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Friday, 29 December, 2000, 10:12 GMT
The Grinch saves Hollywood
Jim Carrey in Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The Grinch was Hollywood's favourite Christmas present
Jim Carrey's The Grinch has helped Hollywood to another record year at the box office, saving 2000 from being a flop.

Box office receipts from the US and Canada are expected to reach $7.7 billion (5.15 billion) by New Year's Eve, thanks largely to the sudden success of Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has become the year's top-selling film.

While 2000 began with hits like Gladiator, Mission Impossible: 2 and Erin Brockovich, the film industry went into the doldrums in the autumn, before being rescued by The Grinch and other seasonal hits.

North America's top films of 2000
1. The Grinch ($235.1m)
2. Mission: Impossible 2 ($215.4m)
3. Gladiator ($186.6m)
4. The Perfect Storm ($182.6m)
5. Meet The Parents ($160.1m)
6. X-Men ($157.3m)
7. Scary Movie ($157m)
8. What Lies Beneath ($155.3m)
9. Dinosaur ($137.7m)
10. Erin Brockovich ($125.5m)
Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office monitoring service Exhibitor Relations, called 2000 "a real roller-coaster year".

He also praised the success of The Grinch along with Charlie's Angels, Unbreakable and 102 Dalmatians, saying the US movie industry was "making up for lost time".

"That showed people can get just as excited about going to the movies during the holiday period as they can during the summer, and that really saved us," he said.

This year's takings in the US and Canada are expected to be three per cent up on last year's figure of $7.5 billion (5.01 billion), and will mark the ninth year in a row of growth at the box office.

But attendance figures are expect to dip slightly to 1.46 million, one per cent fewer than 1999's level.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which is still showing across North America, leads the year's top films, taking more than $235 million (157.1m) so far.

Mission Impossible: 2, starring Tom Cruise, is second with $215.4m (144m), while Russell Crowe's Roman epic Gladiator is third after grossing $186.6m (124.7m).

But those figures look pale compared with last year's top film. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace grossed well over $400m (267.4m) in the US and Canada alone.

Seventeen films, including Chicken Run, Charlie's Angels, Dinosaur and Scary Movie, grossed more than $100m (66.8m), the same as 1999's total.

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See also:

26 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Cast Away tops US box office
23 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Hollywood's year of nostalgia
26 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Christmas clues for Oscars
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