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Universal Exec Ousted

Universal Pictures chairman Casey Silver was forced to resign after a year of consistent box office flops such as "Primary Colors," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Out of Sight," "Meet Joe Black," and this weekend's disastrous opening of the expensive sequel "Babe: Pig in the City," which was slaughtered by two other family-oriented features, Disney's "A Bug's Life'" and Paramount's "The Rugrats Movie." Silver had been head of Universal's movie production, marketing and distribution since November 1995. Universal Studios President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Meyer will take over his duties while Silver, a well-liked exec, will stay at Universal as an independent producer. Universal's lackluster year has left them ahead of only financially struggling MGM in market share among the major studios. Universal's two other releases this year are the remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic film, "Psycho" and the Robin Williams film, "Patch Adams."