Andy Gruenberg, who had a long career in studio film distribution and most recently was the overseer of theatrical distribution for Netflix, died yesterday at age 68, according to his family.
Gruenberg started his career in distribution at Warner Bros., moving to Columbia Pictures as senior VP and assistant sales manager, working on such films as Ghostbusters, Karate Kid and Silverado.
He then moved to MGM, serving as executive VP from 1991 to 1998. During that time, he managed the releases of Get Shorty, Tomorrow Never Dies, Leaving Las Vegas and Birdcage.
He became president of distribution at Miramax in 1998, where he oversaw the distribution of the Oscar- winning and box office hits Shakespeare in Love and Life is Beautiful.
He later joined First Look Studios as executive VP of distribution in 2005. There, he released The Proposition and Paris, Je t’aime, and Millennium Entertainment, where he successfully executed the release of Richard Linklater’s indie sensation, Bernie as well as Fading Gigolo (starring Woody Allen) in 2013.
During his career, he co-founded his own company, MAC Releasing, and consulted for many distributors over the years, including Broad Green Pictures, Gravitas and Think Film.
He was one of the founders of the distribution company Film Arcade, along with longtime friend Ted Mundorff, president & CEO of Landmark Theatres.
“I loved working with Andy and enjoyed our friendship over many years,” said Mundorff. “Andy was one of the smartest and most loyal guys in the business.”
Born Mar 10, 1950 in St. Paul Minnesota, Gruenberg nurtured a love of film by spending his childhood years in movie theaters in Milwaukee.
He is survived by his wife, Linda; three brothers; and sons Billy, Jacob and Max.