STUDIO SPOTLIGHT Big-budget bombs were plentiful in 2000 for Warner Bros. which placed third for the year with $891M, off 14% from its billion-dollar-plus Matrix year in 1999. Battlefield Earth, Red Planet and Get Carter were all rejected instantly by moviegoers. While the studio claims that its exposure to the duds was minimal, it still absorbed heavy losses due to hefty print and advertising expenditures. However, the summer disaster film The Perfect Storm, which also carried a mammoth pricetag, was a winner taking in $182.6M and the Sandra Bullock comedy Miss Congeniality went head-to-head with a crowded Christmas field and looks to top $100M by the end of its run.

The spring was just dandy with the slapstick comedy The Whole Nine Yards, the martial arts action film Romeo Must Die, and the surprise family hit My Dog Skip. Summer brought solid grosses from the inexpensive Japanese import Pokemon 2000 and Clint Eastwood's adventure Space Cowboys while the fall saw a successful reissue of The Exorcist which scared up another $40M from today's movie fans. In the fourth quarter, both Pay it Forward and Proof of Life performed below expectations.