TOP 5 U.S.
DISTRIBUTORS

As of the end of February the current top five domestic distributors of 2001 are as follows:

1.) PARAMOUNT (INCL. CLASSICS)
Grossed: $251,035,307
16.14%

2.) 20TH CENTURY FOX
Grossed: $207,952,943
13.37%

3.) SONY
Grossed: $180,020,853
11.57%

4.) WARNER BROS.
Grossed: $164,915,590
10.60%

5.) BUENA VISTA (INCL. TOUCHSTONE)
Grossed: $164,619,779
10.58%



CURRENT TOP 10 US OPENERS FOR 2001:

1.) HANNIBAL (MGM/UA)
Screens: 3230 Weekend: $58,003,121
Average: $17,958

2.) SAVE THE LAST DANCE (PARAMOUNT)
Screens: 2230 Weekend: $23,444,930
Average: $10,513

3.) DOWN TO EARTH (PARAMOUNT)
Screens: 2521 Weekend: $17,268,883 Average: $6,850

4.) WEDDING PLANNER, THE (SONY)
Screens: 2785 Weekend: $13,510,293 Average: $4,851

5.) RECESS: SCHOOL'S OUT (BUENA VISTA)
Screens: 2624 Weekend: $10,065,873 Average: $3,836

6.) VALENTINE (WARNER BROS.)
Screens: 2310 Weekend: $10,024,648
Average: $4,340

7.) DOUBLE TAKE (BUENA VISTA)
Screens: 1631 Weekend: $10,009,828
Average: $6,137

8.) SWEET NOVEMBER (WARNER BROS.)
Screens: 2268 Weekend: $9,733,954
Average: $4,292

9.) SNATCH (SONY)
Screens: 1444 Weekend: $8,005,163
Average: $5,544

10.) SAVING SILVERMAN (SONY)
Screens: 2467 Weekend: $7,411,852
Average: $3,004


BLOCKBUSTER & UNIVERSAL SIGN DEAL

   Blockbuster has inked a deal with Universal Pictures to air the studio's movies over its video-on-demand service. The service is currently being tested in Portland, Seattle and American Fork, Utah.
   Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.



TOP 20 DIRECTORS OF 2001

   It's early in 2001, but here are the top 20 directors for the year based on the amount of money each director's films have brought in so far:


1> Robert Zemeckis $181,141,556
2> Ridley Scott $128,624,296
3> Nancy Meyers $108,733,437
4> Donald Petrie $89,417,848
5> Steven Soderbergh $86,229,142
6> Thomas Carter $82,731,156
7> Ang Lee $75,406,785
8> Mark Dindal $61,470,481
9> Brett Ratner $59,489,800
10> Adam Shenkman $52,178,614
11> Gus Van Sant $48,358,639
12> Lasse Hallstrom $38,705,428
13> Chris & Paul Weitz $33,971,683
14> Roger Donaldson $33,047,805
15> Martin Campbell $29,947,962
16> George Gallo $28,785,133
17> Guy Ritchie $28,685,850
18> Joel Coen $28,049,784
19> Ron Howard $24,911,045
20> Patrick Lussier $24,363,810


DESTINATION FILMS SHUTTERS ITS DOORS IN CHAPTER 7

   Destination Films voluntarily filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection just 12 days after the company laid off its entire staff of about 50 and closed its office doors.
   The Santa Monica-based company is also liquidating the assets of its two production companies for the unreleased films "Buying the Cow" with Jerry O'Connell and Bridgette Wilson and "Slackers" with Devon Sawa and Jason Schwartzman. The future of Destination's third finished feature, "Ring of Fire" with Daryl Hannah and Kiefer Sutherland, as well as 12 other projects Destination had in development is unclear.
   The company will continue to liquidate its remaining assets and pay down its existing debt. Destination stated in its Chapter 7 petition that no funds will be available to its unsecured creditors, which means most of Destination's creditors are going to take their losses on the chin.


GERMAN FILM FUNDING IN FREEFALL

   We reported back in December that film makers relying on the recent flood of German funding might want to reconsider where to get their production money.
   It turns out we were right.
   Film financiers and production CEOs who were counting on German money for their movies are now in a panic after the recent collapse of Germany's media-heavy Neuer Markt. All the money that flooded from government-supported German companies into Hollywood bank accounts has now slowed to a trickle.
   "We are trying to figure out where it's going," said Clark Halloran of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank about the future of German film funding.
   "We don't know." Hal Sadoff, a partner at MM Media Capital Partners said, "Less than a year ago, German companies, powered by market equity, were willing to overpay for films by as much as 20%." Sadoff added that with the German cash cow drying up, overpay offers are dropping to more realistic numbers.




IMAX CUTS 130 JOBS

   IMAX Corporation recently announced a workforce reduction of 130 jobs out of a current workforce of approximately 1000 employees as part of the company's restructuring plan. IMAX will also consolidate its manufacturing of sound and projection systems at its Sheridan Park facility in Mississauga, Ontario and has scaled back the operations at its Birmingham, Alabama facility.
   All of these actions are in response to the financial difficulties that have afflicted IMAX in recent months.
   Co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler said, "While it's disheartening to lay off valued members of the IMAX team, we believe that these measures will ultimately improve shareholder value and we remain optimistic about IMAX's future."
   Currently, there are more than 220 IMAX theatres in 28 countries around the world.


WILL DISNEY RESCUE IMAX?

   Disney's announcement that it plans to produce at least five new films in the Imax movie format is the best news the financially troubled giant-screen company has heard in months.
   "There is no question this is a significant event for us," said Imax co-chairman Richard Gelfond.
   Disney plans to release an Imax version of "Beauty and the Beast" (with new scenes and a musical number from the stage version of the film), a live-action version of "The Black Stallion," a nature documentary called "Birds of Prey," and a film rendition of the Broadway show "Bring in Da Noize, Bring in Da Funk."


BRITAIN'S TWO BIGGEST STUDIOS TO MERGE

   Show-business heir Michael Grade has apparently engineered a deal for Britain's Pinewood Studios to acquire its major rival, Shepperton, for $51 million.
   SheppertonStudio is owned by director Ridley Scott ("Hannibal") and his brother Tony. According to British news reports, the Scotts will remain with the merged studio in senior management positions.
   Grade also recently announced plans to create a James Bond theme park at Pinewood, since all of the Bond films were produced there. But local officials don't like the idea, citing the "negative" impact it will have on residents in the area.

BRITISH COLOMBIA #1 LOCATION FOR CANADIAN PRODUCTIONS

   The British Columbia Film Commission reported that total spending by the 192 productions made there last year, whose combined budgets came to $1.25 billion (US), represents a 10% jump from last year's record in total production spending.
   "We're still No. 1 in Canada in terms of production, and we're still No. 3 in North America, after L.A. and New York," said British Columbia Culture Minister Gerald Janssen.