STUDIOS BASK IN THE AFTERGLOW SONY PICTURES LEADS WAY IN AMAZING $9 BILLION YEAR.Byline: Greg Hernandez Staff Writer
Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind ``Spider-Man'' and a string of other blockbusters in 2002, led the way during a record box-office year in which attendance was the highest in several decades and domestic receipts topped $9 billion for the first time.
A record seven films surpassed the $200 million mark, while a record- tying 22 reached $100 million, resulting in long lines In communications, circuits that are capable of handling transmissions over long distances. at the megaplex most weekends.
``Exhibition got their act together and cleaned up their theaters, and the studios delivered a record-breaking year,'' said Nikki Rocco, president of distribution for Universal Pictures. ``There's nothing anyone can complain about.''
Joining Sony in surpassing the $1 billion mark in box-office grosses, three other major studios - Disney, Warner Bros BROS Brothers
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BROS Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society (London, UK) . and 20th Century Fox - also enjoyed a solid year, while 2002 was a lackluster one for Paramount and MGM MGM
in full Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
U.S. corporation and film studio. It was formed when the film distributor Marcus Loew, who bought Metro Pictures in 1920, merged it with the Goldwyn production company in 1924 and with Louis B. Mayer Pictures in 1925. .
Sony passed $1 billion way back in August after ``Spider-Man'' grossed an astounding a·stound
tr.v. a·stound·ed, a·stound·ing, a·stounds
To astonish and bewilder. See Synonyms at surprise.
[From Middle English astoned, past participle of astonen, $403.7 million domestically. That was followed by $100 million-plus summer blockbusters ``Men In Black II,'' ``Mr. Deeds'' and ``XXX.''
``We had those big-event films that captured everyone's imaginations, but we also had all kinds of films to make up a varied slate,'' said Jeff Blake Jeff Bertrand Coleman Blake (born December 4, 1970 in Daytona Beach, Florida) is a retired American football quarterback who played in the NFL. Although he finished his career with the Chicago Bears, he was formerly a quarterback for the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, New , Sony's president of distribution. ``You always hope for a great year, and I think $1 billion is a good benchmark.'' Topping that by more than $500 million was ``beyond our wildest dreams,'' he added.
The year was sprinkled with other Sony releases opening at number one, including the military action-drama ``Black Hawk Black Hawk
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Disney finished a solid second in a year that was led by the stellar performance of ``Signs,'' which grossed $227.4 million in the summer and was the fourth-highest-grossing movie of 2002. Other $100 million-plus hits for Disney were the animated smash ``Lilo 1. (operating system) lilo - Linux Loader.
2. lilo - first-in first-out. & Stitch,'' ``The Santa Clause 2'' and ``Sweet Home Alabama Sweet Home Alabama (song) .''
``You look at Sony, and they had such an unbelievable year, but we were consistent, and we are real happy about that,'' said Chuck Viane, Disney's head of distribution. ``This is the seventh in the last nine years that we crossed the $1 billion mark.''
Disney weathered the disastrous performance of its holiday animated release ``Treasure Planet,'' which was one of the biggest, most-expensive flops in the studio's history. Helping to cushion the blow somewhat were solid hits ``Snow Dogs'' and ``The Rookie rookie
a novice; often an athlete playing his first season as a member of a professional sports team. [Sports: Misc.]
See : Inexperience ,'' which took in $81.1 millionand $75.6 million, respectively.
``If you look at everything in balance, there were some real nice surprises, and then there was 'Treasure Planet,' which was a surprise of the negative kind,'' Viane said.
Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox were in a showdown for third place, with several box-office trackers putting Warner slightly ahead.
Warner Bros. boosted its grosses past $1 billion on the strength of the performance of its November release ``Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,'' which remains in the top 10 and has grossed $240.3 million to date. Warner also scored big - $153.3 million gross - with its summer hit ``Scooby-Doo.''
``Any time you can finish past the $1 billion mark, it's a great feat,'' said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros.' president of distribution. ``Warner has done that now two years in a row and three out of the last four years, which certainly shows our consistency in the domestic marketplace.''
Warner Bros. could have held a clear-cut claim to third place had it not released some of the year's biggest box-office bombs, including ``The Adventures of Pluto Nash.'' But inexpensive midsize hits, including ``The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood'' and ``A Walk to Remember,'' contributed nicely to the studio's bottom line.
Fox's ``Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones'' took in the second-highest gross of the year - behind ``Spider-Man'' - and its $302.2 million was a huge boost, even though the movie was the first in the long-running ``Star Wars'' franchise not to finish as the top-grossing film of the year in which it reached theaters.
``The bar is set so high that it's almost impossible to meet expectations, but at the end of the day, $300 million is $300 million,'' said Bruce Snyder Bruce Snyder (born March 14, 1940 in Santa Monica, California) was the head football coach of Utah State University from 1976 to 1982. He was the head football coach of the University of California from 1987 to 1991. , Fox's head of distribution. ``It's a huge number.''
Fox also had $100 million-plus hits with the animated smash ``Ice Age'' and the Tom Cruise action-thriller ``Minority Report,'' but its high-profile bombs included ``Solaris,'' starring George Clooney George Timothy Clooney (May 6, 1961) is an American actor, director, producer and screenwriter who gained fame as the lead doctor in the long-running television drama, ER .
Universal Pictures experienced a drop from second place in 2001 to fifth. Its two biggest hits of '02 were the Matt Damon action picture ``The Bourne Bourne, town (1990 pop. 16,064), Barnstable co., SE Mass., crossed by Cape Cod Canal; settled 1627, inc. 1884. Bourne Bridge (1935), across the canal, made the town an entry point to Cape Cod and a resort and commercial center. Identity,'' which earned a healthy $121.6 million, and Eminem's feature debut, ``8 Mile,'' which surprised the industry with a $51.2 million opening weekend and a cumulative gross of $114.1 million to date.
The studio's next-best performers released in 2002 were solid hits - ``Red Dragon'' at $93 million and ``The Scorpion scorpion, any arachnid of the order Scorpionida with a hollow poisonous stinger at the tip of the tail. Scorpions vary from about 1/2 in. to about 6 in. (1–15 cm) long; most are from 1 to 3 in. (2.5–7.6 cm) long. King'' at $90.4 million - but didn't have quite enough steam to cross the $100 million barrier.
``It wasn't a record-breaker, but I believe this was a great year for Universal,'' said Rocco. ``As a major, we had the fewest number of films released, and when you look at the profitability, we were consistent.''
The biggest black mark for Universal was the abysmal a·bys·mal
1. Resembling an abyss in depth; unfathomable.
2. Very profound; limitless: abysmal misery.
3. Very bad: an abysmal performance. performance of ``The Truth About Charlie,'' which was a major box-office flop FLOP - 1. An early system on the IBM 701.
[Listed in CACM 2(5):16 (May 1959)]. with a domestic gross of $5.3 million.
Sixth-place New Line Cinema came on strong at the end of the year with spectacular grosses for ``The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,'' which raced past the $200 million mark in its first 12 days of release. Its summer blockbuster ``Austin Powers in Goldmember'' earned a whopping $213.3 million. Other solid hits included ``Blade II'' and Denzel Washington's ``John Q,'' but the studio also released box-office clunkers such as ``All About the Benjamins'' and ``Knockaround Guys.''
``There are some disappointments but, overall, we've had the biggest year in our history,'' said David Tuckerman, New Line's president of domestic distribution.
For seventh-place Paramount Pictures, the Ben Affleck action picture ``The Sum of All Fears,'' grossing $118.9 million, and the modest hits ``We Were Soldiers'' at $78.1 million, ``Changing Lanes'' at $66.8 million and ``Jackass jackass: see ass. : The Movie,'' $63.9 million, were the high points in a year with expensive major flops, such as ``Star Trek Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. : Nemesis'' and ``K-19: The Widowmaker.''
With only seven releases, eighth-place mini-major DreamWorks was lifted by the unexpected box-office smash ``The Ring,'' which benefited from terrific word of mouth to gross more than $125 million this fall. Its Dec. 25 release ``Catch Me If You Can'' is off to a $48.6 million start in its first five days, and ``Road to Perdition'' had a solid run of $104.4 million.
The studio didn't have any expensive bombs, with the animated ``Spirit: Stallion stallion
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see stallion ring.
stallion used to detect those mares which are in estrus. of the Cimarron'' taking in $73.3 million and with ``The Tuxedo'' and ``The Time Machine'' bringing in more than $50 million apiece a·piece
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``It's been a very good year for us on a per-picture basis,'' said Jim Tharp, head of distribution for DreamWorks. ``We have the time to market and distribute the movies to maximize their potential.''
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer once again has James Bond to thanks for salvaging what could have been a catastrophic year at the box office. ``Die Another Day'' has earned $148.8 million, remains in the top 10 and is the highest-grossing movie in the long-running Bond franchise.
The year had been a bleak one for MGM with a trio of expensive failures: ``Windtalkers,'' ``Hart's War'' and ``Rollerball.'' While Bond is expected to end that losing streak, it was actually the sleeper hit This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
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This article has been tagged since October 2007. ``Barbershop'' that stemmed the tide as it debuted at number one and went on to gross a solid $75.6 million.
FROM BLOCKBUSTERS TO BOMBS
Jon Gerung/Staff Artist