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Paramount Chief Brad Grey Signs 5-Year Contract Extension

The executive will remain as chairman and CEO as the studio tries to ramp up its own inhouse franchises

Brad Grey has signed a contract extension that will keep him on as chairman and chief executive officer at Paramount Pictures through 2017, a Paramount insider confirmed to TheWrap. 

Grey's contract renewal was revealed as Paramount looks poised to grab the worldwide box office crown from rival Warner Brothers, with the studios slate of hits such as "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Thor" propelling it to $4.6 billion in theatrical revenues this year. 

It was quietly signed earlier this year without any formal announcement, the insider said. 

Also read: Report Card 2011: Paramount Set to Grab the Global B.O. Crown Following Huge Year

After joining Paramount in 2005 after nearly two decades as a partner in the talent management company Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, Grey has set about trying to restock the studio's cupboard of original content. 

Under Grey, Paramount successfully relaunched its "Star Trek" franchise with 2009's J.J. Abrams' helmed reboot and has reaped big box office from its Michael Bay directed "Transformers" franchise. Paramount has high hopes that it can reinvigorate the moldering "Mission: Impossible" series with Brad Bird's forthcoming fourth installment "Ghost Protocol." 

Apart from constructing a new set of tentpoles, Paramount has scored some solid hits with more challenging filmmakers like the Coen brothers and Martin Scorsese, turning "True Grit" and "Shutter Island" into popular successes that also scored with critics. 

The importance of fielding its own in-house intellectual property has become more important now that Paramount is winding down its distribution partnerships with Marvel and DreamWorks Animation. 

Those two companies provided four of Paramount's five highest grossing movies last year, on which the studio received an 8 percent distribution fee. 

The pact with Marvel came to a close after Disney acquired the comic book company in 2010. Paramount parted with worldwide distribution rights to the Marvel-produced "Iron Man 3" and "The Avengers" after Disney shelled out $115 million.

The dissolution of the relationship with DreamWorks Animation has been more contentious, after the studio refused to meet DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg's demands that it lower its distribution fee. The deal is due up in 2012. 

The recent success of the CGI animated hit "Rango" has emboldened Paramount. Earlier this year, the studio announced that it was launching its own in-house animation division with the first film from the unit expected out in 2014. 

Deadline first reported Grey's contract extension.