“One of the things that we say to each other is consistency of management allows you to put in place long-term strategies,” said Robert Friedman, vice chairman of the motion picture group. “Filmmakers feel comfortable that projects put into development here can actually finish their life (here).”

Unlike most other studios, Paramount — for the time being — can boast a relatively stable top executive corps. And the year at the box office has been stable, too. Blockbuster “Mission: Impossible 2” ($215 million) ended up as the No. 2 movie of 2000, while “Shaft,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Rugrats in Paris: The Movie,” “Snow Day” and “The Original Kings of Comedy” all toted up healthy numbers.

More disappointing, “Bless the Child” was a dud as was the John Travolta starrer “Lucky Numbers.”

With the exception of the Curtis Hanson-helmed “Wonder Boys,” which generated Oscar buzz in a late-year rerelease, there’s not a lot of risk-taking at Paramount these days, with the studio’s development machine working in overdrive until every story beat clicks: Next year’s tentpole, the Angelina Jolie starrer “Tomb Raider,” has been a marathon development project, but Par is sure that it will produce hefty returns in the summer.

The studio is also especially keen on “Vanilla Sky,” which teams Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Cameron Crowe in a remake of the Spanish-language pic “Open Your Eyes.”

Paramount

Domestic box office

Film
Release date

2000 gross*

Runaway Bride
1999

0.2

Double Jeopardy
1999

2.7

Superstar
1999

0.5

Bringing Out the Dead
1999

0.3

Sleepy Hollow
1999

8.2

The Talented Mr. Ripley
1999

41.5

Angela’s Ashes
1999

12.9

Snow Day
Feb. 11

60.0

Wonder Boys
Feb. 23

19.3

The Next Best Thing
March 3

15.0

Rules of Engagement
April 7

61.3

Mission: Impossible 2
May 24

215.4

Shaft
June 16

70.3

Bless the Child
Aug. 11

29.4

The Original Kings of Comedy
Aug. 18

38.2

The Ladies Man
Oct. 13

13.6

Lucky Numbers
Oct. 27

10.0

Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
Nov. 17

71.2

What Women Want
Dec. 15

115.8

Total

785.8

** reissue
* – figures in millions

2001 slate

Film
Release date

Save the Last Dance
Jan. 12

Down to Earth
Feb. 16

Enemy at the Gates
Feb. 23

Along Came a Spider
spring

Pootie Tang
spring

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles
spring

Tomb Raider
June 15

Rat Race
summer

Hardball
summer

Domestic Disturbance
fall

Four Feathers
fall

Lucky Break
fall

Vanilla Sky
winter

Jimmy Neutron — Boy Genius
winter

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