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Friday, 5 January, 2001, 10:37 GMT
Disney and Sony lead worldwide takings
Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2: Rocketed to success in the UK
The British success of Toy Story and Stuart Little helped Disney and Sony become the top film studios of 2000 outside North America.

The two Hollywood giants took the most money at box offices around the world, with UK takings for both studios leading the way.

Although the figures are better than first expected, the overall overseas takings of $6.4 billion (4.25 billion) are still at a three-year low.

Disney stormed in at first place with $1.31 bn (0.87bn), just 1% short of its 1999 takings.

Its leading films were Toy Story 2 ($210m/140m), Dinosaur ($181m/120m) and Gone in 60 Seconds ($129m/86m).

Sony's second place with $1.07bn (0.71bn) was secured by Stuart Little ($154m/102m), Erin Brockovich ($131m/87m), Hollow Man ($117m/78m), Charlie's Angels ($113m/75m) and The Patriot ($102m/68m).

Disney's biggest UK success was Toy Story 2, which took $70m (46.5m). It reached fifth on Britain's list of all-time grossers with 4.35m. It also did well in Japan and France.

Toy Story 2 had already been released in North America in time for Christmas 1999, but British and French audiences did not see it until February 2000.

Dinosaur also stole the show
Prehistoric adventure Dinosaur, also from Disney, wowed audiences by blending digitally enhanced live-action photography, special-effects with computer-generated characters.

At a cost of $200m (136m), the movie broke records as the most expensive film made to date.

Sony's takings in the UK reached $123m (82m), beating Japanese receipts of $115m (76.5m).

But the booming US dollar and problems for the euro and other currencies have affected Hollywood's profits this year.

Both Disney and Sony emphasised that if box office receipts from their 2000 films were converted at 1999 exchange rates, their final tallies would be 15%-20% higher.

Stuart Little
Stuart Little was liked by UK audiences
Industry newspaper Variety reports that overall foreign takings could increase to $6.5bn (4.3bn) if returns from smaller "boutique" companies which handle foreign rights for films were counted.

But it adds that it is a hard figure to "pin down" because the companies can be reticent about releasing them if the films bomb.

Fox's final figure of $725m (482m) put it in third place, down 29% from its 1999 takings which were boosted by Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Its top earners included X-Men ($137m/91m), What Lies Beneath ($120m/80m) and The Beach ($103m/68.5m).

See also:

03 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Hollywood sees foreign sales fall
21 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Toy Story 2 is 2000's top film
23 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Hollywood's year of nostalgia
02 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Hanks' New Year triumph
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