Unlike last year, the 1992 holiday releases are not likely to provide as much long-term carryover business into ’93. The exceptions are “A Few Good Men, “”Aladdin,” and Universal’s just-starting “Scent of a Woman.”
Those three films dominated the first post-holiday weekend of the year, when the top 10 films grossed $ 48,495,587, about 6% off the year-ago $ 51.6 million pace.
Last January saw several Yuletide debuts that threw off significant revenue in the early months of the new year, including “Prince of Tides” and “JFK,” as well as “Fried Green Tomatoes,” which went into wide release last January, and potent holdovers such as “Beauty and the Beast.”
But most of this year’s upstarts are ready for retirement, offset by a few brassy stalwarts that will distinguish themselves on the studio balance sheets for early ’93.
Columbia’s “A Few Good Men” is solidly in first place now that adults are available in large numbers after the holidays. The $ 9,012,668 registered this past weekend was down only 36% from the heavily trafficked New Year’s weekend, demonstrating the film’s Marine-strength legs. “Men” has breezed to $ 90.3 million in five weeks and is expected to strike the $ 100 million gong at the end of its sixth week.
Now that school is back in session, BV’s “Aladdin” took a predictable drop of 46%. Even so, it was doing such high-level business that the $ 8,431,763 from the current session is nothing to crab about. BV’s animated spectacular has just breezed past $ 125 million domestically and is headed for upwards of $ 150 million.
U’s “Scent of a Woman” made good on its early promise with a commanding $ 6, 476,340 on only 1,083 screens during its first national release session. The $ 5 ,980 per-screen average is superior to other national releases. U will broaden the pic further for the coming Martin Luther King holiday weekend.
If this one has legs, and the studio contends that exit polls are highly favorable, “Scent” could be heaven-sent for the too-few-recent-hits studio, producing a moderate to substantial success.
U also could see some cash flow from the demanding “Lorenzo’s Oil,” in light of its $ 79,516 weekend on four screens, even with its debut and $ 235,127 to date, though the prognosis won’t be clear until after the first expansion wave on Friday.
Another studio that could use a hit is TriStar. But a widening of the Carolco production “Chaplin” proved dismal — a mere $ 3,263,026 on 1,066 screens, barely $ 3,000 each.
Solo 1993 entry, Trimark’s “Leprechaun,” overlooked a four-leaf clover, coming up with $ 2,493,020 on 620 screens. That’s a decent start, but not great considering that horror fans mostly show up in the first weekend.
Warner Bros.’ “The Bodyguard” still has some mileage left, based on the past weekend’s $ 5,233,363 in 1,806 houses, a figure that’s comparable to how the film was performing just before Christmas. That signifies consistent repeat patronage. With almost $ 96 million to date, the Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston vehicle is closing in on $ 100 million and final-take estimates have been upped to the $ 115 million to $ 125 million range.
Warners’ “Forever Young” is holding similarly well, but started on a more moderate level. Past weekend was $ 4,560,443 on 1,710 screens and a hair’s breath under $ 40 million to date. There’s only some modest coin left to be made here.
Fox’s “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” also has several weekends left in its already hearty life but it’s not likely to see the $ 200 million plateau. Based on the $ 4,462,708 it captured over the past weekend on 2,166 screens, the powerhouse sequel has overcome the $ 150 million hurdle, making this sequel more than comfortably profitable, warranting yet another episode.
The rest of the holiday fare is on life-support, including Fox’s “Hoffa” and especially “Toys.” With only $ 19.6 million to date, “Hoffa” is dancing in cement shoes, off 49% in weekend three to $ 2,486,116 on 1,103 screens. “Toys” is broken beyond repair, plummeting to $ 1,298,568 on 1,149 screens for $ 20.1 million to date. Fox will soon be replenishing those tracks with wide break on Largo’s “Used People” (which did $ 419,788 in 49 locales over the weekend).
BV’s pair of “The Distinguished Gentleman” and “The Muppet Christmas Caper” are largely exhausted. The disappointing “Gentleman” fell to $ 2,076,140 over the weekend in 1,539 theaters and won’t throw off much more than its current $ 41.5 million total. Seasonal “Muppet” item is finito with $ 714,952 in 1,411 locations and an acceptable $ 25.7 million cume.
Paramount’s solo holiday release, “Leap of Faith,” fell flat and should soon meet its video maker, based on the $ 1,971,062 it claimed on 1,487 screens–a paltry $ 19.2 million to date.
Warner’s “Malcolm X” also may soon be X’ed out of theaters, considering its 56% drop to $ 877,367 over the weekend on 1,040 screens. Total to date is a moderately good $ 46.1 million.
But Columbia’s “A River Runs Through It,” which has been around since October , surprisingly held almost even with New Year’s weekend, with $ 1,022,337 on 740 screens, and has now exceeded early expectations of $ 35 million cume with $ 36. 3 million to date.
One of the bigger surprises of the season has been “The Crying Game,” a limited, urban-audiences-only item if there ever was one. However, with word-of-mouth in apparent overdrive, the Miramax pick-up stayed even with $ 1, 229,913 on just 123 screens for a total to date of $ 6.2 million.
Next weekend’s figures should be higher due to the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend.