‘Oscar’ Has Some Shine Among Dull Debuts; Strong ‘Spartacus’ Bow

New blood took win, place and show spots at the national boxoffice for the weekend of April 26 to 28, but none of the newcomers was impressive. Best opening was for Universal’s 30-year-old “Spartacus,” which scored a solid $23,041 average at four reissue sites.

Disney’s “Oscar,” a comedy remake with Sylvester Stallone, averaged an okay $3,668 at 1,388 screens to edge out Universal’s thriller remake “A Kiss Before Dying,” which averaged only $2,855 at 1,523 sites.

Bringing up the rear was Tri-Star’s “Toy Soldiers,” its $3,098 average generated at 1,350 locations.

Top 10 pics earned $30,725,831 over the weekend, down 8% from the previous weekend and 17% below the year-ago level.

Most recent wide releases took a beating, with “Out For Justice,” “Mortal Thoughts,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II” and “Defending Your Life” all plummeting by more than 40% each.

Avenue tested the waters with a wider release of its “Object Of Beauty,” amassing a so-so $3,505 average at 243 screens. Goldwyn’s “La Femme Nikita” continued her winning ways with a $4,353 average at 82 sites, nearly cracking $2 million to date.

Paramount tested its baseball pic “Talent For The Game” at 60 Florida screens, but recorded a poor $1,043 average for the Edward James Olmos-starrer.

Two imports from the Miramax camp got off to fair starts: “Drowning By Numbers” averaged $11,042 at two sites for Miramax’ Prestige label, while company’s Oscar-winner “Journey Of Hope” averaged only $6,245 at two.

More promising was Greycat’s launch in Seattle of “Thousand Pieces Of Gold,” taking $16,553 at a single site. Northern Arts booked “Chameleon Street” in Gotham with a lukewarm $6,638 in its first five days. “A Woman Under The Influence” was reissued by Castle Hill Prods. for a fine $12,322 in its first five days in Gotham as part of a package of John Cassavetes pics.

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