Will Packer is Founder and CEO of Will Packer Media, a first-of-its-kind media company, producing episodic scripted and unscripted series across television and digital platforms, compelling content for brand clients, and its own operated platforms.
Prior to founding Will Packer Media, the Emmy® nominated Producer established himself as one of Hollywood’s blockbuster hit makers with nine of his films opening number one at the box office. In 2013, Packer signed first-look production deals with Universal Pictures and Universal Television. Under both deals, he develops new projects for the studios under his Will Packer Productions banner. Packer’s number one films include Ride Along 2 (2016), No Good Deed (2014), Think Like A Man Too (2014), Ride Along (2014), Think Like A Man (2012), Takers (2010), Obsessed (2008) and Stomp The Yard (2007).
Packer’s latest number one comedy, Girls Trip, debuted in theaters on July 21, 2017. It was the best start for an R-rated comedy in two years, and the largest opening Live Action Comedy of 2017, earning over $100 Million at the Box Office. It was the first film to do so produced, directed, written by, and starring African Americans. In August 2015, he served as an executive producer on Straight Outta Compton, a biopic of the rap group N.W.A, that opened number one at the box office, grossed an astounding $201 million, became the biggest ever August debut for an R-rated movie and the best opening weekend for a music biopic—EVER.
His most successful film to date is Universal’s Ride Along, starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, that opened number one at the box office in 2014 with record-breaking receipts totaling $48.6 million during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend opening of the film, making it one of the biggest January opening box office tallies of all time. The film also went on to be number one at the box office for three consecutive weeks and grossed over $154 million worldwide. Ride Along 2 debuted in theaters on January 15, 2016 unseating Star Wars: The Force Awakens from the number one slot. In August 2015, Think Like A Man, the film adaptation of Steve Harvey’s bestselling book, ‘Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Man’ grossed over $96 million worldwide and won the 2013 BET Award for Best Movie. Stomp The Yard held at number one for two weekends and received the 2007 Movie of the Year honors from the BET Hip Hop Awards while Obsessed, featuring mega-star Beyoncé, was Screen Gems’ third highest opening in company history when it debuted. Packer also enjoyed the success of his holiday film This Christmas (2007) which grossed nearly $50 million worldwide as well as About Last Night (2014) that hit theaters during Valentine’s Day weekend and opened as the #1 romantic comedy in America. His film The Wedding Ringer, starring Hart and Josh Gad, holds the world record as the number one R-rated comedy opening in January. Most recently, his second holiday film; Almost Christmas, opened as the #1 comedy in America. Collectively, Will Packer’s films have grossed over $900 million.
On the television side, Packer was an executive producer on “Roots”, the Emmy®-nominated remake of one of the most celebrated TV programs of all time that aired as an event series simultaneously on The History Channel, A&E and Lifetime networks on Memorial Day 2016, and was the most watched miniseries in three years, with 5.3 million viewers . Also making a foray into primetime TV, Packer was the executive producer of two comedies, “Truth Be Told” (NBC) that aired in 2015, and “Uncle Buck” (ABC) that aired in 2016, and became TV’s top summertime comedy debut in nine years among total viewers. Packer is also an executive producer on the hit TV series “Being Mary Jane” (BET) that stars Gabrielle Union.
In 2012, Packer was inducted as a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the organization known around the world for its annual Academy Awards, now officially known as The Oscars. As part of the Academy Conversations series, the organization presented a conversation with Packer at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. This marked the first time the Academy participated in a program at the renowned festival. Packer has been featured on the cover of Black Enterprise and Essence magazines and acknowledged on several high profile magazine lists including Variety’s 10 Producers To Watch, Black Enterprise’s Most Powerful Players Under 40 and 10 Most Bankable Producers In Hollywood, Jet’s Who’s Hot To Watch and Ebony’s prestigious Power 100 list.
As Producer and Founder of the Los Angeles based production company, Will Packer Productions, Packer oversees all aspects of the business. Prior to launching his own company in 2013, he co-founded Rainforest Films with director Rob Hardy in the summer of 1994 while both were engineering students at Florida A & M University. After graduating magna cum laude from Florida A&M University (FAMU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1996, Packer decided to forego lucrative job offers in the field of engineering to capitalize on his entrepreneurial instincts and his passion for filmmaking.
A dynamic and inspiring speaker, Packer delivers educational and motivational speeches to film industry groups, colleges and universities (including Harvard University), as well as youth and community organizations nationwide. He has been honored with the key to the city of his hometown, St. Petersburg, FL as well as Miami, FL; and “Will Packer Day” has been proclaimed in Chattanooga, TN and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Packer has also been honored with the Meritorious Achievement Award from his alma mater, FAMU. It is the highest honor the University bestows.
Packer resides in Atlanta with his wife Heather and his family.