April 22, 2014

Amy Pascal renews employment agreement with Sony Pictures

HollywoodNews.com: Sony Corporation of America has extended Amy Pascal’s employment agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Pascal is Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures, and together with Michael Lynton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, they are responsible for overseeing all lines of business for the studio, including motion pictures (Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures), worldwide television production and distribution, home entertainment, and digital productions (Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation).

So far this year, the studio’s successful slate of films has generated more than $2 billion in worldwide box office revenues. Since 2000, Sony Pictures has had 73 movies open to #1 at the domestic box office, more than any other studio.

Since becoming partners seven years ago, Lynton and Pascal are among the most seasoned, respected and accomplished management teams in the industry today, providing consistent and stable leadership to Sony Pictures and more than 6,000 employees worldwide. Pascal has been with the studio for more than two decades.

Among this year’s box office hits are The Karate Kid, which has taken in more than $359 million worldwide in box office receipts; Grown Ups, the most successful film starring Adam Sandler ever released, with more than $271 million generated globally; Salt, the action-thriller starring Angelina Jolie that has been a domestic and international hit, with more than $294 million in box office receipts to date; Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts, which so far has generated more than $203 million worldwide; Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s The Other Guys, which has grossed over $169 million to date; Screen Gems’ Resident Evil: Afterlife, another global box office sensation, with more than $242 million in SPE-generated worldwide receipts; and The Social Network, the studio’s most recent critical and commercial hit has taken in nearly $185 million worldwide to date.

Last year, Sony Pictures enjoyed its best year ever at the worldwide box office with nearly $3.6 billion in theatrical ticket sales driven by hits as diverse as Angels & Demons, Michael Jackson’s This Is It, Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2012, Zombieland, Julie & Julia, The Ugly Truth, District 9, and many others.

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has been equally successful, developing, producing and distributing two dozen series for primetime, syndication, and cable television. Shows on the air currently include The Dr. Oz Show, Breaking Bad, Damages, Rescue Me, Rules of Engagement and Community. Its most recent new series, The Big C, was Showtime’s highest-rated premiere in eight years. Recently SPT launched The Nate Berkus Show, in collaboration with Harpo Productions. Additionally, among other highlights, the studio produces the top ranked daytime dramas on television (The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives) and the number one and two ranked game shows in syndication (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!) in the United States.

“I have never enjoyed a job more than this one, thanks to my partnership with Amy. Her leadership, business skills and candid, no-nonsense approach to problem solving brings enormous strength to all of our lines of business, especially in this time of real challenge and change in our industry,” said Lynton. “I couldn’t imagine running Sony Pictures without Amy as my partner.”

“At Sony Pictures, two heads are smarter than one, more distinguished than one, and more dynamic than one,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation. “Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton are synonymous with success and style and under their leadership, the studio continues to be an immense source of pride for us all. While The Social Network is receiving such unanimous acclaim, it is only the latest in a long string of hits from the studio over the past several years. There is no doubt Amy is making Culver City the epicenter of creativity, and a home away from home for Hollywood’s finest.”

“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. 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. There could be no better collaborator, no savvier businessman and no greater friend as we lead Sony into the future. We are tremendously proud of what our employees all over the world have accomplished over the past several years. For the better part of this decade, we have enjoyed an outstanding level of success thanks to each member of our team who tirelessly supports the innovative storytellers and talent who bring our projects to screens and devices of every size. I know the best from Sony Pictures is still to come.”

The studio is currently poised to release James L. Brooks’ comedy How Do You Know, starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson; Just Go With It, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston; Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake; The Green Hornet, starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou and directed by Michel Gondry, Battle: Los Angeles; The Smurfs, a live-action/animated family comedy from Sony Pictures Animation, The Zookeeper, starring Kevin James; and in 2012, the next installment in the Spider-Man legend and a new chapter in the Men in Black franchise.

Sony Pictures Entertainment is only one of two studios to generate more than $1 billion in domestic box office sales for each of the past nine years. Since Pascal’s promotion to co-chairman of the studio in 2006, the studio has released an impressive array of box office hits, including such worldwide blockbusters as Spider-Man 3, The Pursuit of Happyness, Casino Royale, Superbad, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Step Brothers, Quantum of Solace, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Hancock, among others.

Under Lynton and Pascal’s leadership, Sony Pictures’ historic Culver City lot has expanded with buildings that house the studio’s television division as well as a new commissary and athletic club. A park area between the buildings has become a new “center of gravity” for the lot and a daily meeting place for employees. The buildings were recently awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification in recognition of the strict environmental standards that have been met in their construction and operation. This was one part of ongoing, studio-wide environmental initiatives set in motion by Pascal and Lynton.

Pascal joined Columbia Pictures in 1988, leaving the studio in 1994 to help build Turner Pictures as president of Production. During her first years at Columbia, she oversaw such memorable motion pictures as Groundhog Day, Little Women, Awakenings, and A League of Their Own. She rejoined Columbia Pictures in 1996 as president of the studio under John Calley.

Earlier in her career, Pascal was Vice President of Production at 20th Century Fox in 1986-1987. Before joining Fox, Pascal began her career as a secretary working for legendary BBC producer Tony Garnett at Kestral Films, an independent production company affiliated with Warner Bros.

In addition to her creative achievements in filmed entertainment, Pascal serves on the AFI Board of Trustees as well as the Executive Board of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. She also has served on the Board of Directors at the Rand Corporation. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in International Relations in 1981.

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