Sue Kroll, a former Warner Bros. employee, and one of the top “leaders” in the industry, has been hired head of marketing for Amazon Studios after working as the main advisor on the streamer’s enormous rollout campaign for “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” season one.
As part of her new position, a number of TV shows and movies that Kroll’s Kroll & Co. Entertainment banner has in production or development will go to Amazon as part of a first-look agreement.
Kroll officially starts working for Amazon Studios today. She will answer directly to Jennifer Salke, president of Amazon Studios.
In a note to staff, Amazon Studios Head Jennifer Salke described Kroll as “widely respected, with deep industry knowledge, extensive experience, and strong relationships with talent and throughout the creative community. She is a seasoned professional, having marketed projects ranging from blockbuster global releases to award-winning niche film and television projects for over 30 years.”
She has a huge task in front of her.
Amazon Studios success has been mixed at best. The company acquired MGM for more than $8 billion and has no real strong IPs outside of James Bond and Rocky. Those two franchises account for all but five of MGM’s 20 highest-grossing films. Outside of those two giants, MGM’s biggest intellectual property might be Legally Blonde, not exactly in the same class unless it’s early 2000s again.
The Lord of the Rings series has been a massive billion dollar mistake so far. The show was gathering concerns early on for how far it would stay faithful to the source material, and sadly, there was controversy surrounding diversity in the show as well. However, the biggest problem so far is that the show is just plain bad and boring. CNN even went as far to pen a story, “Amazon’s next battle: Convincing the world ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a rousing success.”
It’s something that almost all sides can agree on—whether a consumer or critic, and whether a Tolkien nerd or a casual fan of hobbits.
This comes not soon after Ukonwa Ojo stepped down as Chief Marketing Officer after only a small time on the job. She was seen as a bad hire by many, with most of her work in the makeup and fashion industry — and it did not translate well to Amazon Studios.