STUDIO SPOTLIGHT After a record year in 1998, New Line Cinema struggled in 1999 as the megahit comedy Austin Powers : The Spy Who Shagged Me was the only source of success for the mini-major. New Line took in $309M during the year falling a sharp 42% from the previous year's Rush Hour-led $537M tally. An amazing two-thirds of the entire 1999 gross came compliments of the Mike Myers hit.
The spring was slow with Blast From the Past and The Corruptor bringing in just $26.5M and $15.2M respectively. After the box office paused to focus all its attention on George Lucas' prequel, Austin Powers came crashing into theaters as the first event film after The Phantom Menace and generated a jaw-dropping debut of $57.4M which was the third largest opening in history. The spy sequel was the anti-Force moviegoers were looking for and went on to gross $205.5M domestically and over $310M worldwide.
But New Line had a weak slate of product waiting to follow the lucrative shagfest. The rest of the summer brought clunkers like Drop Dead Gorgeous ($10.6M domestic gross), Detroit Rock City ($4.2M), and The Astronaut's Wife ($10.7M). As the autumn leaves changed, the fortunes of the distributor didn't. Dog Park ($242k), Body Shots ($752k), and The Bachelor ($21.3M) came and went with little fanfare.
To end the year, New Line premiered the critically acclaimed Magnolia which opens nationwide in 2000. Other contenders hoping to make it a better year include Ice Cube's Next Friday, Adam Sandler in Little Nicky, and the first installment in the lavish Lord of the Rings trilogy.