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2003 Year

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BUSINESS
January 1, 2004 | Jeff Leeds, Times Staff Writer
The recording industry's sales sank again in 2003, but the rate of decline slowed. Total U.S. album sales dipped about 3.6% to an estimated 656 million, compared with an 11% decline the year before, research firm Nielsen SoundScan reported. Sales of CDs, which account for 96% of the market, slid 2% to about 636 million albums, compared with a 9% drop the previous year. Overall album sales have plunged about 16% since peaking in 2000, according to Nielsen SoundScan data.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 24, 2004 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
The average cost of making and marketing a movie soared above $100 million for the first time last year, according to data released at the annual ShoWest theater owners' convention, which got underway Tuesday. Production and marketing costs climbed to an average of $102.8 million for the Motion Picture Assn. of America's seven member studios.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 5, 2004 | Randy Lewis, Times Staff Writer
Bruce Springsteen, thanks chiefly to the top-grossing concert tour of 2003, edges out rapper 50 Cent to top Calendar's seventh annual Ultimate Top 10, a list that combines album and concert ticket sales to show which artists U.S. pop fans spent the most money on. The results reflect stylistic diversity at the top, from classic rock (Springsteen) to hard-core rap (50 Cent), pop (Celine Dion) and country (Toby Keith). Springsteen's sales totaled $132.
BUSINESS
January 8, 2004 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
The picture looked bleak for mutual fund investors 12 months ago, with the stock market smarting from three years of losses and war with Iraq looming on the horizon. In reality, everything was starting to fall into place for a dramatic recovery on Wall Street.
BUSINESS
December 29, 2002 | Sallie Hofmeister, Times Staff Writer
Many media pundits predict that next year will be a time for rebuilding. But just as surely, it will be a time for rebelling. Granted, tremendous turmoil in the media sector this year is likely to lead to a search for stability in 2003, as leading media companies such as AOL Time Warner Inc., Vivendi Universal and Walt Disney Co. focus intently on recovery rather than rapid expansion through acquisitions.
SPORTS
December 28, 2003 | Mike Penner, Times Staff Writer
Let's face it, Los Angeles, our national image is in the tank. The rest of the country firmly believes we're nothing but a bunch of manicured, pedicured, mud-wrapped, self-absorbed suntans -- and the fact that our new governor is an ex-body builder action-movie star currently on location in Sacramento doesn't exactly help our case.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2002 | Christopher Knight
Bill Viola Video artist The mystery of human consciousness has been at the center of Viola's art for 30 years. Thirteen video works, all new since the L.A. artist's terrific midcareer survey at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1997, make up the international touring show "Bill Viola: The Passions," organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum (Jan. 24-Apr. 27).
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Police in San Diego reported 64 homicides last year, an increase of 17 from 2002. Police said many of the deaths were linked to robberies, gang activity or domestic violence. Authorities said the 2003 increase follows a year that had one of the lowest homicide rates in the city in two decades. In 1991, San Diego, the nation's seventh-largest city, recorded 166 slayings.
SPORTS
January 1, 2004 | MIKE TERRY
This past year wasn't a great one for sequels in Hollywood (except for the "Lord of the Rings" franchise) or sports. But the first sequel of 2004 holds great promise. No. 1 Connecticut and No. 4 Duke do battle again Saturday. Last year the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 and the Huskies No. 2 and both were undefeated when they met on Duke's home floor. Connecticut won, 77-65.
WORLD
December 19, 2003 | Maggie Farley, Times Staff Writer
Secretary-General Kofi Annan would like to talk about something other than Iraq. In a year-end news conference, the U.N. leader lamented Thursday that the focus on that conflict had taken attention away from other major problems that cause more daily insecurity than do terrorism or unconventional weapons. "Let's get our priorities right in 2004," he said. "Let's make 2004 a year of kept promises." Annan called HIV/AIDS, which kills 8,000 people a day, "the real weapon of mass destruction."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Police in San Diego reported 64 homicides last year, an increase of 17 from 2002. Police said many of the deaths were linked to robberies, gang activity or domestic violence. Authorities said the 2003 increase follows a year that had one of the lowest homicide rates in the city in two decades. In 1991, San Diego, the nation's seventh-largest city, recorded 166 slayings.
BUSINESS
January 6, 2004 | From Bloomberg News
U.S. corporate earnings led by companies including Merrill Lynch & Co., Intel Corp. and ChevronTexaco Corp. more than doubled to a record in 2003, buoyed by greater consumer spending, job reductions and a weakening dollar. Companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index had net income of $474 billion for the year, based on a Thomson Financial estimate that fourth-quarter profits rose 22%.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 5, 2004 | Randy Lewis, Times Staff Writer
Bruce Springsteen, thanks chiefly to the top-grossing concert tour of 2003, edges out rapper 50 Cent to top Calendar's seventh annual Ultimate Top 10, a list that combines album and concert ticket sales to show which artists U.S. pop fans spent the most money on. The results reflect stylistic diversity at the top, from classic rock (Springsteen) to hard-core rap (50 Cent), pop (Celine Dion) and country (Toby Keith). Springsteen's sales totaled $132.
BUSINESS
January 3, 2004 | From Associated Press
Juries handed out fewer big-ticket verdict awards to individual plaintiffs in 2003, according to an annual survey. The value of the 10 biggest jury awards fell to $1.27 billion, a six-year low, Boston-based Lawyers Weekly USA said. The highest-paying verdict was $254.6 million, the smallest top award since 1993.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2004 | Tom Petruno, Times Staff Writer
Wall Street ought to win a big award for inclusiveness in 2003. The equity market rally was good for just about every type of stock. Of 100 industry sectors within the blue-chip Standard & Poor's 500 index, 96 rose last year. On the New York Stock Exchange, 88% of shares gained for the year. On Nasdaq, 87% were winners. But in 2004 investors are expected to become pickier about where they put their money.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2004 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
While movie fans may remember 2003 as the year of a brave clown fish, a loopy pirate and a reluctant king who saves Middle-earth, number crunchers at the studios may not look back on this year as fondly. When adjusted for inflation, admissions appear to be down as much as 4% this year, and domestic box office revenue is down for the first time in more than a decade. The domestic box office gross for 2003 is expected to be about $8.9 billion, compared with last year's record-breaking $9.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 21, 2003 | Richard Cromelin
Hip-hop and mainstream pop might dominate the sales charts these days, but with the exception of OutKast, neither genre registered strongly with The Times' 18 pop music contributors. Their votes went mainly to the new garage-rock generation represented by the White Stripes and Raveonettes and to the singer-songwriter side of the alt-rock spectrum. Albums are awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second, etc. *--* Artist Album Label Pts. No. 1st 1.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2004 | Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
It's been a peripatetic year up on the big screen. In movie after movie, a theme of restlessness and migration has emerged, in content and form (consider "American Splendor," which so ingeniously blurred the lines between live action and animation, fiction and documentary). Movies have always been a lagging indicator of social change, but it finally looks as if a 21st century cinema is beginning to emerge, one that emphatically refuses to stay in one place.
SPORTS
January 1, 2004 | MIKE TERRY
This past year wasn't a great one for sequels in Hollywood (except for the "Lord of the Rings" franchise) or sports. But the first sequel of 2004 holds great promise. No. 1 Connecticut and No. 4 Duke do battle again Saturday. Last year the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 and the Huskies No. 2 and both were undefeated when they met on Duke's home floor. Connecticut won, 77-65.
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