It wasn’t all dino-might at the weekend box office, though Universal’s “Jurassic Park” continued to ride herd with $ 28.1 million. Coming in with a roar was TriStar’s romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle,” with a bounteous $ 17 million, followed by Warner Bros.’ “Dennis the Menace,” which delivered a well-aimed $ 9.4 million debut.
Bronto business for “Jurassic” was evident as it racked up $ 11,500 averages from 2,444 lairs. The truly staggering statistic remains how little its box office drops weekly. For the frame it was a 27% fall, as “Park’s” cume rose to $ 171.5 million, which already ranks it as the 24th biggest grosser of all time.
“Jurassic” also parked its first foreign date this week. In Brazil it preemed to $ 1.5 million, not surprisingly the biggest opening in the country’s history.
TriStar’s “Sleepless in Seattle” proved to be to romantic comedies what “JP” is to dino pix, scoring a $ 17 million opening to place second. The Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan film ranks as the best weekend ever for this type of film, racking up averages of $ 10,780 from 1,579 trysts.
“We’re very, very, very, very, very happy,” said TriStar distribution chief Bill Soady. “But let’s just say we’re ecstatic. The film was tracking about a $ 12 million weekend but we knew it would be bigger based on the response to our sneaks. The final number is quite a statement about the quality and content audiences want to see.”
“Sleepless,” excuse the expression, was viewed as a very potent sleeper and its opening certainly supports that expectation. It had a much bigger debut in all respects than its sister company’s much-ballyhooed “Last Action Hero,” which fell to the fourth spot this weekend.
Ahead of “Hero” in third was Warner Bros.’ launch of “Dennis the Menace” with $ 9.4 million. The Hank Ketchum comic strip creation averaged $ 4,510 from 2,085 playgrounds.
WB distribution prexy Barry Reardon said the studio was “very, very,very, very happy” about the debut. The pic’s appeal was expected to be more limited and, with the small caveat of only a modest boost in Saturday grosses, it registered a solid debut.
Columbia’s “Last Action Hero” saw revenues sink 44% to an estimated $ 8 million. Other industry tracking pegged the drop at closer to 50%, but by any account it was significant. Averaging $ 3,470 at 2,306 locales, the fantasy-adventure nosed to $ 30 million after 10 days of release.
The studio’s best face on “Hero’s” potential was clearly eroded after the second weekend, and industry projections see its ultimate domestic gross landing around $ 50 million-$ 60 million.
The weekend demonstrated the first real signs of seasonal expansion, despite only a 2% rise in business. An increasing number and diversity of films are showing performance strength. Compared with a year earlier, revenues have shot up a dramatic 28%.
Weekend business propelled 1993’s box office to $ 2.16 billion, roughly 2% behind last year’s pace.
Disney more than doubled the dates on Touchstone’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It” to finish fifth with $ 5.7 million. The musical bio expanded tunefully with averages of $ 5,220 from 1,091 stands. To date it’s earned $ 13.4 million.
TriStar’s “Cliffhanger” proved its mettle in sixth with $ 4.2 million and a modest 26% decline. The nail biter, on 2,176 slopes, averaged $ 1,930 and has $ 65.6 million to date.
Warner Bros.’ comedy “Made in America” ranked seventh with $ 2.1 million. Making less Whoopi by 39% this weekend, it saw averages of $ 1,110 from 1,898 engagements and has banked $ 38.6 million to date.
Hollywood Pictures’ “Guilty As Sin” was in jeopardy for $ 1.9 million to place eighth. In peril at 1,427 sites, it averaged $ 1,330. Off 29% for the frame, its cume now stands at $ 19 million.
New Line’s “Menace II Society” continued to be a box office threat in ninth with $ 1.8 million. The hard-hitting social drama was down a mere 10% from last week’s target with averages of $ 3,100. Exploiting a current 581 screens, revenues have climbed to $ 18.8 million.
Warner Bros.’ “Dave” mustered up $ 1.4 million to nab 10th as its popularity waned 44%. The earliest summer release had averages of $ 1,150 from 1,221 booths to boost its cume to $ 58.2 million.
Fox’s second weekend of “Once Upon a Forest” shrunk 50% to $ 1.1 million and 11th. Less than animated in 1,500 groves, it averaged $ 730 for a 10-day gross of $ 4.6 million.
On the specialized front, Sony Pictures Classics added runs in three markets on “Orlando” for a roughly $ 500,000 weekend. It posted averages of about $ 29, 400 from a mere 17 playdates.
Goldwyn’s “Much Ado About Nothing” was also rhapsodic with an estimated $ 860 ,000 at 147 bijous. Averaging $ 5,850, it has a cume of $ 7.8 million.