New Line revives with proven titles

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New Line Cinema virtually sat out summer 2006, when its top film, the infamous "Snakes on a Plane," grossed just $34 million. But this season, the studio, overseen by co-chairmen and co-CEOs Bob Shaye and Michael Lynn, lurched back to life.

The company's long-standing involvement with John Waters — it released his "Pink Flamingos" in 1972 — paid off in a big way: Waters' 1988 "Hairspray" begat the 2002 Broadway musical (which New Line was involved in producing), which then bounced back to the big screen as a new, candy-colored movie musical, boasting an eclectic cast that included John Travolta, Queen Latifah and newcomer Nikki Blonsky. One of the few films of the summer that attracted repeat visitors, which New Line encouraged with special sing-along screenings, "Hairspray" claimed $112.4 million, eventually edging ahead of the recent "Dreamgirls," which grossed $103.3 million.

New Line also persisted in assembling "Rush Hour 3," reuniting director Brett Ratner with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan six years after "Rush Hour 2." While "Rush 3" became the 19th film of the year to cross the $100 million mark, its $122.7 million fell well short of "Rush Hour 2's" $226 million.

New Line also picked up some added coin during the summer from the cat-and-mouse thriller "Fracture," starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling. The April release grossed nearly $18 million of its $39 domestic gross as it played itself out in May.
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