It was the holiday season that saved the lagging box office results in 2000, pushing the year-end gross to record numbers on the strength of films such as “Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Cast Away.”
In the end, studios raked in $7.45 billion in 2000, up 2 percent from $7.31 billion in 1999, Reuters reports.
It was a good end to a year with ticket receipts looking slim throughout much of it, especially with a lack of big summer blockbusters. DreamWorks’ “Gladiator” and Paramount’s “M:I-2” were the only real standouts for summer 2000, each grossing in the $200 million range. Technically, "M:I-2" opened in May but performed well into summer.
'M:I-2' Summer business dropped 5 percent compared with the previous year and only managed to come up even with ’99 by the fall.
But studios unleashed a slew of family friendly films that finally took the box office tickets over the top. Fox and DreamWorks’ “Cast Away,” starring Tom Hanks, drew nearly $40 million over the Christmas weekend.
Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” also received enough pre-release buzz to bring in $14 million before the end of the year, which also helped offset the year’s lagging box office sales.
'X-Men' Paramount’s “What Women Want” also helped bolster box office receipts. The Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt starrer set a new December record, grossing $33.6 million in its opening weekend.
Universal’s “Grinch” scored big with Jim Carrey in the starring role. As the year ended, the film had grossed $255 million and still remains a favorite. Other pre-holiday films, including "X-Men," “Charlie's Angels” and “Meet the Parents,” also helped save the year at the box office with sales surpassing $100 million each.
The year also had its share of box office duds, the top stinker being “Battlefield Earth” starring John Travolta. Val Kilmer's “Red Planet” brought in a paltry $17 million and Adam Sandler’s “Little Nicky” made a disappointing $39 million.
“Pay It Forward” ran out of steam after $32 million as did “The Legend of Bagger Vance” at $31 million, although both had received a lot of buzz for possible Oscar noms.
There's no doubt about it ... Christmas has definitely arrived early in theaters.
Perhaps rewarding him for being a very good boy all year, audiences came out in droves over the weekend to see Jim Carrey's personification of the classic Dr. Seuss miser the Grinch. And the results?
"Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" took in an estimated $55.1 million at the box office this weekend, making it the second highest-grossing film this year its first week out after Tom Cruise's summer actioner "M:1-2," per estimates released today.
"The Grinch's" hefty take more than doubles Carrey's last box office debut, "Me, Myself & Irene's" $24 million back in June.
Undoubtedly a weekend for the kiddies, the animated "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie" came in at No. 2 with a strong $23 million. The first installment of the franchise, "Rugrats: The Movie," grossed more than $100 million domestically in 1998.
After having reigned the box office for two consecutive weeks, "Charlie's Angels" dropped to the third spot with an estimated $13.7 million. The film has so far grossed $93.6 mil and is poised to break the $100 million mark this coming week.
Coming in at fourth is Arnold Schwarzenegger's return-to-form actioner "The 6th Day" with $13.2 million. And rounding out the Top Five is the Ben Affleck-Gwyneth Paltrow romance "Bounce" with an estimated $11.5 million.
Meanwhile, notable drops include Adam Sandler's "Little Nicky", which went from last weekend's second place to this week's No. 7 spot with an estimated $7.7 million, and the Mars flick "Red Planet," which debuted at No. 5 last week but barely locked in the No. 10 spot this weekend with $2.7 million.
Here are the weekend's Top 10 films, per estimates released by Exhibitor Relations (final figures will be released Monday):
1. "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," $55.1 million (new) 2. "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie," $23 million (new) 3 "Charlie's Angels," $13.7 million ($93.6 million total) 4. "The 6th Day," $13.2 million (new) 5. "Bounce," $11.5 million (new) 6. "Men of Honor," $8.01 million ($25 million total) 7. "Little Nicky," $7.7 million ($26.5 million total) 8. "Meet the Parents," $6.4 million ($138.5 million total) 9. "The Legend of Bagger Vance," $2.92 million ($25.3 million total) 10. "Red Planet," $2.74 million ($13.4 million total)
(POSTED: 11/19/00 at 2 p.m. ET)
Girls ruled again as "Charlie's Angels" held on to the top spot at the weekend box office for a second consecutive week, defeating the likes of Adam Sandler, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Val Kilmer.
"Charlie’s Angels," starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu and directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol (aka McG), took in an estimated $25 million, according to estimates by Exhibitor Relations.
Adam Sandler’s devil of a new comedy "Little Nicky" bowed at No. 2 with $18.6 million, and the U.S. Navy drama "Men of Honor" starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert De Niro grabbed the No. 3 spot with an estimated $14 million.
Showing little sign of weakening, "Meet the Parents" took in another $10.59 million over the weekend, bringing its grand total to $130.3 million.
Another debut, "Red Planet" starring Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss and Tom Sizemore, grabbed $9.01 million to take the fifth spot.
In other Top 10 action: Robert Redford’s "The Legend of Bagger Vance" starring Matt Damon, Will Smith and Charlize Theron plummeted in its second week, taking in a paltry $6.64 million for sixth place; and "Billy Elliot," the indie flick about a boy fond of ballet, landed in the Top 10 for the first time at No. 9 with $2.78 million.
Here’s the weekend’s Top 10 films (final figures will be released Monday):
1. "Charlie’s Angels," $25 million ($75.4 million total) 2. "Little Nicky," $18.6 million (new) 3. "Men of Honor," $14 million (new) 4. "Meet the Parents," $10.59 million ($130.3 million total) 5. "Red Planet," $9.01 million (new) 6. "The Legend of Bagger Vance," $6.64 million ($21.2 million total) 7. "Remember the Titans," $5.51 million ($104.1 million total) 8. "Pay It Forward," $3.08 million ($29.4 million total) 9. "Billy Elliot," $2.78 million ($6 million total) 10. "Bedazzled," $2.5 million ($34.6 million total)
The battle between heaven and hell will be played out in cineplexes across the nation this weekend.
And by that, we mean the box office war between last week's reigning champ, "Charlie's Angels", and this week's hot contender, Adam Sandler's "Little Nicky".
Despite a mega $40 mil plus opening achieved by "Charlie's Angels" last weekend, Sandler's inexplicable star power -- and the fact that "Little Nicky" is the comic's first big outing since last year's "Big Daddy" -- could very well topple the detective chick flick from the top.
Certainly much less threatening than Sandler, the Navy diver drama Men of Honor and the Mars thriller "Red Planet" will also come out for a piece of the box office pie this weekend.
Here's a look at all the major releases hitting theaters today:
The Skinny: Adam Sandler plays Satan's (Harvey Keitel) weird-looking youngest son who's charged with the task of restoring order on Earth. The Upside: Hello?! It's Adam Sandler. And if history teaches us anything (think "The Waterboy" and "Big Daddy"), it is that whatever Sandler touches turns into box office gold. The Downside: "It's going to be neck to neck between "Charlie's Angels" and "Little Nicky" this weekend," Brandon Gray, box office expert from boxofficemojo.com, tells us. "But I am giving the slight edge to "Little Nicky." It might make $26 million or $27 million and "Angels" might make $25 million. But it's really going to be close." Just like the presidential election.
MEN OF HONOR
The Skinny: Cuba Gooding Jr. is Carl Brashear, a man who overcame racism, a disadvantaged background and all the other crappy things in life to become the U.S. Navy's first black master diver. The Upside: Military drama on Veteran's Day, not a bad idea. "I think "Men of Honor" is going to be No. 3," Gray says. "It could be in the low and mid teens, which is good enough for the third spot." The Downside: Last time we watched ESPN, Navy diving was technically still not a sport.
The Skinny: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss and Tom Sizemore play astronauts whose mission to Mars turns into a race-against-time deathtrap. The Upside: A space thriller set in Mars, it could pull in the "Aliens" crowd. The Downside: "It's probably going to be No. 4 or even No. 5, depending on how well "Meet the Parents" does," Gray says. "It probably would make $9 or $10 mil. But the film is going to be a bomb for the studio [Warner Bros.], since it cost so much to make."
Expect "Meet the Parents," "The Legend of Bagger Vance" and "Remember the Titans" to fill out the rest of the Top 10.