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Paramount reaches for 'Partridge Family,' 'Bad News Bears'

Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 at 11:19 AM Central

by John Couture

Paramount Pictures is a studio desperate for a hit. After cashing in on the ultimate golden ticket when Titanic re-wrote the box office record books, Paramount has been playing it safe the last 6 years.

They only had two films surpass the $100 million mark last year (The Italian Job and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), one film in 2002 (The Sum of All Fears) and 2001 (Tomb Raider. Since Titanic fell to the bottom of the ocean, Paramount has only 2 of the top 50 grossers (Mission: Impossible 2 and What Women Want).

Earlier this year, Paramount made a declaration that their conservative days were behind them and that they were going to aggressively sign the top talent in the business and make bigger movies. Last weekend's success of Mean Girls is certainly a step in the right direction, already Paramount's top grossing movie of 2004, but word on the production front brings cause for concern.

Earlier this week, Paramount announced that they were remaking The Bad News Bears with Billy Bob Thornton taking the role made famous by Walter Matthau. Today, word comes that Paramount has optioned the rights to a big screen adaptation of the TV series The Partridge Family. Ironically, Paramount also owns the rights to The Brady Bunch, the ultra competitive 1970s TV rivals of The Partridge Family.

While the success of these recycled projects remains to be seen, it appears that far more unique movies in the vein of The Sixth Sense, Shrek and The Matrix are consistently rising to the top of the box office.