STUDIO SPOTLIGHT There were few surprises for Paramount Pictures in 2000 as high-profile movies worked and questionable ones didn't. The studio's $785.9M tally was off only 7% from the previous year with the summer event film Mission: Impossible 2 predictably becoming its biggest hit. Delayed from an original December 1999 launch, the John Woo smash dominated Memorial Day weekend and quickly became the year's biggest blockbuster with $215.4M, until Universal's The Grinch stole its crown in the final weeks of 2000. Other solid performers included the kidpics Snow Day and Rugrats in Paris as well as the Samuel L. Jackson double feature Rules of Engagement and Shaft.

But Paramount also released some embarrassments like Madonna's The Next Best Thing, The Ladies Man, and Lucky Numbers. But capping the year off was Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt in What Women Want which rapidly became the highest-grossing film in Gibson's prolific career. Other notable movies included Wonder Boys which earned rave reviews and Oscar talk for Michael Douglas but little sales, and Spike Lee's inexpensive standup comedy film The Original Kings of Comedy which brought in an impressive $38.2M.