Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 2006

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
Introduction | Pre-1900s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

The Year 2006
Year
Event and Significance
2006
The first 9/11 related feature film from Hollywood, on the 5th year anniversary, was released in April. It was Paul Greengrass' and Universal's real-time drama United 93 (2006). It was one of filmdom's quickest responses to a disaster, compared to the 7-year gap between the start of the Vietnam War and the release of The Green Berets (1968), the 7 to 9-year gap between the first reported AIDS death and the release of the comedy Casual Sex? (1988) - the first studio film mentioning the risks of AIDS (from having casual sex) and Longtime Companion (1990), the 8-year gap between the first Persian Gulf War and the release of Three Kings (1999), the 9-year gap between Princess Diana's tragic death in 1997 and the controversy surrounding it regarding the British royal family in The Queen (2006), and the 10-year gap between the beginning of Rwandan intertribal genocide and the release of Hotel Rwanda (2004). Another 9/11 related film was Paramount's and Oliver Stone's World Trade Center that opened in late summer, and told the story of two Port Authority cops (Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena) who were among the last rescue workers to be pulled from the rubble.
2006
In January, 2006, the Walt Disney Co. announced the purchase of longtime partner Pixar Animation Studios Inc. for $7.6 billion in stock, after a twelve year relationship in which Disney co-financed and distributed Pixar's animated films and split the profits (their previous deal would expire in June 2006 after Pixar delivered Cars (2006)).
2006
The second film in the Pirates series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) became the highest-grossing (domestic) hit of the year, at $423 million, soundly beating out second place Night at the Museum (2006) at $251 million, and the animated Cars (2006) at $244 million.
2006
After five previous Oscar nominations for Best Director, the Academy finally awarded 64 year-old Martin Scorsese his first Oscar as Best Director for the Best Picture-winning film of the year, The Departed (2006). The film was the first - and only - remake of a foreign film to win Best Picture. [It was a loosely-based remake of the action film Infernal Affairs (2002, HK) (aka Mou Gaan Dou, or Wu Jian Dao).]
2006
Peter O’Toole received his eighth Best Actor nomination for his role in Venus (2006). He lost for the eighth time, when Forest Whitaker won the Oscar for The Last King of Scotland (2006). O'Toole's role was as Maurice, a dying, impotent, yet lecherous and lustful has-been actor who had a platonic March-December romance with his best friend's teenaged grand-niece (Jodie Whittaker). He had already received seven unsuccessful Best Actor nominations stretching back to 1962. O'Toole's loss put him in the record books as the actor with the most nominations without winning. O'Toole was tied with Richard Burton with seven losing nominations before his Venus (2006) nomination.
2006
Maverick film-maker Robert Altman died at the age of 81 in late 2006, with films stretching from the early 1950s to the mid-2000s. His works were trademarked by large ensemble casts and overlapping, inter-weaving sequences and dialogue, as evidenced in Nashville (1975) and The Player (1992). Other notable films included M*A*S*H (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Short Cuts (1993), and Gosford Park (2001). Although he received five Oscar nominations for Best Director (from 1970 to 2001), and one for Best Picture (Gosford Park (2001)), he never won an Oscar.
2006
57 year-old Meryl Streep received her incredible fourteenth Oscar nomination, her first since Adaptation (2002). She was honored with a Best Actress nomination for her role as   ruthless and tyrannical style-magazine editor Miranda Priestly (a thinly veiled caricature of real-life Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour) in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Two-time Oscar winner Streep's 14th nomination padded her record as the most-nominated performer ever, ahead of both Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson with 12 nominations.
2006
Suffering from thyroid cancer, influential film-critic and reviewer Roger Ebert made his final appearance in the summer of 2006 on his Disney-produced weekly show Ebert & Roeper, co-hosted with another Chicago-based reviewer Richard Roeper since 2000. [Roeper had permanently joined Ebert on the show in 2000 after original co-host Gene Siskel died in 1999.] After Ebert dropped out due to health issues, the show was again renamed At the Movies With Ebert & Roeper in 2007. Roeper co-hosted with a series of celebrity guest hosts, including Jay Leno, Kevin Smith and John Mellencamp. Eventually, Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips became the permanent fill-in for Ebert. The show continued until late summer 2008, when another contract dispute occurred, and Roeper and Ebert became no longer associated with the show. At the Movies was relaunched by Disney in the fall of 2008, featuring Ben Lyons (son of film critic Jeffrey Lyons) and Ben Mankiewicz as the new hosts.
2006
44-year-old Steve Irwin (TV's Crocodile Hunter) died from cardiac arrest on September 4, 2006, after a stingray barb lodged in his heart while he was filming a TV documentary on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
2006
During the awards season leading up to the Oscars in early March of 2006, director Ang Lee's western cowboy love story Brokeback Mountain (2005) became the most honored movie in cinematic history, noted for its oft-quoted line: "I wish I knew how to quit you" - referred to its gay-themed content. After an intense publicity campaign, it was regarded as a groundbreaking 'gay' love story of two cowboys that was reaching mainstream audiences and changing the way Hollywood would forever portray gay characters - it also raised consciousness about gay rights. Before the Oscar awards, it also had more Best Picture and Director wins than previous Oscar winners Schindler's List (1993) and Titanic (1997) combined. Just to name a few, the heavily-favored Brokeback won various awards at the Golden Globes, the British Academy (BAFTA), the Producers, Directors and Screen Actors Guilds, the Writers Guild of America, the NY Film Critic's Circle, the LA Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review, and the Independent Spirit Awards. Its eight Academy Award nominations resulted in three Oscar wins: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Director. In a major upset, it lost the Best Picture race to the racial drama underdog Crash. It was theorized that Academy voters (mostly older and urban-dwelling) were uncomfortable with its gay themes, and didn't match the film's demographics (Crash's multi-charactered story was set in Los Angeles during a 36-hour period).
2006
Al Gore's film about global warming titled An Inconvenient Truth (2006) grossed $24.1 million - setting a record as the third-highest grossing non-IMAX/concert political documentary ever made. It was nominated for two Oscars and won both: Best Original Song ("I Need to Wake Up" by Melissa Etheridge) (the first win in the category for a documentary), and Best Documentary Feature.
2006
Director Irwin Winkler's R-rated war drama Home of the Brave (2006), a story of four American soldiers (Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, Brian Presley, and 50 Cent) on their last mission in Iraq when they were ambushed. Subsequently, they suffered both physical and emotional trauma upon readjustment to civilian life in Spokane, Washington. It was the first major Hollywood feature film to depict returning soldiers from the war in Iraq. Made on a budget of $12 million, the film was a serious flop, earning only about $500,000 (worldwide), and only $52,000 domestically. It recouped some of its losses from the sale of DVDs, at $4.7 million.
2006
Electronic Arts released The Godfather: The Game, a licensed, mature-rated action/adventure video game inspired by the all-time classic Francis Ford Coppola cinematic masterpiece The Godfather (1972), in which the game-player takes the role of a young man just entering the Corleone family who must work his way to the top, in the world of 1940s New York City. Much of the character likenesses and dialogue from the film were transferred to the game, so all of the lead characters were "voiced" by the actors from the film (except for Al Pacino's voice as Michael Corleone), including a now-deceased Marlon Brando in the role of Don Vito Corleone. Electronic Arts obtained the video game rights to The Godfather from Paramount, which owned the rights to the film property. The game received positive reviews, despite director Coppola's disdain for the game on principle upon its announcement before production in early 2005.
2006
The traditional model of theatrical movie distribution was being challenged with a triple-release strategy -- normally, the progression went from theatres, to hotels, to in-flight showings, to DVD a few months later. Director Steven Soderbergh's experimental, independent, R-rated, 73 minute film Bubble (2005), shot on hi-definition video, was the first motion picture released in theatres, while simultaneously available on pay-per-view cable channel HDNet and on DVD (four days later). Likewise, the dramatic comedy 10 Items or Less (2006), the first feature film released by actor/producer Morgan Freeman's joint-venture broadband entertainment service called ClickStar, was the first film in film history to debut in theatres and then become legally and simultaneously available via broadband within two weeks of national theatrical release.
2006

Sony's new James Bond star -- 37-year old British actor Daniel Craig was appointed to succeed Pierce Brosnan in 2005 as the 6th James Bond. He appeared in the franchise's highly-successful 21st film (directed by Martin Campbell), a $150-million-plus expensive caper titled Casino Royale (2006) -- the title of the first Bond book that Ian Fleming wrote. He was the first blonde Bond. Craig's appearance marked a resurgence or rebirth for the long-running franchise, as a rugged anti-hero who was leaner, meaner, and darker. It became (unadjusted for inflation) the highest-grossing Bond film of all time (to date), even surpassing Craig's next film Quantum of Solace (2008) at $586 million (worldwide).

Another new star, Brandon Routh, a 'new' Superman character, starred in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (2006).

2006
Director Bryan Singer's and Warners' Superman Returns (2006) became the world's first live-action Hollywood feature with selected sequences (about 20 minutes) converted from 2D to IMAX 3D. With a rumored $270M budget (and only $200M in domestic returns), it became one of the biggest budgeted flops despite positive reviews and audience reaction. Part of the blockbuster's massive budget was because of the many red-lighted Superman Returns projects with many different scripts, directors and stars (Kevin Smith, Nicolas Cage), etc.
2006
TV history was made when Katie Couric (formerly the anchor of NBC's Today Show) debuted on September 5, 2006 as the first female solo anchor of a weekday evening major TV-network news broadcast, dubbed the CBS Evening News (with Katie Couric).
2006
70% of teens said that they get their information about sex from the media - mostly from films.
2006
The American Film Institute (AFI) released the ninth list in its continuing series, 100 Years...100 Cheers, to recognize 100 films as the most "inspirational" in cinematic history. Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946) was named the most "inspirational" film of all time.
2006
Director Ron Howard's much-anticipated, big-screen religious conspiracy thriller The Da Vinci Code (2006), with the tagline "Seek the Truth," was faithfully based upon Dan Brown's best-selling fictional book in 2003. The film was accused of being ludicrous, inaccurate and unhistorical with far too many plot twists. One item that appeared fabricated was the existence of an ancient secret society called the Priory of Sion, which was actually created in 1956 by a man named Pierre Plantard. The main criticism of the film was that it unfairly mixed real historical fact into a fictional narrative. Several Catholic and Opus Dei groups (portrayed as a murderous cult), as well as conservative Christian groups, called for a boycott, mostly during the making of the film and during initial screenings, accusing it of blasphemy. Even albinos were offended by the film, and lobbied for changes to the way the film portrayed them. Yet the tedious film was received lukewarmly as a convoluted, flat and stultified bore, although some liked the thriller aspects of the film.
2006
Evangelical writer Ted Dekker's best-selling novel was adapted to make Thr3e (2006), a horror mystery-thriller directed by Robby Henson. It was unique in that it was a "Christian" horror film, the first theatrical release from Fox Faith (within 20th Century Fox), without the usual graphic violence, blood and gore, profanity and sex typical of the genre. It appeared as an inferior knock-off of another religious-themed serial killer movie Se7en (1995) and various portions of Fight Club (1999), Identity (2003), Adaptation (2002) and High Tension (2003).
2006
The Disney Channel's TV movie High School Musical (2006) was their most successful original movie ever produced. The film's soundtrack was the best-selling album in the United States for the year. The plot combined elements of Grease and Romeo and Juliet in its tale of two high school junior sweethearts (portrayed by Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens) who first met during vacation. They were brought together again when they both won lead parts in the high school musical, but trouble brewed since they were from rival cliques.
2006
John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus (2006) was screened both at the Cannes Film Festival, and at the Toronto International Film Festival - where it was the "most explicit" or sexually-graphic film ever screened. It also had the widest release of any film showing unsimulated sex. It was screened in theaters nationwide, including mainstream cinemas and multiplexes in malls.
2006
The first YouTube video was uploaded in late April of 2005 -- entitled Me at the Zoo -- but the site didn't officially launch until November 2005. By mid-2006 (in its first full year of service), over 100 million videos were viewed daily on YouTube.com, and it became the most prominent and popular participatory site for uploading, viewing, and sharing self-produced video clips. Anyone could produce and distribute their own video-media. However, many of them were short clips from copyrighted movies despite their being officially banned by YouTube's terms of service. In late 2006, YouTube was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion (stock). More and more, consumers were viewing video content from online sources, such as YouTube, and relative newcomers Hulu.com, Amazon.com and Apple's iTunes - all examples of new-media revenue streams.
2006
These years promised to offer more franchise film sequels (some still being titled) - a lucrative part of a studio's business (when coupled with theatrical revenues, DVD sales, and cross-promotions), such as Mission: Impossible III (2006) (the third film in the series since 1996), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) (originally titled X3, the third film in the series since 2000), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) (the third film in the series since 2001), Batman Begins (2005) (the fifth non-animated feature film since 1989), and Superman Returns (2006) (the fifth film in the series since 1978).
2006
The third film in the series, Mission: Impossible III (2006) failed to be the action-thriller blockbuster that it was destined to be - it had a $47.7 million opening weekend at U.S. theaters, below the $65 million to $70 million that had been projected by some box office trackers. Speculation arose that this was, in part, due to cocky mega-star Tom Cruise's erratic behavior and off-screen public relations disasters, evidenced on NBC's Today Show with Matt Lauer, and the couch-jumping incident on the Oprah Winfrey Show. His strident Scientology advocacy and his denouncements in May 2005 against Brooke Shields regarding her use of anti-depressants for post-partum depression were also the focus of criticisms. At one time, 44 year-old Cruise was the industry's most successful and best-paid actor, but in August was dropped by parent company Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone and by his film studio, Paramount Pictures for his "unacceptable conduct" - after a 14 year production pact.
2006
In response to strong demand, LucasFilms finally released the long-awaited release of the unedited, uncut, and original theatrical versions of the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD (sold for the first-time as stand-alone films).
2006
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) broke many records with new benchmarks - it had the largest opening weekend (of three days) ever at $135.6 million, surpassing the previous all-time record holders: Spider-Man (2002) which took in $114.8 million in its first weekend, and Spider-Man 2 (2004) which took in $115.8 million in its opening weekend. Dead Man's Chest also took in $55.8 million on its first day (Friday) to beat the previous single-day record of $50 million, set the previous year by Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (2005). With $44.7 million on its second day (Saturday), Dead Man's Chest also became the first movie to top $100 million in just two days. It also reached $200 million and $300 million in grosses faster than any film in history (8 and 16 days respectively). And on August 20, it became the seventh film ever to cross $400 million at the domestic box office. Spectacularly, it was only the third movie in history to hit the billion dollar mark worldwide (at $1,065,300,000).
2006
The biggest box-office films of the years were in several basic categories: CGI animations (Cars, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Over the Hedge, and Happy Feet - another penguin film), comedy films often featuring marquee comedians (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, The Break-Up, Talladega Nights, The Devil Wears Prada, and Click), films based on international franchises (Casino Royale, The Da Vinci Code), and a few remarkable sequels (X-Men: The Last Stand, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and Superman Returns). By the end of the year, Hollywood grossed $9.1 billion domestically (up 3% over the previous year), and $14.6 billion worldwide (up 11% over the previous year).
2006
Signaling a future trend, both Apple and Amazon began offering full-length, on-demand movies on their websites.
2006
The first of two controversial yet strangely popular mockumentary comedies was released by Sacha Baron Cohen: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) - about a fictitious anti-Semitic, sexist and racist Kazakh reporter, who traveled through the US and interacted with Americans in unscripted situations. His follow-up film was Bruno (2009) - about a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion journalist.
2006
It was announced that actress Reese Witherspoon would attain the highest salary for a female for one film, becoming the highest paid actress of all time, for her $29 million deal to star/produce the horror thriller Our Family Trouble (2011). Her salary beat the previous record of $25 million held by Julia Roberts for Mona Lisa Smile (2003).


Previous Page Next Page