Table 2

Description of the two films, including total box office

The Insider Erin Brockovich
Director Michael MannSteven Soderbergh
Writer Eric Roth, Michael MannSusannah Grant
Studio TouchstoneUniversal
Starring Al Pacino, Michael Gambon, Rip Torn, Russell CroweAaron Eckhart, Albert Finney, Julia Roberts
Genre DramaDrama
Running time 158 Minutes131 minutes
Censorship (Australian) M15+M15+
Released in Melbourne Wednesday 26 January 2000Thursday 13 April 2000
Box office total* Australia USA UK
AU$4.497m (US$2.949m, 26 January 2000)
US$28.965m (23 April 2000)
£1.396m (US$2.227m, 26 March 2000)

AU$16.153m (US$9.644m, 13 April 2000)
US$125.548m (6 August 2000)
£10.237m (US$15.284m, 28 May 2000)
Synopsis Jeffrey Wigand was a central witness in the $246 billion tobacco settlement, the most expensive case brought against an industry in US history. Wigand (Russell Crowe), former head of research and development and a corporate officer at Brown & Williamson, was the ultimate insider. Meanwhile, Lowell Bergman, investigative reporter and “60 Minutes” producer, arranged a legal defence team for Wigand and taped the famous Wallace interview with its devastating testimony. However, before the segment could air, Bergman would lose to a CBS corporate decision to kill it. Wigand would find himself sued, targeted in a national smear campaign, divorced, and facing possible incarceration. Wigand, having wagered so much and now unable to deliver his testimony to the American people, and Bergman, trying to defeat the smear campaign and force CBS to air the interview, are two ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. They find themselves in a fight from which no one will emerge as he entered and nothing will be the same again.29 Based on true events, Julia Roberts stars as Erin Brockovich who defies the odds by taking on and defeating a major public utilities company. While working as a file clerk in a small law firm, Erin stumbles upon a cover-up involving contaminated water in a small desert community which is causing devastating illnesses. Infuriated by the deception, she convinces her boss (Finney) to allow her to investigate. Although the local citizens are initially leery of becoming involved, Erin's brash manner and ability to speak to them clearly—and compassionately—earns their trust. With over 600 plaintiffs signed up, the unlikely duo go on to win the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action suit—$333 million. In the process, she reinvents her life.30
Smoking content Does not contain any images of people smoking. Erin Brockovich (played by Julia Roberts) smokes in one prominent scene in the opening title sequence of the film. There is a close up of her as she leans against a wall in the street and exhales a big puff of smoke. She drops the cigarette and we see her extinguish it with her stiletto shoe. It comes in with the first piece of music and also features the Julia Roberts title card and the Erin Brockovich card.
  • 2-150 US$ conversions based on exchange rate at date of film release for Australia, and date of box office total for UK.