President, DMG Entertainment Motion Picture Group and GM, DMG North America
Chris Fenton has worked as the General Manager of DMG’s North American Operations since 2001 and was named President of DMG Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group earlier this year. Fenton’s relationship with DMG and DMG’s CEO, Dan Mintz, dates back to Fenton’s 8-year tenure as an agent at the William Morris Agency in the 1990’s.
Early on as GM, Fenton focused on creating new business for DMG’s advertising and marketing operations by signing US-based companies such as FRUIT OF THE LOOM, BEHR PAINT, SPALDING, UNDER ARMOUR, and KING 888 energy drink. However, Fenton’s responsibilities have grown over the years to include procuring and creating television and film content and I.P., forging alliances with key North American based marketing partners, negotiating music publishing contracts, pursuing endorsement/sponsorship opportunities, consulting on physical production, co-production, and financing issues in China, producing film and television, representing content creators and artists, forming media distribution strategies and alliances, hiring executives and other personnel for DMG’s various divisions, cultivating key business, educational and government relationships, and relating with North American press/media/universities on various DMG and China-oriented issues.
Fenton is also the Executive Producer of 47 RONIN, a $225 million dollar budgeted Keanu Reeves tent-pole franchise Universal pictures is releasing worldwide February, 2013, along with the $12 million dollar budgeted action thriller NUMBERS STATION starring John Cusack, which also hits theaters in early 2013. Additionally, Fenton was a lead production executive and chief negotiator on the DMG/Endgame financed co-production LOOPER, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Sony will release LOOPER worldwide on September 28, 2012. Most recently, Fenton orchestrated the co-production/financing deal between DMG, Marvel, and Disney for IRON MAN 3, which is currently filming for a worldwide release in May 2013. He has produced seven other films along with a television series and has several other projects he is producing in the pipeline for 2013.
Specific achievements under his tenure at DMG include:
1) Closing the largest US celebrity endorsement deal ever for China, a seven-figure, one-year deal for Olympian, Michael Phelps. DMG brand client Mazda was the buyer.
2) Partnering Summit Entertainment with DMG to distribute several films theatrically in China, the first being the Nic Cage film, KNOWING. The film was one of only 15 films to get a CFG quota release in China for all of 2009. That success led to DMG’s distribution of Summit’s valuable TWILIGHT franchise in China, along with the hit film RED.
3) Providing DMG access to valuable intellectual property to mine for Chinese exploitation. DMG’s first foray into the cross-Pacific content pipeline was in 2005, a partnership between IMG/TWI and DMG, which brought THE WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN competition to Chengdu. The inaugural China-located event resulted in the program’s most successful competition in its 25 year history. The Chengdu competition drew more audience worldwide than ever before, and the CCTV 5 airing garnered a staggering 40 million viewers each of its seven original airings.
4) Forming several strong alliances between DMG and North American marketing companies, such as The Richards Group, CP+B, RPA, and R&R Partners.
5) Negotiating deals between DMG and studios such as Universal, Disney, Marvel, Focus, Lionsgate, Mandate, WWE, First Look Films, The Weinstein Company, Endgame, FilmNation and Film Department to bring more US feature films into the mainland China theatrical marketplace along with creating several trailblazing opportunities for US/China Co-Productions.
6) Garnering feature articles/interviews regarding DMG and CEO, Dan Mintz, in outlets including Fast Company, Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, The Wrap and Bloomberg
7) Lecturing on DMG/China-related matters for various MBA as well as undergraduate classes and events at USC, UCLA, Cornell and Columbia.
Fenton started his Hollywood career in 1994 after receiving a BS in Engineering from Cornell University. He lives with his wife and two children in Hancock Park.