in the realm of television as well as film, as long as the projects he oversees continue to be profitable and appealing to audience. With his astonishingly successful track record and a slate of production dates scheduled for 2015, it’s not difficult to foresee that he will probably have a lot more hits on his hands in the future.