Copyright 2001

[ January 15th 2001 ]

Following a year of turmoil intermittently rearing it's head throughout the 2000 season, the U.S film industry has weathered strikes, exhibitors going bankrupt, and a hostile federal government, competing against previous years titles including "Star Wars" Episode One and "Blair Witch".

Paramount Pictures, according to Yahoo! news, boasted a relatively stable top executive corps and a stable year at the box office too.

"Mission: Impossible 2'' ($215 million) ended up as the No. 2 movie of 2000, while "Shaft,'' "Rules of Engagement,'' "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie,'' "Snow Day'' and "The Original Kings of Comedy'' all toted uphealthy numbers. More disappointing, Kim Basinger's "Bless the Child'' was a dud as was the John Travolta starrer "Lucky Numbers.'' With the exception of the Curtis Hanson-helmed "Wonder Boys,'' which generated Oscar buzz in a late-year rerelease, there's not a lot of risk-taking at Paramount these days, with the studio's development machine working in overdrive until every story beat clicks:

Next year's tentpole, the Angelina Jolie starrer "Tomb Raider,'' has been a marathon development project, but Paramount is sure that it will produce hefty returns in the summer. The studio is also especially keen on "Vanilla Sky,'' which teams Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and director Cameron Crowe in a remake of the Spanish-language picture "Open Your Eyes.''

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