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August 1967 — With $1,000, Bob Shaye founds New Line Cinema in his Greenwich Village apartment. He soon hits his stride showing “Reefer Madness” on college campuses.
July 1970 — Roger Corman’s New World Pictures releases “Angels Die Hard.” New World will give directors Jonathan Demme and Ron Howard their first breaks.
May 1974 — Yale classmates Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz start Troma Studios, which has released 1000 cult films, including “The Toxic Avenger.”
June 1979 — Harvey Weinstein sells his share of a concert promotion business to form Miramax with his brother, Bob. The company begins distributing concert films.
March 1981 — The American Film Marketing Assn. hosts its first AFM at the Westwood Marquis. Now 180-plus members strong, it hosts 600 screenings each year.
October 1984 — Hemdale Film hits the big time with James Cameron’s “The Terminator,” which pulls in more than $78 million worldwide.
January 1985 — The U.S. Film Festival links itself with the Sundance Institute. Six years later, the event officially becomes the Sundance Film Festival.
June 1985 — Norman Lear’s Embassy Pictures, which produced 1967’s “The Graduate” and 1981’s “Escape From New York,” sells to Coca-Cola, which also owns Columbia Pictures.
August 1987 — Vestron Video releases the $6 million “Dirty Dancing,” which grosses $170 million worldwide. Vestron goes belly-up four years later.
January 1989 — Steven Soderbergh’s “sex, lies and videotape” wins the audience award at Sundance before grossing $24 million for Miramax.
December 1990 — Producer Lawrence Bender passes Quentin Tarantino’s script “Reservoir Dogs” to his acting teacher’s ex, who gives it to Harvey Keitel. Keitel helps find financing.
January 1991 — Tom Bernard, Michael Barker and Marcie Bloom co-found Sony Pictures Classics. They have since released almost 300 films.
March 1992 — “Silence of the Lambs” wins five Oscars and gives Orion Pictures back-to-back best picture wins (after “Dances With Wolves”). It is later sold to MGM after a long bankruptcy struggle.
May 1993 — Disney acquires Miramax for an estimated $60 million. The Weinsteins agree to stay on and run the company.
January 1994 — Kevin Smith’s “Clerks,” made for an estimated $27,500, wins the Filmmakers Trophy at Sundance.
August 1997 – Fox Searchlight’s “The Full Monty” opens, eventually grossing more than $250 million worldwide and scoring a best picture Oscar nom.
November 1998 — Lionsgate registers www.blairwitch.com. Made for $35,000, “The Blair Witch Project” earns more than $140 million domestically. The site remains active today.
March 1999 — Harvey Weinstein accepts his first best picture Oscar, for “Shakespeare in Love,” after dropping a reported $10 million campaigning.
February 2003 — For the first time, all five best picture Oscar nominees are from nonmajors.
April 2003 — IFC Films’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” ends its yearlong run in U.S. theaters with a gross of more than $241 million, the largest indie gross ever, until …
October 2003 — Newmarket Films announces it will release
Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” which grosses $371 million domestically ($612 million worldwide).
March 2004 — New Line’s “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” tops $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales, the most successful nonmajor film of all time.
March 2005 — The Weinsteins announce they are leaving Miramax. In November, “Derailed” unspools under the new Weinstein Co. banner.
January 2008 — Fox Searchlight’s “Juno” passes $100 million domestically — a first for the specialty house, established in 1994 — on its way to $229 million worldwide.
February 2008 — Time Warner announces that New Line Cinema will be rolled into Warner Bros. Pictures. In May, Warner Independent Pictures and Picturehouse are shuttered.
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