Paramount Pictures has delivered the biggest summer at the box office in the studio's history, it was announced today by Wayne Lewellen, president of distribution for Paramount Pictures. Paramount's total take at the domestic box office this summer reached $503,031,989, besting the previous record of $412 million, set in 1994, when the studio released Forrest Gump.
Commenting on the announcement, Lewellen said, "We knew we had a terrific combination of films led by some of the biggest stars in the world, created by some of the top filmmakers in the business today, and we're thrilled that the audience responded in such a big way. We look forward to continuing the success this fall."
Paramount kicked off the summer with the Memorial Day release of The Longest Yard, starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, and hip-hop artist Nelly. Directed by Peter Segal from a screenplay by Sheldon Turner, and produced by Jack Giarraputo, The Longest Yard smashed the competition, going on to become one of Sandler's biggest hits, with a domestic take of $157,798,925.
Following the June 10 release of The Honeymooners ($12,843,849), Paramount debuted one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer, War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise from a screenplay by Josh Friedman and David Koepp. Americans focused their holiday plans around the movie as it set new records; Cruise and Paramount both set new marks for biggest opening day, biggest single day, and biggest opening weekend, and by August, the film had become the biggest hit in Cruise's extraordinary career. To date, the film has taken in $232,606,871.
On July 22, Billy Bob Thornton teamed with the writers of Bad Santa (Glenn Ficarra & John Requa) and director Richard Linklater for Bad News Bears, a comedy about an inept youth baseball team and the cantankerous coach who is charged with leading them to victory. Bad News Bears, produced by J. Geyer Kosinski and Richard Linklater, won over $32,685,773.
Finally, on August 12, Paramount released Four Brothers, an action-drama directed by John Singleton, starring Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, and Garrett Hedlund, produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and written by David Elliot & Paul Lovett. The film opened in the #1 position for the weekend and has proven to have staying power as an audience pleaser. The hit film has taken in $64,352,755.
The studio also took in $2,743,816 from the spring hit Sahara.
Paramount looks to continue its remarkable year with five releases this fall-holiday season. First up is Cameron Crowe's heartfelt comedy, Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, on October 14. The film is produced by Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner, and Cameron Crowe. Then, on October 28, Nicolas Cage stars in director Gore Verbinski's The Weather Man, produced by Todd Black, Steve Tisch and Jason Blumenthal, and written by Steven Conrad. One of the biggest hip-hop stars, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, makes his motion picture debut in Academy Award®-nominated director Jim Sheridan's drama, Get Rich or Die Tryin', on November 9, produced by Jimmy Iovine, Paul Rosenberg, Chris Lighty, and Jim Sheridan, and written by Terence Winter. On November 28, Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo star in the family comedy "Yours, Mine & Ours," from director Raja Gosnell and producer Robert Simonds, with a screenplay by Bob Hilgenberg & Rob Muir and Ron Burch & David Kidd. Finally, on December 2, Charlize Theron stars in the sci-fi action thriller Aeon Flux. The Paramount Pictures/Lakeshore Entertainment presentation of a Valhalla Motion Pictures and MTV Films production is produced by Gale Anne Hurd, David Gale, Gary Lucchesi and Greg Goodman.
Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc., one of the world's largest entertainment and media companies and a leader in production, promotion and distribution of entertainment news, sports and music.