The End of Life as We Know It?

When moviegoers cast their ballots at the box office in 1996, they caused a landslide ouster of star-driven vehicles like "Striptease," for which Demi Moore, left, was paid $12 million, and "Cable Guy," which earned Jim Carrey $20 million. The $40-million "Striptease" grossed only $33 million, and "Cable Guy" became the first Carrey vehicle that failed--by about $40 million--to break $100 million at the box office. It also became the final nail in the coffin of Mark Canton, who lost his job as Sony motion picture chief. Meanwhile, effects-heavy films like "Twister" and "Independence Day," below, were the true darlings of 1996. "Independence Day" became the third-highest-grossing picture ever, after "Jurassic Park" and "The Lion King," and has earned $756 million worldwide.

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