Date: 30th August 2000

The Summer Of Discontent

Despite the fact that ticket sales for the summer were exceeded only by last year's record gross, the actual number of people going to the movies fell significantly, reflecting the public's dissatisfaction with the season's fare.

"With ticket prices up and gross box-office receipts down as much as 5 percent, only a fool or a liar would call it encouraging," commented New York Daily News film critic Jack Mathews.

DreamWorks' distribution chief Jim Tharp, in an interview appearing in today's USA Today, estimated that ticket sales were "off by 10 percent -- maybe more" during the summer. With the end of the season approaching this weekend, it appears that the top ten films for the summer will stack up like this:

1. Mission: Impossible 2, $215 million;
2. Gladiator, $182 million;
3. The Perfect Storm, $174 million;
4. X-Men, $149 million;
5. Scary Movie, $147 million;
6. Dinosaur, $134 million;
7. What Lies Beneath, $123 million;
8. Big Momma's House, $115 million;
9. The Patriot, $110 million;
10. Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, $104 million.

Source: Studio Briefing