Duo have contracts extended to 2011

Columbia Pictures has extended the contracts of production toppers Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach through 2011. The pair, who served as presidents of production, also received a title bump, with each named Col prexy.

Belgrad and Tolmach have been overseeing production at the studio since 2003, shepherding such box office hits as the “Spider-Man” trilogy, “Casino Royale,” “Superbad,” “Hitch,” “The Da Vinci Code,” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.”The duo will continue to report to Michael Lynton, chairman-chief exec of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Amy Pascal, co-chair of the studio.

Sony’s executive ranks are among the most stable at the major studios. The move helps Sony keep its top creative posts covered for the next three years, as Pascal’s contract also continues through 2011. Meanwhile, Lynton reupped in October for five more years.

Pascal lauded Belgrad and Tolmach for having “a track record of success that rivals the best partnerships in Hollywood history.” She added, “They are trusted for their story sense and their production skills, and they have earned the respect of filmmakers and the creative community.”

Lynton credited the pair for creating a slate of 12-14 films a year that plays well overseas — an ever-growing component in the success of a studio.

“They are very in tune with the growing demands of our business and have not only effectively developed and managed our tentpole franchises, such as ‘Spider-Man’ and Bond, but have also balanced the slate with high-quality, moderately priced films like ‘Superbad’ and ‘Vantage Point,'” Lynton said.

During their tenure overseeing production, Col has bowed 25 home-grown films at No. 1, including most recently “Vantage Point.”

Columbia’s remaining 2008 slate includes the Adam Sandler starrer “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” the Will Smith vehicle “Hancock,” the 22nd James Bond installment “Quantum of Solace” and two Judd Apatow-produced comedies: “Pineapple Express” and “The Year One.”

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