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  • There are now almost 35,600 multiplex theater systems now opened, but drive-in's have dropped to only 667.
  • A struggling New Line Studio bets the farm on director Peter Jackson's vision to bring J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to the screen. Expanding from a one to a three picture deal and a $200 million budget, Jackson shoots all 3 films over a 15 month period in New Zealand. They are set to be released over the next 3 years.
  • Ridley Scott directs the Roman Epic Gladiator starring Russell Crowe.
  • Ang Lee directs the top grossing foreign film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with veteran kung fu director Yuen Wo Ping choreographing the gravity-defying fight scenes.

  • Baz Luhrman redefines the musical with Moulin Rouge
  • The terrorist attacks of September 11 in America puts a freeze on many Hollywood films due to their action or comedy towards violence. Other films are re-edited to remove the now destroyed World Trade Center, a hard to miss New York City landmark. Many of the biggest Hollywood stars join forces in a telethon to raise money for the disaster.
  • The bestselling children's book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone makes its screen debut.
  • Peter Jackson's first Lord of the Ring's film, Fellowship of the Rings, becomes a huge critical and financial success.

  • Minorities have a huge night at the Oscars, with black stars Denzel Washington and Halle Berry both winning the top acting awards. This is the first best Actress Oscar going to a black performer.
  • Spiderman becomes the most successful superhero movie.
  • Lucas' second Star Wars prequel Attack of the Clones is the first major Hollywood movie to be filmed entirely with digital video.
  • The second Lord of the Ring's film, The Two Towers, is again a huge hit and introduces an amazing CGI character. It will put the special effects company WETA, on par with the Lucas company ILM.

  • Chicago becomes the first Musical to win a best picture Oscar since 1972's Cabaret.
  • Pixar continues its streak of creating top-notch digital movies, releasing Finding Nemo the most successful animated film to date.
  • Inspired by their amusement park ride, Disney releases Pirates of the Caribbean, the first successful "pirate" film in decades.
  • Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes govenor of California after a recall of the elected govenor Grey Davis.

  • Mel Gibson takes a gamble by producing and directing The Passion of the Christ. This retelling of the last hours of Jesus' life is considered anti-semetic and too graphic. It becomes an overnight hit.
  • New Line and Peter Jackson's gamble on The Lord of the Rings trilogy ends with a bang, when the third film, The Return of the King, sweeps the Oscars with 11 wins, including Best Picture and Best Director.
  • The Disney company fails to offer Pixar, the computer animation company, a new contract and they part ways. Michael Eisner, head of Disney, soon finds himself in trouble with the stockholders.






The 1990's

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