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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 71)
Alma mater University of California
Occupation Film producer
Years active1974–present
Spouse(s) Wendy Finerman (divorced)
Family Neil Canton (brother)

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


Life and early career

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 MarkCantonMar10.jpg
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

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

He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.


YearFilmCreditAwardBox 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]
RemovalExecutive 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
Final Score Executive producer
2019 After
Escape Plan: The Extractors
2020 After We Collided
Black Belle
Robot: Colony 25
Production manager
YearFilmRoleBox Office
1980 Caddyshack Executive in charge of production$39.8 million [43]
Miscellaneous crew
1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Production aide
2000 Preston Tylk Thanks
2013 Getaway Special thanks


1999−2001 Jack & Jill Executive producer
2014–20 Power Executive producerNominated - NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series
TBA The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Executive producer

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