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Amy Pascal extends contract at Sony

Co-Chairman signs long-term agreement with studio thru 2015

In a vote of confidence for Amy Pascal, Sony Corp. said Tuesday it has reupped the exec as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment for another five years. Her contract with the studio was set to expire early next year.

Pascal will continue to oversee the studio alongside Michael Lynton, Sony chairman and CEO. Both execs are in charge of film, TV, home entertainment and digital production for Sony.

“I have never enjoyed a job more than this one, thanks to my partnership with Amy,” Lynton said in a statement. “Her leadership, business skills and candid, no-nonsense approach to problem solving bring enormous strength to all our lines of business.”

On Pascal’s watch, Sony has seen consistent box office success over the past few years. Last year, the studio had its best year ever with nearly $3.6 billion in global B.O.

This year has been strong with more than $2 billion in worldwide grosses generated by top summer pics like “The Karate Kid,” “Grown Ups,” “The Other Guys” and “Salt.” Sony’s “The Social Network,” with more than $180 million worldwide, has garnered attention on the awards front, recently nabbing best film honors from the National Board of Review.

Pascal and Lynton have enjoyed seven years of stability atop Sony Pictures, but there was a recent shakeup among their top lieutenants in October. Matt Tolmach exited as prexy of Columbia Pictures, a post he’d shared with Doug Belgrad, who is now sole prexy of the unit. Hannah Minghella was upped to prexy of production for Col amid Tolmach’s departure.

Pascal first joined Columbia Pictures in 1988 before leaving in 1994 to help build Turner Pictures. She returned to Col in 1996 as prexy of the studio under John Calley. She was upped to the co-chairman post in 2006.

“Michael and I care deeply about the content Sony Pictures creates, and we share a unified and committed vision towards the kinds of movies and television programming we want to make,” Pascal said. “I am very lucky to have a boss in my corner like Howard Stringer. He has been a true champion of this studio and he put Michael and me together as partners, and for that alone I will always be grateful.”

During the exec’s time at Sony, 73 films since 2000 have opened at No. 1 at the domestic B.O. — the most of any studio. Sony’s upcoming slate includes several high-profile titles like its “Spider-Man” reboot, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and a third “Men in Black” installment.

This weekend sees the bow of its Angelina Jolie-Johnny Depp starrer “The Tourist.” James L. Brooks’ “How Do You Know” follows on Dec. 17 and Screen Gems’ “Country Strong” on Dec. 22.

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