Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 2002

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
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2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

The Year 2002
Year
Event and Significance
2002
Disney's costly animated film failure, Treasure Planet (2002), was a landmark film -- it was the first film to debut in both the conventional and IMAX formats on the same day (in November).
2002
Warner Bros.' terrorist-themed action film Collateral Damage (2002), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, originally due to be released on October 5, 2001, was postponed until early February 2002, due to the terrorist bombing of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01.
2002
One of the trends in the popular genre of horror films was to remake Japanese horror films, culminating in retreads of successful foreign classics, such as Gore Verbinski's The Ring (2002). [Other remakes included The Grudge (2004) (with two sequels in 2006 and 2009), and Dark Water (2005).] These films were low cost to produce, didn't require much originality, big-name (and salary) actors or extensive marketing (because of brand-name recognition), and they had ready-made legions of faithful horror-film devotees. One thing most of the films had in common - they were not favorites of the film critics.
2002
The independently-produced 'ugly duckling' romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), with an unknown cast and a simple premise, became one of the most profitable movies of all time (through word-of-mouth advertising), earning $241.4 million at the box office, while costing only about $5 million to make. It became the very first theatrical film transmitted in high definition by In Demand. It was also the highest-grossing domestic film that was never # 1 at the box-office.
2002
The American Film Institute (AFI) released the fourth list in its continuing series, 100 Years...100 Passions, to recognize the top 100 American films that were the greatest love stories in cinematic history. Casablanca (1942) was named the top movie love story of all time.
2002
Exiled director Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002) won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and the Best Director Oscar (awarded in 2003).
2002
Meryl Streep received her 13th career nomination, a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her performance in Adaptation (2002). Streep's nomination made her the most-nominated or honored performer in Oscar history, surpassing the record of 12 nominations set by screen legend Katharine Hepburn.
2002
Jack Nicholson tied Katharine Hepburn’s 12 nominations, with his 8th Best Actor nomination for About Schmidt (2002). He became the most-nominated male performer to date. He had already won three career Oscars, and if he had won the Best Actor Oscar this year, he would have tied Katharine Hepburn's long-time record of four Oscar wins.
2002
Controversial white rapper Eminem entered the mainstream with the release of his movie 8 Mile (2002). It was the first film with an Oscar-winning rap/hip-hop song ("Lose Yourself").
2002
Chicago (2002) became the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver! (1968) - 34 years earlier.
2002
This year marked the last year of Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein's 11-year run of consecutive Best Picture nominees (from 1992-2002) - the longest streak for any studio since the Academy limited the number of Best Picture nominees to five in 1944. [The streak ended with no Best Picture nomination for Miramax's Cold Mountain (2003).]
2002
The first in a series of popular Robert Ludlum spy novels adapted for the big screen was released, starring Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. It was The Bourne Identity (2002), followed by The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
2002
Die Another Day (2002) was Pierce Brosnan’s last (fourth) appearance as James Bond. It opened in theaters around the world almost exactly 40 years after the first Bond movie Dr. No (1962) was first released in the UK. This was the first Bond film with an African-American female (and Oscar-winner) as the lead Bond girl. Halle Berry, a major superstar in her own right, was given equal billing with Pierce Brosnan, a first for a Bond film. She made a stunning entrance in an orange bikini, echoing Ursula Andress' first screen appearance in Dr. No (1962).
2002
The # 1 highest-grossing (domestic) film of the year was Spider-Man (2002) at $403.7 million. The # 2 film was The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) at $340 million. Sam Raimi's comic-book blockbuster Spider-Man (2002) was also the first film to make over $100 million in its opening weekend. Previous records were held by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) - which each took five days (instead of three days) to reach $100 million.
2002
George Lucas' second Star Wars pre-quel, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), the fifth film in the hugely successful Star Wars series, was the first big-budget major Hollywood film shot entirely with digital video cameras (at 24 fps) - best screened in theaters equipped with digital projectors. In November, it opened on 58 IMAX screens. (See entry above for Vidocq (2001, Fr.)). With a production budget of $115 million, it grossed $80 million in its opening weekend (May, 2002). It opened six months later in about 60 IMAX theatres. It then grossed $302 million (domestic) and $649 million (worldwide), eventually earning $310 million (domestic lifetime gross).
2002
Three of the four top-grossing films (domestic) of the year were sequels: Spider-Man (2002) at $404 million - with its own profitable sequels in 2004 and 2007, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) at $340 million, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) at $302 million, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) at $262 million. In eighth place was the sequel Men in Black II (2002) at $190.4 million.
2002
In May 2002, director/writer/producer/star Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine (2002) was the first documentary to compete in the Cannes Film Festival's main competition in 46 years, and was the unanimous winner of the festival's 55th Anniversary Prize. It was also the first documentary film to be nominated and then win in 2003 the Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for Best Original Screenplay. It was also the Best Documentary Feature Academy Award-winner. It was also the highest-grossing documentary of all time, soon to be surpassed by Moore's own Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004).
2002
The 96-minute long film Russian Ark (aka Russkiy kovcheg) (2002) from director Aleksandr Sokurov was the longest single-shot feature-length narrative film (with no edits or cuts) in movie history, as the camera roamed through the halls of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg during 19th century Russia. It was also the first feature film to be shot entirely in uncompressed high-definition video. Its tagline described: "2000 cast members, 3 orchestras, 33 rooms, 300 years, ALL IN ONE TAKE." [Note: Hitchcock's 80 minute-long Rope (1948) was only edited to appear like a single shot.]
2002
In the second part of the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), CGI-imagery was combined with "motion capturing" (of the movements and expressions of actor Andy Serkis, who also served as the voice) to produce the barely-seen, supporting character of Gollum (originally known as Sméagol) - noted for saying: "Myyy PRECIOUSSS!" A motion capture suit recorded the actor's movements that were then applied to the digital character.
2002
Kelly Clarkson, a 20-year-old waitress from Texas, won season one of the reality-TV singing talent show American Idol, on September 4, 2002. The next year, Clarkson and the second-place finisher Justin Guarini starred together in the widely-panned musical film From Justin to Kelly (2003).
2002
Pop singer Britney Spears appeared in her debut film, Crossroads (2002), often criticized as a cliched vanity project. It came out at the same time as bubblegum cohort Mandy Moore's debut film, A Walk to Remember (2002). Moore won both the Teen Choice Awards' and MTV Movie Awards' Best Breakthrough Female Performance, topping Spears' effort in both cases. It was a memorable year for chick-flicks - Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) was also released, starring Ashley Judd and Sandra Bullock.
2002
The much anticipated online movies-on-demand venture formed by five major Hollywood studios (Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros.) was launched in 2002 with the establishment of MovieLink. This marked the first time a large supply of recent, popular films were available legally on the Internet via a broadband connection.
2002
Hero (2002) (aka Ying Xiong) was the first foreign language film to open at # 1 in the US box-office (it debuted in late summer of 2004) with $18 million in its opening weekend. It remains the # 3 highest-grossing Foreign Language film of all time at $53.7 million, behind Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) at $128 million, and Life Is Beautiful (1998, It.) at $57.5 million.
2002
According to the Guinness Book of Records, World Wrestling Federation's "The Rock" (Dwayne Johnson) received a record salary for his first-time, leading man, top-billed performance as the title character Mathayus in the prequel spin-off The Scorpion King (2002), part of The Mummy franchise series.
2002
Irish-born actor Richard Harris died in London at the age of 72, on October 25, 2002. He had received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actor - for This Sporting Life (1963, UK) and The Field (1990, UK).


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