‘Falling Down’ rises above weekend crowd

There was no hint of a stumble as Warner Bros’ “Falling Down” ascended to the top of the movie-going charts in its debut weekend.

The Bill Murray comedy “Groundhog Day” continued to show its furry legs and Oscar beamed down warmly on its chosen few — most especially Miramax’s “The Crying Game.” In the wake of post-Oscar ticket euphoria, weekend sales declined marginally by an estimated 13%.

Opening weekend business on “Falling Down” was estimated at about $ 8.5 million, significantly ahead of early industry tracking. The hard-to-define social angst/thriller was accorded a modest 1,220-screen launch when initial testing indicated a hard-to-sell proposition. However, awareness and the “want see” factor built steadily to opening day and the Michael Douglas starrer wound up averaging an estimated $ 6,970. Another clear sign of health was a heady 40% bump in Saturday from Friday business.

Columbia’s “Groundhog Day” was not far behind in second with an anticipated three-day gross of $ 7.5 million. The sci-fi comedy had a mild slip of 20%, proving itself as a potent antidote for those winter blues. Averaging $ 4,300 from 1,742 snug abodes, it has earned $ 36.2 million to date.

Buena Vista’s “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” trekked into third position with approximately $ 5.3 million. The beastly odyssey averaged $ 2,950 from 1,798 outposts for the weekend, representing a 21% drop in business. It has a cume of $ 22.3 million after three weekends.

Miramax’s “The Crying Game” expanded to 985 playdates and finished fourth with about $ 4.8 million. Rewriting the books for the company and specialized distribution, the offbeat saga became Miramax’s biggest box office grosser this weekend and arguably the top-earning specialized release in history. Weekend figures were down just 7% and during the mid-week it consistently ranked second. Averaging $ 4,870 for the period, it has grossed about $ 27.9 million to date.

Weekend business continued to exceed the record first quarter pace of 1992 with current three-day projections about 4% ahead of last year’s comparable period box-office. With 1993 revenues at approximately $ 730 million, it represents an overall increase of almost 3% from a year earlier.

Warner Bros’ “Sommersby” dropped 31% to finish fifth with an estimated $ 4.1 million. The surprisingly potent pairing of Richard Gere and Jodie Foster rang up averages of $ 2,320 from 1,762 encounters. Earnings to date are at $ 33.4 million.

Buena Vista continued to head toward its $ 200 million wish with sixth-ranked “Aladdin” conjuring up about $ 3.5 million for the weekend. The genial animated adventure was 22% off the pace for averages of $ 2,050 from 1,707 dates. After 110 nights and matinees, it has grossed $ 183.3 million.

MGM’s “Untamed Heart” continued to beat strongly with $ 2.5 million and seventh position. Posting averages of $ 2,220 from 1,123 diners, it has served up almost $ 11 million in ticket sales.

Universal’s Oscar-hopeful “Scent of a Woman” was 17% down for the weekend to finish eighth with approximately $ 2.4 million. Enjoying the sweet smell of success, the Al Pacino vehicle averaged $ 1,920 from 1,250 rendezvous. Its cume is now $ 44.9 million.

Other Oscar contenders continued to translate acclaim into ticket sales.

Placing 10th was Columbia/Castle Rock’s “A Few Good Men” with an estimated $ 1.9 million. The courtroom meller averaged $ 1,490 from 1,278 witness stands, representing a slight decline of 18%. The revenue champ among best picture contenders has a cume of $ 129.4 million. A trot away at 12th was Warner Bros’ “Unforgiven,” which walked away from the bar $ 1.2 million richer. In 767 saloons, the much-praised oater averaged $ 1,560 for the frame. It has a cume of $ 78.6 million.

Sony Classics’ “Howards End” added about 100 dates to bring its weekend gross to almost $ 900,000 and will likely finish 14th. Boosting its box office by 17%, the lush period drama averaged $ 2,190 from 402 manors. After almost one year of continuous release, its cume stands at $ 19.7 million.

The remaining top 10 placement went to Universal’s “Army of Darkness” with an estimated $ 2 million and ninth ranking. Second weekend business experienced a brutal 55% drop with averages of $ 1,440 from 1,391 castles. After 10 days of release it has estimated gross receipts of $ 7.5 million.

Columbia’s acquisition of the Spanish-lingo, no-budget thriller “El Mariachi” sang up about $ 270,000 in its 66-theater launch. With averages of $ 4,090, the news is encouraging but hardly rhapsodic.

Cannon’s “Fifty/Fifty” tongue-in-cheek action yarn wound up more like “Zero/Zero” with a gross of about $ 110,000 from 330 dates. Its $ 330 average may be one for the record books.

Miramax’s Mexican “Like Water For Chocolate” was alchemic, generating about $ 44,000 from 4 screens. The $ 11,000 average should bode well for its specialized life.

Considerably less auspicious was Fox’s director’s cut version of “The Abyss,” which weighed in at just under $ 20,000 from 2 exclusive dates.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading