Mark Canton

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Mark Canton
Mark Canton WonderCon 2011.jpg
Canton at the 2011 WonderCon
Born (1949-06-19) June 19, 1949 (age 73)
Alma materUniversity of California
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1974–present
SpouseWendy Finerman (divorced)
FamilyNeil Canton (brother)

Mark Canton (born June 19, 1949) is an American film producer and executive.

Life and early career[edit]

Canton was born to a Jewish family[1] in Queens, New York, the son of Shirley and Arthur Canton, who worked in the film industry on marketing and publicity - including such films as Lawrence of Arabia. As a young adult, he met well known movie personalities like Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, and Doris Day when they visited the family's apartment.[2] After working in the mail room of Warner Bros. while studying at the University of California, Los Angeles,[3] Canton started working for 20th Century Fox and later had jobs with film director Franklin Schaffner, with producer Jon Peters, and in the 1970s as executive assistant to Mike Medavoy at United Artists,[2] before working as executive vice president at Warner Bros. from 1980 onwards. Successes he was involved in at the time include 1983's National Lampoon's Vacation, Purple Rain, and the Batman and Lethal Weapon film series,[4] but also notorious box office failures like The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990),[5] a picture he described as "the best movie I ever saw" at its first screening.[6]


In 1991, Canton quit Warner Bros. where he was executive vice president of the Worldwide Motion Picture Production unit.[7] Warner Bros. let him out of his contract fifteen months early with studio head Bob Daly saying "from our standpoint this was a job that was going to be eliminated."[8] He then became chairman of Sony's Columbia Pictures (later Columbia-TriStar Pictures), where he was involved with some failures like Geronimo: An American Legend, but also with blockbusters such as Men in Black, Air Force One, and My Best Friend's Wedding.[4]

Canton in March 2010

Canton was fired by Sony in 1996, after a series of relative flops including Last Action Hero (a film Canton described as "probably the best action movie of all time"[9]) and The Cable Guy, before his final string of movies could become blockbusters.[10] Described at the time as both "known for enthusiasm, rapid-fire talk, a sleek Italian wardrobe and a youthful style"[3] and "a braggart who was lucky to have become chairman of a studio in the first place",[11] Canton was in those years "one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood".[2]

In 1998, Canton became an independent film producer, with Jack Frost starring Michael Keaton as his first major production.[12] Backed by the German company Senator Entertainment from August 2000 onwards, he struck a first-look deal with Warner Bros. By the end of 2001, the shares of Senator had dropped substantially and Canton had to close down his production company.[13]

In 2002, he was the chief executive of Artists Production Group, the movie branch of Artist Management Group.[4] After leaving APG in November 2003, he created Atmosphere Entertainment together with Mark Kimsey, an investment manager. The aims were to produce films and television programming.[14] With this company, he produced blockbusters such as 300, Immortals, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. In his roles as executive, chairman, and producer, Canton has been involved in over 300 major Hollywood productions.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Canton was married to Oscar-winning producer Wendy Finerman, with whom he has three children.[2] His brother is the film producer Neil Canton.[2] They co-produced the 2000 film Get Carter.

Filmography as Producer[edit]

He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.


Year Film Credit Award Box Office
1980 Die Laughing $4 million[16]
1998 Jack Frost $34.6 million[17]
2000 Get Carter $19.4 million[18]
Red Planet $33.5 million[19]
2001 Angel Eyes $29.7 million[20]
2002 Trapped Executive producer $13.4 million[21]
2004 Taking Lives $65.5 million[22]
Godsend Executive producer $30.1 million[23]
2005 Land of the Dead Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Horror Film
Nominated - Empire Award for Best Horror
Nominated - Fangoria - Best Wide Release Film
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movie
$47.8 million[24]
2006 300 Saturn Award for Best Action or Adventure Film
Nominated - Empire Award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Movie
Nominated - MTV Russia Movie Award for Best International Movie
Nominated - National Movie Award for Best Action/Adventure
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite Action Movie
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie – Action
$456.1 million[25]
2007 Full of It $500.000[26]
2008 The Spiderwick Chronicles Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film $162.8 million[27]
2009 A Perfect Getaway $22.9 million[28]
Fame $80.2 million[29]
2010 Letters to Juliet Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie – Romance $82.1 million[30]
Piranha 3D Nominated - Dorian Award for Campy Film of the Year
Nominated - Scream Award for Best Horror Movie
$83.7 million[31]
Removal Executive producer
2011 Immortals Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film $226.9 million[32]
2012 Rites of Passage
The Cold Light of Day Executive producer $25.4 million[33]
Black November Executive producer $35.000[34]
Piranha 3DD Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Horror $8.5 million[35]
Freelancers Executive producer $370.000[36]
2013 Escape Plan $137.3 million[37]
2014 300: Rise of an Empire $337.6 million[38]
Cake $2.9 million[39]
Outcast Executive producer $4.8 million[40]
The Pyramid $16.9 million[41]
2015 The Last Witch Hunter $140.4 million[42]
2016 Mr. Church
Burn Your Maps
The Comedian
2017 The Yellow Birds
Phoenix Forgotten
2018 Den of Thieves
Escape Plan 2: Hades
Nightmare Cinema
Slender Man producer
Final Score Executive producer
2019 After
Escape Plan: The Extractors
2020 After We Collided
2021 After We Fell
Black Belle
Robot: Colony 25
Production manager
Year Film Role Box Office
1980 Caddyshack Executive in charge of production $39.8 million[43]
Miscellaneous crew
Year Film Role
1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Production aide
Year Film Role
2000 Preston Tylk Thanks
2013 Getaway Special thanks


Year Title Credit Award
1999−2001 Jack & Jill Executive producer
2014–20 Power Executive producer Nominated - NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series
2020 The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Executive producer
2020−21 Power Book II: Ghost Executive producer
2021 Power Book III: Raising Kanan Executive producer
2022 Power Book IV: Force Executive producer
TBA Power Book V: Influence Executive producer


  1. ^ Brady, Celia (April 1990). "Vain Man: Why Guber-Peters May Bomb in Tokyo". Spy Magazine. p. 42. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Weinraub, Bernard (February 8, 1994). "Film Boss Rules the Stars With His Awe". The New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Weinraub, Bernard (October 4, 1991). "From Errand Boy to Studio Chief". New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Lyman, Rick (February 20, 2002). "It's a Rare Scene: Movie Executive With 9 Lives; From Warner Brothers to Columbia, and, Now, Paired With Ovitz". The New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  5. ^ Andersen, Kurt (July 5, 1993). "How To Run a Movie Studio". Time. Archived from the original on December 15, 2007. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
  6. ^ Griffin, Nancy; Masters, Kim (1996). Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood. Simon & Schuster. p. 367.
  7. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (September 6, 1991). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Vice President Is Leaving Warner Brothers". The New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  8. ^ Griffin & Masters. p. 318
  9. ^ Griffin & Masters. p. 368
  10. ^ Busch, Anita M. (July 10, 1997). "Canton's Sony Roundabout". Variety. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  11. ^ Masters, Kim (September 23, 1996). "Water Torture". Time. Archived from the original on November 6, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  12. ^ "Inside Moves". Variety. March 17, 1998. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  13. ^ Harris, Dana; Dunkley, Cathy (October 21, 2001). "Canton fires staff, Senator backing out". Variety. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  14. ^ "Mark Canton Forms Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC". BusinessWire. December 10, 2003. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  15. ^ Mitchell, Peter (August 5, 2005). "Simon the Star". The Age. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  16. ^ "Die Laughing (1980) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  17. ^ "Jack Frost (1998) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  18. ^ "Get Carter (2000) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  19. ^ "Red Planet (2000)". Box Office Mojo. 2002-08-28. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  20. ^ "Angel Eyes (2001)". Box Office Mojo. 2002-08-28. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  21. ^ "Trapped (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  22. ^ "Taking Lives (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  23. ^ "Godsend (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  24. ^ "George A. Romero's Land of the Dead (2005) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  25. ^ "300 (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  26. ^ "Full of It (2007)". Box Office Mojo. 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  27. ^ "The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)". Box Office Mojo. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  28. ^ "A Perfect Getaway (2009)". Box Office Mojo. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  29. ^ "Fame (2009) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  30. ^ "Letters to Juliet (2010) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  31. ^ "Piranha 3D (2010) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  32. ^ "Immortals (2011)". Box Office Mojo. 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  33. ^ "The Cold Light of Day (2012) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  34. ^ "Black November (2015) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  35. ^ "Piranha 3DD (2012)". Box Office Mojo. 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  36. ^ "Freelancers (2012) - Financial Information". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  37. ^ "Escape Plan (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  38. ^ "300: Rise of An Empire (2014)". Box Office Mojo. 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  39. ^ "Cake (2015)". Box Office Mojo. 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  40. ^ "Outcast (2014)". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  41. ^ "The Pyramid (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  42. ^ "The Last Witch Hunter (2015)". Box Office Mojo. 2015-12-31. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  43. ^ "Caddyshack (1980)". Box Office Mojo. 1982-01-01. Retrieved 2018-02-01.

External links[edit]