41 | CHAIRPERSON, WORLDWIDE MOTION PICTURE GROUP, METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER
Before MGM landed Mary Parent last March, it might as well have stood for Most Godawful Messthe once-storied studio was Hollywood's laughingstock. That's what appealed to Parent, who, before cofounding a production company in 2006, was the Zeitgeist-tapping production exec who oversaw more than 20 Universal films whose domestic grosses topped $100 million (including The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Bourne Supremacy). "It was an opportunity that'd never exist again: to rebuild a studio with this heritage," Parent says. Once the company lured back the James Bond franchise and locked in two Hobbit films, Parent set out to bring in "big titlesbut with great filmmakers." Her 2010 slate includes Darren Aronofsky's Robocop, David Cronenberg's The Matarese Circle, starring Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington, and The Cabin in the Woods, a horror-comedy by TV big guns Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. Now, thanks to Parent, all the laughing at MGM happens in theaters.