Miami — Twenty years ago, freshly graduated from college, Will Packer loaded 350 newspapers into his Honda Civic every day at dawn and drove around Atlanta, tossing them onto lawns and driveways. In the afternoons, he sold subscriptions door to door.
“I was broke, eating ramen noodles, trying to make ends meet,” Mr. Packer, 41, recalled a few days ago over tea at the Mandarin Oriental hotel here. “I made enough to eat.”
Such privations are a world away from the life Mr. Packer has made for himself since then as a Hollywood success story of the first order. Although his is not a household name, seven of Mr. Packer’s productions — including “Stomp the Yard” (2007), “Think Like a Man” (2012), “Ride Along” (2014), “No Good Deed” (2014), and “The Wedding Ringer” (2015) — opened in the top spot at the box office. Altogether, the theatrical films he has produced or on which he served as executive producer — a category that includes the huge 2015 hit “Straight Outta Compton” — have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.
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