‘Potter’ Studio Sees Marketing Shakeup

LOS ANGELES — Beleaguered Warner Bros. Pictures has undergone more key executive reshuffling in its marketing division, tapping executive vice president-marketing Dawn Taubin to become domestic marketing president. Taubin replaces her boss, Brad Ball, who was promoted to executive vice president-domestic corporate marketing.

The shifts come after last month’s expected resignation of executive vice president-marketing and planning Sandy Reisenbach, who spent 22 years at the studio and stays on as a consultant.

The marketing shuffle epitomizes a problematic 2001 box office situation for Warner Bros., during which it has had to deal with underperformances or ill-advised marketing on such high-profile movies as ‘Driven’, ‘Rock Star’, ‘Hearts In Atlantis,’ ‘Sweet November’ and ‘Swordfish.’ Careers now are riding on this month’s release of ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer!s Stone’ and next month’s star-laden remake of ‘Ocean’s Eleven.’

After three years of up-and-down box office numbers as domestic marketing president, Ball will focus on AOL Time Warner-wide branding and entertainment franchises. To date, ‘Potter’ has proven to be less-than-stellar on pre-box office product tie-in synergy.