The Decade in Film: A Timeline
1/10: America's top Internet-service provider announces plans to acquire the world's largest media conglomerate. At $182 billion in stock and debt, AOL + Time Warner = the largest deal in history.
8/01: Time Warner announces that three million Matrix DVDs have been sold, solidifying its position as the bestselling DVD of all time.
10th ANNUAL FILM CRITICS' POLL
Film Poll Introduction
The 2009 Readers' Film Poll
Film Poll 2009 Full Results
J. Hoberman's Top 10 of 2009
The Decade in Film: A Timeline
State of NYC's Indie Film Business
Gallery: The 25 Best Films of 2009
Where Are They Now: Poll Winners Past
Film Poll 2009: The Abridged Results
1/01: 2001 arrives, 22 months after Stanley Kubrick dies.
6/15: Paramount opens Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which becomes the top-grossing movie based on a video game.
9/03: Pauline Kael dies at age 82.
9/12: Warner Bros. acknowledges the fall of the WTC with the postponement of Collateral Damage.
11/16: Warner Bros.' Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone opens, the first installment of a franchise on track to gross $2 billion by 2010.
1: Two Boots Pioneer Theater begins weekend midnight screenings of Donnie Darko that continue for 26 months, through March 2004.
3/24: For her performance in Monster's Ball, Halle Berry becomes the first African-American woman to win the Best Actress Oscar.
12/31: Four out of five top worldwide grossing films are sequels, in what will be Hollywood's top-grossing year of the decade: LOTR: The Two Towers, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Men in Black II. The fifth is Spider-Man, which will spin off sequels in Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007).
3/09: Avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage dies. A year later, he appears in the Oscar necrology.
5/30: Disney presents Finding Nemo, Pixar's greatest hit and the highest-grossing G-rated movie of all time.
8/01: Gigli tanks, Bennifer crashes and burns, paving the way for Brangelina.
8/27: Five months into the Iraq War, the Pentagon holds an informational screening of The Battle of Algiers.
9/08: Nazi pin-up girl and documentarian Leni Riefenstahl dies at 101 in Berlin.
10/07: Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected governor of California.
10/19: Forty-seven years after he began shooting, Ken Jacobs premieres his epic Star Spangled to Death at the New York Film Festival.
2/27: With more pre-sales than any movie in history, The Passion of the Christ opens for Lent and becomes the highest-grossing independent film of all time.
5/24: Fahrenheit 9/11 snags the Palme d'or at Cannes, sets the record for documentary grosses, and wins John Kerry the 2004 election.
6/05: Ronald Reagan, star of Bedtime for Bonzo, dies in Bel-Air at 93.
8/08: The last living adult star of silent movies, Fay Wray, dies at age 96.
10/29: Saw opens, the first of six installments—with a seventh slated for 2010.
2/02: Pierce Brosnan resigns as James Bond; six months later, Daniel Craig is named as his replacement.
2/25: Diary of a Mad Black Woman introduces Tyler Perry, high school dropout and one-man media conglomerate, to moviegoers. Perry makes lots of money, introduces a confused film industry to the idea of a middle-class black audience.
4/23: First YouTube Video uploaded.
6/17: IFC Center opens with Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know.
8/19: The 40-Year-Old Virgin opens. The Judd Apatow era begins.
9/30: The Weinstein brothers leave Miramax (which remains with Disney).
12/12: Paramount buys DreamWorks for $1.6 billion.
1/24: Disney announces acquisition of Pixar for approximately $7.4 billion.
3/05: Brokeback Mountain loses Best Picture Oscar to Crash.
3/14: A History of Violence is the last major Hollywood film to be released on VHS.
7/06: After 20 years, Roger Ebert makes his final appearance on At the Movies.
11/20: Robert Altman dies.
12/09: The ultimate cult film, Jacques Rivette's 14-hour Out 1, has its New York premiere at the Museum of the Moving Image, 35 years after it was shown in Paris.
12/15: The first Hollywood film to depict the war in Iraq, Irwin Winkler's Home of the Brave, opens for the holidays and flops.
2/25: Al Gore wins an Oscar for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
2/25: Netflix announces the billionth DVD delivery. Two years later, the company announces its two billionth.
3/30: Twenty-eight years after it played the Whitney Museum, Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep opens at the IFC Center and is acclaimed as a modern American classic.
4: Premiere publishes its last issue—with Will Ferrell (promoting Blades of Glory) on the cover.
5/27: 4 Months, 3 Week and 2 Days (a/k/a The Romanian Abortion Film) wins the Palme d'or at Cannes.
7/30: Art-house maestros Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni die on the same day.
11/05: Hollywood writers go on strike, through 2/12/08.
1/22: Heath Ledger, 28, is found dead of an overdose in his Soho apartment.
7/18: The Dark Knight sets opening weekend record, grossing $158,411,483, en route to worldwide grosses in excess of $1 billion.
10/06: Paramount sells DreamWorks.
10/13: A week after the Dow suffers a five-day 1,874-point decline, 20th Century Fox announces Wall Street sequel.
11/07: Two Boots Pioneer Theater closes.
12/11: Manoel de Oliveira turns 100, and starts working on Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl, his 15th feature of the 21st century.
1/17: Kim's Video, in the East Village, closes.
2/21: Heath Ledger wins posthumous Oscar for Dark Knight, which has supplanted Return of the King as the decade's top-grossing movie in North America.
6/10: Andrew Sarris, the dean of American film critics, is laid off by The New York Observer.
8/31: Disney spends $4 billion to buy Marvel Entertainment.
9/26: After 31 years on the lam, Roman Polanski is arrested in Switzerland.
11/09: The New York Times estimates Avatar's price tag at nearly a half-billion dollars.
11/20: The Twilight Saga: New Moon has the biggest opening day of all time.
12/09: The Merger of the Century ends: Time Warner and AOL split.
Research: Anna Bak-Kvapil
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