James G. Robinson
Under Robinson's leadership, Morgan Creek has produced an assortment of highly successful and critically acclaimed features including the Young Guns and Major League franchises; the award-winning Enemies, a Love Story; the critically acclaimed Pacific Heights; the blockbuster Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; the explosive True Romance; the hit comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; and the smash sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
The entertainment business is Robinson's current passion in a progression of successful enterprises. His years as a professional photographer provided him with a keen visual sense that serves him well on the creative side of filmmaking. Always the entrepreneur, Robinson seized the opportunity to establish thriving imported-vehicle processing centers on both the East and West coasts. He then went on to acquire a failing Subaru automotive distributorship and transformed it into one of the largest and most successful in North America. At the same time, he secured and developed commercial real estate. It was these undertakings that gave Robinson the 40-plus years of diversified financial expertise and creativity that provide the economic foundation and vision for Morgan Creek's multifaceted entertainment ventures.
In 1984, Robinson entered the entertainment industry when he and Joe Roth produced The Stone Boy, a feature starring Robert Duvall and Glenn Close. Robinson then served as executive producer on two additional projects with Roth: Where the River Runs Black, a touching drama about an Amazon child brought to civilization, and Streets of Gold, a tale of a Russian emigrant's efforts to train two street kids for the U.S. boxing team. Both films were financed by Robinson's production company, International Productions, Inc.
In early 1988, Robinson and Roth formed Morgan Creek Productions. That year saw the release of the highly successful ensemble western Young Guns, followed up the next year with Major League and the critically acclaimed Enemies, a Love Story. But it was Morgan Creek's most ambitious project, the 1991 epic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner, that gave the company international clout with one of the year's biggest hits, grossing $400 million at the box office worldwide.
In 1989, Robinson formed Morgan Creek International as a sister company to Morgan Creek, to expand and capitalize on global entertainment opportunities. In addition to releasing Morgan Creek's product overseas, Morgan Creek International acquired and distributed Michael Mann's epic version of James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel The Last of the Mohicans, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe.
In September 1990, Robinson took yet another step in expanding the Morgan Creek entertainment organization and launched the Morgan Creek Music Group. Designed as a full-service, multilabel company active in all phases of the music industry, it maximized the natural synergy between the mediums of film and music. Morgan Creek Records' debut album, the original motion picture soundtrack from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, sold in excess of three million units worldwide. The Bryan Adams single from the soundtrack, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, became a phenomenon, reaching No. 1 in more than 20 countries, while selling over 12-million units.
In 1994, with close to 20 films in the Morgan Creek library, Robinson picked Jim Carrey from the hit show In Living Color to play the role of a quirky private investigator. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective became one of the year's highest-grossing comedies and made Carrey an overnight star. The following year, Carrey reprised his role in the hit sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, which opened to a record weekend of $41 million.
In 2004, Morgan Creek entered into a multiyear partnership with Universal Pictures, whereby the studio releases all Morgan Creek product domestically and, in some territories, internationally. The deal, similar to the one struck with Warner Bros. in 1991, keeps all rights and ownership of the films produced during the agreement in the hands of Robinson and Morgan Creek.
Robinson was honored as Producer of the Year at the 1996 National Association of Theatre Owners' ShoWest Awards.
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James G. Robinson Facts