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55. Amy Pascal

Cochair, Sony Pictures

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Sony quietly racked up a banner year, thanks to Amy Pascal. The 52-year-old Californian green-lighted films—including 2012, Angels and Demons, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs—that last year returned $3.5 billion at the global box office, a new studio record. One prescient example: Pascal jumped on Michael Jackson's raw rehearsal footage shortly after his death last June, and turned a $60 million bet into $260 million in box-office receipts. Her next task may prove even riskier—planning the new installment of Spider-Man, Sony's biggest franchise, without director Sam Raimi or star Tobey Maguire.