B.O. Plummets 20% As War Breaks Out

Until the outbreak of the Persian Gulf war, the cinema business remained fairly buoyant in most territories outside the danger zone. But by last Friday, distribs in France and Italy reported takings had dipped 20% to 25%.

Some tradesters say a drop in admissions is inevitable while folks stay glued to their tv sets. But one British exhib theorizes that Middle East events are so dominant that many people will be driven back to cinemas for light relief.

That theory will be tested by 20th Century Fox’ “Home Alone,” which just opened in Germany and Italy. In five weeks, Chris Columbus’ comedy has grossed more than $50 million overseas. Haul includes $11 million in Britain, $6.8 million in France, $6.1 million in Australia, $5.9 million in Spain, $2.5 million in Switzerland, $2.4 million in Belgium, and $7.2 million in Latin America.

Despite global concerns, the foreign gross of Paramount/UIP’s “Ghost” ascended last week to a few bucks short of $200 million ($199,345,780). Adding the domestic tally, that takes its worldwide gross to about $408 million – several million up on “Pretty Woman,” which Touchstone/WB had claimed as 1990’s top earner.

UA’ “Rocky V” climbed to $53 million gross, with Japan at $11.7 million, Italy $10.2 million, France $7.5 million, Germany $5.7 million, Spain $3.4 million and Brazil $2 million.

Top ten titles down

The top 10 titles in Italy collared $9.3 million in the week ended Jan. 13, down from $15.8 million the previous frame. In a seasonal decline after the New Year vacation, kidpics wilted, allowing “The Sheltering Sky” to claim top spot in its fifth outing.

In Germany the b.o. was energized by bows of WB’s “Arachnophobia” ($912,940 on 147 prints), Scotia’s “Air America” ($787,995 on 182) and Col Tri-Star’s “Postcards From The Edge” ($240,847 on 59 screens, all 4-day figures).

In France, while the holdovers were off about 50%, Sovereign/Ariane’s “Reversal Of Fortune” made a stylish debut in Paris on only 13 screens. The Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close-starrer also began brightly at its London showcase, fueled by laudatory reviews and generous publicity (it broadens to 100 prints this week).

Col Tri-Star’s “Flatliners” started well in France, pushing the international gross well above $30 million. Distrib is counting on it to perform next in Japan and Spain and thus hit the target of $60 million.

Australian b.o. was off 11% from last week’s mighty peak but remained on a vacation high, with a shot in the arm from newcomer “Predator 2” and solid holdover biz for “Kindergarten Cop,” “Home Alone” and “Three Men And A Little Lady.”

Amsterdam

Forweek ended Jan. 11; $1= 1.72 guilders.

“Home Alone” (Fox/HFR). Solitary $54,355 from three attics in third confinement.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Charming $52,137 in third swim around four islands.

“The Witches” (WB/MPG). Mean $40,430 from two circles in fourth gathering.

“The Sheltering Sky” (WB). Glittering $28,569 on sixth journey to one casbah.

“Flatliners” (Col). Calibrated $22,151 from two machines in sixth test.

“Ghost” (Par/UIP). Jolly $21,934 from one funhouse in 13th appearance.

“Arachnophobia” (Hollywood Pictures/WB). Hairy $21,934 from one barn in fourth scare.

“Rocky V” (UA/UIP). Fainting $17,260 from two neighborhoods in fourth fight.

“Ju Dou” (Argus). Constant $14,881 from two laundries in fourth washing.

“Problem Child” (Universal/UIP). Troublesome $13,276 from two playgrounds in eighth visit.

Athens

For week ended Jan. 9; $1= 155 drachmas.

“Home Alone” (Fox). Outsmarted the opposition in third stand in 11 abodes for $137,657. Cume $556,753.

“Days Of Thunder” (Par/UIP). Struck lightning in first flash at nine centers for $86,730.

“Arachnophobia” (Hollywood Pictures/Hollywood). Caught many in first spinning at eight webs for $41,228.

“The Hot Spot” (Orion). Second kindling fired up more crowds at three stations for $37,083. Cume $57,555.

“Goodfellas” (WB). Survivors strut their stuff in fourth party in six lounges for $34,490. Cume $298,487.

“Back ToThe Future, Part III” (Universal/UIP). Adventure may soon be in the past in third transport to five for $10,697. Cume $145,542.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney). May soon be banked after third wading at six for $10,160. Cume $56,218.

“Cyrano de Bergerac” (Sonet). The discerning chose soul over symmetry in first reading at one villa for $16,520.

“The Sheltering Sky” (Glinwood). Just a mirage left in eighth outing to three for $12,390. Cume $403,980.

Indies not reported.

Austrlia

For week ended Jan. 16; $Al= 79¢.

“Kindergarten Cop” (Universal/UIP). Tykes triumph with $1,634,016 from 94 in second. Cumulative total $3,625,244.

“Home Alone” (Fox). Feisty $1,395,529 from 119 houses in fifth assault. Cume $6,115,883.

“Three Men And A Little Lady” (Touchstone). Stayed the pace with $894,081 out of 104 in sixth. Cume $5,991,351.

“Predator 2” (Fox). Opened strongly with $756,129 from 90.

“Ghost” (Par/UIP). Stayed tangible with $703,258 in 12th from 103. Cume $13,205,882.

“The Neverending Story II” (WB). Went nicely with $516,300 from 117 chapters in fourth tale. Cume $2,157,952.

“Arachnophobia” (Hollywood Pictures/Roadshow). Spinned $385,307 in 65 webs in third. Cume $990,340.

“Total Recall” (Carolco/Tri-Star). Recalled $384,745 from 97 in sixth. Cume $5,084,018.

“Duck Tales: The Movie” (Disney). Not so poultry $329,063 from 109 nests in second. Cume $725,335.

“Rocky V” (UA/UIP). Slugged $275,688 in 84 rings in third match. Cume $2,053,597.

Brussels

For week ended Jan. 8; $1 = 35 BF.

“Home Alone” (Fox). Self-reliant in third $153,774 on five screens.

“Pretty Woman” (Touchstone/WB). Excellent sixth week with $106,548 on seven screens.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Dove for $93,483 in sixth week on eight screens.

“Ghost” (Par/UIP). Still hovering in eighth week with $71,967 on six screens.

“Rocky V” (UA/UIP). In third week, knocked out $45,645 on six screens.

“Uranus” (Belga). Modest third week with $44,290 on five screens.

“La Discrete” (Cinelibre). Excellent second week with $38,258 on two screens.

“The Sheltering Sky” (Independent). Dry fifth week drew $28,838 from three screens.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (New Line/Excelsior). Modest fourth week with $26,516 on five screens.

“Hidden Agenda” (Independent). Scheduled $22,096 opener on two screens.

“Fire Birds” (Touchstone/Motion Picture Group). Modest third week with $19,354 on three screens.

Copenhagen

For week ended Jan. 13;$1= 5.9 DK.

“Home Alone” (Fox). Excellent $53,194 in fourth via five houses. Cumulative total $278,481.

“Pacific Heights” (Fox). Fine debut with scary $27,201 in four.

“Nikita” (Dansk). Healthy $26,939 via two in fifth. Cume $205,904.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (New Line/UIP). Slow-moving $18,459 via three shells in third. Cume $124,109.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Fair with $17,826 with six in eight. Cume $431,343.

“Young Guns II” (Fox). Did okay with $16,724 in third via one. Cume $90,398.

“Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” (Metronome). Fair $16,127 on two in third. Cume $57,766.

“Pretty Woman” (Touchstone/WB). Still walking the beat with $14,887 via two in 23d. Cume $1,465,913.

“Bad Influence” (Triumph/Neue Constantin). Did fine with $10,527 with two in third. Cume $38,432.

“Wild At Heart” (Goldwyn). Taking fire with $8,509 with one in 16th. Cume $266,596.

Germany

For week ended Jan. 9;$1= 1.5 DM

“Werner – Beinhart” (Neue Constantin). Eased to $2,036,029 in sixth week on 483 screens. Cumulative total $16,501,676.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Leggy $1,838,006 in sixth frame at 437 units. Cume $13,646,845.

“Rocky V” (UA/UIP). Fair $1,148,507 in third fight at 385 arenas. Cume $5,353,878.

“Flatliners” (Col/Tri-Star). Steady $915,005 in seventh caper at 289 houses. Cume $7,792,556.

“Presumed Innocent” (WB). Good $909,793 in fourth hearing at 117 chambers. Cume $3,781,606.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (New Line/WB). Feeble $482,241 in fourth antic at 315 venues. Cume $3,989,883.

“Revenge” (Highlight). Modest 61-print bow fetched promising $245,681.

“Pacific Heights” (Fox). Waned to $236,696 in fourth week at 92 outlets. Cume $1,042,912.

“The Sheltering Sky” (Jugendfilm). Faded to $233,123 in 11th slog at 83 oases. Cume $3,636,259.

“Dusted Death Warrant” (Senator). Slack $224,466 in seventh rumble at 83 spots. Cume $2,230,320.

Helsinki

For week ended Jan. 17; $1 = 3.7 FM.

“Home Alone” (Fox/Finnkino). Excellent $66,390 on three homes in fourth. Cume $349,480.

“The Sheltering Sky” (WB). Bright in with debut with $48,798 at one.

“Arachnophobia” (Hollywood Pictures/WB). Debuted with scary $42,653 on one.

“Total Recall” (Carolco/Finnkino). Slighter impact with $19,785 on two in fifth. Cume $227,202.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Fair with $14,903 on three in seventh. Cume $203,101.

“The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” (Finnkino). Feasted on $13,539 on one in eighth. Cume $149,989.

“Amazon” (Finnkino). Local drama pulled $13,212 on one in fifth. Cume $96,730.

“The Exorcist III” (Fox/Finnkino). Less-than-scary $11,484 on one in second. Cume $33,219.

“Ghost” (Par/UIP). Still strong with $8,647 on one in 15th. Cume $300,694.

“Trop Belle Pour Toi” (Finnkino). Did $8,430 on one in sixth. Cume $60,704.

Italy

For week ended Jan. 18; $1= 1,150 lire.

“The Sheltering Sky” (Penta). Climbed to sweltering $1,539,636 in fifth voyage at 64. Cumulative total $$4,418,942.

“Total Recall” (Carolco/Penta). Zapped $1,493,792 in fifth showdown at 95. Cume $8,563,837.

“Christmas Vacation ’90” (Filmauro). Italo exploitation comedy bagged $1,318,880 in fourth frame at 90. Cume $8,443,101.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB Italia). Sank to $1,209,488 in sixth romp at 109. Cume $11,525,613.

“Tonight At Alice’s” (Penta). Fourth night-cap at 63 toasted $1,006,867. Cume $5,344,066.

“Rocky V” (UA/UIP). Floored $751,160 in fourth match at 75. Cume $8,153,626.

“Nikita” (Penta). Snuffed stylish $672,166 in fifth hit at 28. Cume $1,549,185.

“Three Men And A little Lady” (Touchstone/WB Italia). Charmed cute $662,239 at fourth turn at 41. Cume $1,850,513.

“Fantozzi Strikes Back” (Penta). Stumbled to $355,513 in fourth fumble at 49. Cume $4,351,401.

“In The Name Of The Sovereign People” (AAI). Alberto Sordi comedy grabbed $349,274 in fourth gag at 22. Cume $1,207,682.

London

For week ended Jan. 17; £1=$1.92.

“Cyrano de Bergerac” (Art. Eye). Subtitled French import, breaking records, opened with whammo $227,821 for four theaters.

“Arachnophobia” (WB). Second frame via eight screens had nifty $173,716. Cumulative total $371,132.

“Air America” (Carolco/Guild). Fancy $153,715 second at four. Cume $260,753.

“The Sheltering Sky” (Palace). Stylish $132,209 seventh at six. Cume $807,136.

“Home Alone” (Fox). Nice $103,749 sixth turn at nine. Cume $922,131.

“Reversal Of Fortune” (Rank). Boffo $97,054 preem for the Odeon Haymarket.

“Ghost” (Par/UIP). Heavenly $94,153 in 15th session at four sites. Cume $3,412,515.

“The Nasty Girl” (Mainline). Charming $78,253 second at three. Cume $170,161.

“Hidden Agenda” (Hemdale/Enterprise). First week tallied oke $68,108 for five venues.

“Fantasia” (Disney/WB) (reissue). Third at three rated fair $54,351.

Madrid

For week ended Jan. 13; $1=96 pesetas.

“Home Alone” (Fox/M. Salvador). Still fabulous $154,217 at 10 houses, fourth assault. Cume $785,227.

“Ghost” (Par/UIP). Nifty $102,478 at five haunts, 11th appearance. Cume $1,934,291.

“The Sheltering Sky” (Iberoamericana/UIP). Fair $67,919 at seven caravans, sixth crossing. Cume $586,942.

“Las Edades de Lulu” (Iberoamericana/UIP). Sluggish $60,200 at six in sixth. Cume (five weeks) $362,650.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Plummeted to $50,477 at eight screens, sixth dip. Cume $866,001.

“The Neverending Story II” (WB). Drooped to $36,041 at six venues, fourth telling. Cume $337,386.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (New Line/Lauren). Lethargic $33,235 at four hard-tops, seventh week. Cume $712,508.

“Hard To Be A God” (Araba/UIP). Difficult $32,287 at four in fourth. Cume $194,864.

“Rocky V” (UA/UIP). TKO’d at $32,037 in six rings, fourth bout. Cume $316,400.

Oslo

For week ended Jan. 16;$1= 5.9 NK.

“Home Alone” (Fox/KF). Fair with $67,872 on three in sixth. Cume $563,238.

“Young Guns II” (Fox/KF). Tough shot with $23,858 on one in third. Cume $152,066.

“Arachnophobia” (Hollywood Pictures/WB). Frightened $22,384 on one in third web. Cume $121,320.

“The Hot Spot” (Orion/KF). Sensual $22,331 on one in third. Cume $68,853.

“Air America” (Carolco/Syncron). Fair $19,605 on two in third. Cume $98,985.

“Come See The Paradise” (Fox/KF). Sluggish $19,601 on one in opener.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Disappeared with $18,812 on four in seventh. Cume $252,935.

“Longtime Companion” (Goldwyn/Europa). Very good with $15,481 on one in third. Cume $58,804.

“Everybody’s Fine” (KF). Good laughs with $14,538 on one in third. Cume $64,041.

“Auntie Danielle” (NFD). French entry okay with $14,439 on one in third. Cume $48,525.

Paris

For week ended Jan. 15; $1 = 5.2 FF.

“Flatliners” (Col/Tri-Star). Missed a beat in opening $608,605 experiment by 104,932 students at 30 labs.

“Reversal Of Fortune” (WB/Ariane). Strong first run took $369,802 in 13 theaters from 63,759 suspects.

“Uranus” (AMLF). Dropped back again in fifth with middling $341,063 from 58,804 traitors at 44.

“Home Alone” (Fox). Fourth defense slumped to $297,946 at 41 houses from 51,370 youngsters.

“Pretty Woman” (Touchstone/WB). Worked up $296,304 in seventh trick from 51,087 hookers on 36 streets.

“La Discrete” (Pan Europeenne). Still strong 33,843 tickets in eighth outing at 17 screens for useful $196,289.

“The Exorcist III” (Fox). Scared 32,645 specters at 16 homes for $189,341.

“Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” (Miramax/Gaumont). Upbeat second with 26,604 couples at 15 sites for $154,303.

“Desperate Hours” (Forum). Soft $139,298 debut at 12 screens for 24,017 tickets.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Sorry seventh swim by 23,387 lovers plunged to $135,644 in 34 pools.

Stockholm

For week ended Jan. 17; $1= 5.7 SK.

“The Rookie” (WB). Excellent sharp-shooting debut with $78,771 on two.

“Home Alone” (Fox/SF). Did well with $66,491 on three in fifth. Cume $440,877.

“Macken” (SF). Local comedy ran out of gas with $53,157 on four in fourth. Cume $379,649.

“The Little Mermaid” (Disney/WB). Excellent splash with $45,614 on five in seventh. Cume $692,807.

“Three Men And A little Lady” (Touchstone/WB). No charisma with $37,192 on three in sixth. Cume $405,614.

“Cyrano de Bergerac” (Sonet). Dod fine with $32,631 on one in sixth. Cume $227,719.

“Trop Belle PourToi” (Sonet). Beautiful $31,754 on one in fourth. Cume $91,403.

“The Exorcist III” (Fox/SF). Poor debut for horror film with $26,842 on two.

“Cry-Baby”(Universal/UIP). Debut wept with $21,228 on two.

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