Brad Grey Inks New Contract to Remain Paramount Chairman
UPDATED: The new five-year deal runs through early 2017.
Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey has signed a new five-year deal to remain with the studio until early 2017, a source close to the studio confirmed.
The founder of management and production company Brillstein-Grey Entertainment was named CEO of Paramount in 2005.
It has been a big year for the studio: over Thanksgiving weekend Paramount crossed its record of $1.714 billion in annual domestic earnings.
Grey has been responsible for new, lucrative franchises for studio -- Transformers, Paranormal Activity and G.I. Joe were all launched on his watch. Grey has also brought several big-name producers into the Paramount fold, including J.J. Abrams and Michael Bay, both of whom have first-look deals with the studio.
After trailing most other studios for years, Paramount has surged ahead in terms of box-office market share under Grey’s leadership. In 2007, the studio shot to No. 1, taking in $1.5 billion at the domestic box office. It came in No. 2 the next three years, while it is running at No. 1 this year with $1.76 billion in domestic revenues (Warner Bros. follows closely with $1.66 billion), though that achievement is partly due to distributing other companies' films.
Paramount has had success distributing DreamWorks Animation movies, though that relationship is in question as CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg looks for other options ahead of the end of his company's alliance with the studio in 2012.
Also, Paramount has done well distributing Marvel Studios films -- including Iron Man and Iron Man 2, which together grossed $1.2 billion worldwide -- but Disney will release future Marvel projects after acquiring the company for $4.24 billion in 2009. (The Marvel distribution deal was one of Grey’s first major moves at Paramount.)
Early in Grey's tenure, Paramount acquired DreamWorks for $1.6 billion but the companies parted in 2008 after a rocky tenure that lasted a little more than two years. (Paramount continued to distribute DreamWorks films through 2009.)
Grey formed production company Plan B with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in 2002. The company has a first-look deal with Paramount.
In November, Grey purchased a $15.5 million co-op apartment at the Carlyle Hotel in New York, though his primary residence remains in Bel-Air.
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