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Carell Leaves The Office, Forbes’ Most Powerful Celebs, Top Gun Sequel, Paramount Breaks Records

Carell Leaves The Office, Forbes' Most Powerful Celebs, Top Gun Sequel, Paramount Breaks Records

-It will be a sad day in TV history when Steve Carell ends his reign as Michael Scott when the 2010-2011 season of The Office wraps in May. While walking the red carpet for the premiere of Despicable Me last night, he confirmed to E! that the end was in sight. “I just thought it was time for my character to go,” he said, now that his seven season contract is almost up. He doesn’t see it as a “huge deal.” He actually believes it is a good thing, a chance to add “new life” to the show. With the strong ensemble cast and writers, he has no doubt “it’ll continue as strong if not stronger than ever.” Sorry Steve, but the Michael Scott faux-humility has no place here. Without you, the show should end. Pajiba lists the seven most likely candidates to replace him.

– Forbes’ list of the most powerful celebrities is out and Oprah Winfrey is Queen, with her yearly earnings of $315 million. Last year’s top dog, Angelina Jolie, is now No. 18 (Brad Pitt is No. 30). To be fair, Oprah tries harder; she has a talk show, a magazine, a website, a radio channel, a hand in TV and film (Precious), and over twenty years over Jolie. Lady Gaga, the boundary-pushing pop sensation debuted on the list at an impressive No. 4 (Madonna is only No. 10), and Twilight stars Robert Pattinson (No. 50) and Kristen Stewart (No. 66) also debuted (No. 66 is impressive for a gal as press-shy and awkward as Stewart). The rest of the Top Ten is rounded out by Beyonce (No. 2), James Cameron (No. 3, who must cringe at who beat him), Tiger Woods (No. 4), Britney Spears (No. 6), U2 (No. 7), Sandra Bullock (No. 8), Johnny Depp (No. 9). The list takes into account rankings for pay, TV/Radio, press, web and social.

– As tracking for Sorcerer’s Apprentice is even worse than Prince of Persia, producer Jerry Bruckheimer is looking back. He told MTV at that Top Gun fans have something to hope for. Talks of a sequel to the 1986 original have come and gone, first instigated by Bruckheimer, then Tom Cruise (No. 56 on the Forbes 100 list), who took a stab at reviving his beloved Maverick character. But nothing went anywhere. And now? “We were recently approached again to start talking about it but, you know, nothing yet,” said Bruckheimer. “The aviation community has completely changed since we made the movie a long time ago. So we have to find a way in and how to incorporate the Maverick character into it.” Cruise is not 24 anymore, but modern day aviation and FX could make up for that and deliver a flashy action flick with a macho ego.

– Paramount is one studio with something to smile about: they just crossed the $1 billion threshold at the U.S. box office, the first studio to do so four years in a row. Twentieth Century Fox is next in line to reach $1 billion domestically. The studio has bragging rights, having already passed $2 billion overseas, as No. 1 in the world. Variety credits Paramount’s chairman-CEO Bray Grey and vice chairman Rob Moore (who are still riding the DreamWorks gravy train, along with Marvel’s Iron Man franchise) and their strategy to release fewer titles (five so far this year) and be willing to make last-minute schedule changes. Paramount can claim three of this year’s top-five openers; Iron Man 2 is number two and DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek Forever After and How To Train Your Dragon are at three and five, respectively. Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island grossed a modest $128 million domestically.

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