The press release doesn’t specify length, but I’ve learned that the co-chairman of Sony Pictures has just agreed to extend her employment contract for another 5 years. She has been heading film production since 1996 and at Sony Pictures for more than two decades. Here’s the press release about Amy Pascal (which I’ve shortened):

(December 7, 2010 – Culver City, CA) – 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. Last year, Sony Pictures enjoyed its best year ever at the worldwide box office with nearly $3.6 billion in theatrical ticket sales.

“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.”

“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.”

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.

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.