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December 2002
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TOP 5 U.S.
DISTRIBUTORS

Top 5 domestic distributors as of the end of the month are as follows
(Dollar figures in millions.):

1.) SONY (EXCL. CLASSICS)
17.13%
$1,367,614,034

2.) BUENA VISTA
13.49%
$1,076,957,930

3.) WARNER BROS.
11.10%
$886,058,580

4.) 20TH CENTURY FOX (EXCL. SEARCHLIGHT)
10.82%
$863,601,363

5.) UNIVERSAL (EXCL. FOCUS)
10.31%
$822,617,788


SONY SETS NEW GLOBAL B.O. RECORD

With time still left in the year, Sony Pictures has already passed the record for global box-office sales set by 20th Century Fox in 1998 of $2.68 billion (in the year of Titanic). In a statement released at the parent company's headquarters in Tokyo, Sony said it has taken in $2.75 billion at the box office, with $815 million of that amount attributed to Spider-Man.



WGA ONLINE SCRIPT REGISTERING

The Writers Guild of America has launched an online registration service that allows members and outsiders to protect their scripts and ideas for television shows at the WGA's website <www.wga.org>. (Guild members pay $10; nonmembers, $20.) As with hand-delivered and mailed submissions, the registered material is placed "under seal" -- to be opened only in the event of a lawsuit involving the material. The Guild said that it has recently experienced a surge in registrations (the service was launched in June) as a result of competition in HBO's Project Greenlight contest and an automatic reminder included in the scriptwriting software Final Draft urging users to register their completed script with the WGA.


RECORD B.O. FOR NOVEMBER

The month of November raked in a record $824.1 million from the nation's boxoffices, while theater admissions also exceeded last year's all-time high for the period. The increase is due in part to the number of year-end blockbusters currently in release. The year-to-year rise in grosses and admissions was modest, but impressive, considering Thanksgiving occurred a week earlier in 2001 and last year's November survey also included the weekend after the holiday. The weekend after Thanksgiving is not a part of this November's revenue count. Warner Bros. Pictures' "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" was far and away the biggest boxoffice generator for November. But Buena Vista's "The Santa Clause 2" and Universal's "8 Mile" also helped carry the record breaking month.



VIVENDI UNIVERSAL LOSSES UP – DEBT DOWN

Vivendi Universal posted a widened third-quarter loss blaming weaker results in its entertainment and music divisions and higher taxes and special items. But the media conglomerate also pointed out it has cut down its massive debt pile and has lined up new financing. Vivendi posted a loss of $1.23 billion for the latest quarter, compared with last year's loss of $960 million. Media and communications revenue actually went up 1% but fell 4% when adjusted against acquisitions.


SHOWESTER OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED

Philip Harris III, founder of Signature Theatres and current vice chair of the National Association of Theatre Owners' finance committee, has been named ShoWester of the Year. He will receive the honor at ShoWest 2003, set for March 3-6 in Las Vegas. "The rapid and successful expansion of Signature Theatres is a testament to Phil's knowledge and expertise of the business of exhibition, which is why we are pleased to name him ShoWester of the Year," said Robert Sunshine, vp at VNU Expositions Film Group/Sunshine Group Worldwide.