BOXOFFICE Hall of Fame 2017: Andrew Cripps, 20th Century Fox

In this era of multinational business, Andrew Cripps exemplifies the advantages that come from encompassing different cultures and perspectives. Born in Sri Lanka and having grown up in Japan, Cripps received his university degrees from Georgia Tech and Georgia State. His first foray into the entertainment industry came in 1985, when he became responsible for the theatrical and home-entertainment releases of Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment, a British film company. In a matter of 18 months, he moved on to United International Pictures (UIP), the joint venture distribution company operated by Paramount, Universal, and MGM/UA, serving as the assistant to the general manager at UIP’s Tokyo office.

A promotion to sales manager for Southeast Asia brought Cripps to Hong Kong until 1990, when he left Asia to continue his career as VP of international sales at UIP’s London headquarters. Cripps continued rising through the ranks at UIP during the 1990s, becoming the company’s executive vice president of international sales in 1994 and being named president and COO by 1999.

Cripps transitioned to Paramount in 2006, following the decision between Universal and Paramount to break up their joint venture in UIP. As president of Paramount Pictures International, Cripps oversaw international distribution for all Paramount, DreamWorks, DreamWorks Animation, Marvel, and Nickelodeon titles. Under his leadership, the company grossed in excess of $10 billion at the overseas box office from 2007 to 2011, including an industry record $3.2 billion in 2011.

In 2012 Cripps began his tenure as president of EMEA at IMAX, as well as acting as EVP for the company in its London office. He was charged with expanding IMAX’s theater network across that region, as well as sourcing content to play across its list of locations. Under his leadership the network expanded dramatically, boasting over 200 theaters opened or in the pipeline. In March 2016 Cripps was promoted to president of international at IMAX.

Cripps began the latest challenge in his career in January 2017, taking on the role of president of international theatrical distribution at 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles. In his new capacity he oversees all strategic and managerial international theatrical-distribution activities for the studio and development of business opportunities in the overseas market.

Says Patrick von Sychowski, editor, Celluloid Junkie, “Andrew Cripps is a towering presence in the global movie industry, not just due to his considerable physical stature but because of his deep understanding of the fundamentals of the film and cinema industries. Those of us who have had dealings with him over the years in his roles at UIP, Paramount, and IMAX know him for his steady focus, firm grasp of data and facts, and above all the resolve he brings to his leadership role. Andrew is the key reason why IMAX has grown to be the only truly global premium cinema experience brand today. He will no doubt continue this success at 20th Century Fox, and the industry is richer for his presence.”

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