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Tom, Mel: What Moviegoers Want

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Hollywood had a banner year when it came to ticket sales, with Americans shelling out a record $7.7 billion to go to the movies in 2000. (Ironically, most critics pointed out in their year-end wrap-ups that 2000 was hardly a banner year as far as quality movies were concerned.) The bottom line represents a 2.7% increase over 1999’s record, even though movie attendance itself may have been dropped as much as 3%, depending on how much ticket prices increased last year, say industry observers. As far as last weekend was concerned, Tom Hanks (in “Cast Away”) and Mel Gibson (“What Women Want”) had especially happy new years. The Top 10 for Fri-Sun., according to studio estimates:

1. “Cast Away,” $31.2 million

2. “What Women Want,” $22.6 million

3. “Miss Congeniality,” $15.5 million

4. “The Family Man,” $14 million

5. “The Emperor’s New Groove” $11.8 million

6. “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” $7.8 million

7. “Vertical Limit,” $6 million

8. “Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000,” $5.3 million

9. “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” $4.6 million

10. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” $3.6 million