CULVER CITY, Calif., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach have each been named president of Columbia Pictures and have extended their employment agreements with the studio through 2011, it was announced today by Michael Lynton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of the studio. Belgrad and Tolmach have been running production at the studio since 2003. During their tenure, they have overseen one of the most lucrative and successful eras in Columbia Pictures history, shepherding a string of hits that includes the blockbuster Spider-Man franchise, Casino Royale, Superbad, Hitch, The DaVinci Code, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Ghost Rider, The Pursuit of Happyness, Click, 50 First Dates, The Grudge, and many others. Since Belgrad and Tolmach took over the reigns as Columbia's presidents of production in 2003, films under their guidance have grossed approximately $7.6 billion. The pair has accumulated one of the strongest records in the industry, with 25 titles developed and produced by them and their team opening #1, including the current hit Vantage Point. Belgrad and Tolmach will continue overseeing the studio's productions reporting to Pascal and Lynton. "When I look back at what Doug and Matt have achieved as presidents of production since 2003, I see a track record of success that rivals the best partnerships in Hollywood history," said Pascal. "Matt and Doug have made Columbia Pictures a first-stop destination, a place where filmmakers, writers, and actors want to bring their best projects, and that is the highest compliment one can pay to any executive in their position. They are trusted for their story sense and their production skills and they have earned the respect of filmmakers and the creative community." "Matt and Doug have consistently presented a diverse slate of films that play not just domestically, but all over the world," said Lynton. "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." In 2004 and 2006, Sony Pictures was #1 in market share, thanks in large measure to films from Columbia Pictures. This year, Belgrad and Tolmach have assembled a highly anticipated slate which includes such films as You Don't Mess with the Zohan, starring Adam Sandler, Hancock, starring Will Smith, Step Brothers, starring Will Ferrell, the 22nd James Bond adventure Quantum of Solace, starring Daniel Craig, Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen, The Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, The Pink Panther 2, starring Steve Martin, The International, starring Clive Owen, Made of Honor, starring Patrick Dempsey, and 21, starring Jim Sturgess, among other titles. Belgrad and Tolmach and their production team are also in pre-production on such films as Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, Will Smith's Seven Pounds, The Ugly Truth, starring Katherine Heigl, Mall Cop, starring Kevin James, Roland Emmerich's 2012, and Spider-Man 4. Belgrad and Tolmach jointly oversee Columbia's slate of 12 to 14 films annually. They are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and serve on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Media Association. About Sony Pictures Entertainment Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in more than 100 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.
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SOURCE Columbia Pictures