Auds ask for Andie

Andie was dandy at the weekend box office.

Actress Andie MacDowell’s star shone as her cowgirl antics in Fox’s “Bad Girls” topped the charts with $ 5 million; and Gramercy’s comedy “Four Weddings and a Funeral” came in close behind at $ 4.7 million. No one could immediately recall the last time one performer starred in the top two pix.

With rare exceptions, April grosses continued to play the blues. Newcomers in the marketplace didn’t help improve the big picture, though Touchstone’s third-place “The Inkwell” had solid averages on a gross of $ 2.5 million. Considerably less impressive were the freshmen outings of Triumph’s “Brainscan,” estimated at $ 1.7 million, and Warner Bros./Morgan Creek’s “Chasers,” in the brig with about $ 700,000.

“Bad Girls” rode onto the screen, and when the dust settled was still standing with $ 5 million. The wild, well-groomed bunch arrived in 2,009 corrals and shot to first with a $ 2,490 average.

While it’s always nice to be ahead of the pack, studio marketers were weighing options for maintaining the pic’s momentum. Hardly doing gangbuster biz , “Bad Girls” unexpectedly was drawing to a primarily young male audience and was playing decidedly urban. The company certainly has room to move in capitalizing on the film’s perceived appeal to young women and heartland auds.

The brightest spot on the horizon continues to be held by Gramercy’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” The addition of 160 playdatesboosted business 13% for a weekend gross of $ 4.7 million. Its eighth weekend gen-erated a $ 5,320 average from 882 bowers. With a cume of $ 20.2 million, it appears headed toward a $ 40 million gross.

Touchstone’s “The Inkwell” nosed into third spot with close to $ 2.5 million. The gentle, black comedy dipped into 390 situations for a $ 6,400 average. However, the company will have a tough time expanding beyond an urban-ethnic core audience.

Also debuting was Triumph’s quickie cut up “Brainscan,” which arrived with a bit better than $ 1.7 million to rank ninth. Its 1,212 operating theaters yelled out a $ 1,430 average.

It was anchors and audiences aweigh for “Chasers” which mustered out a shade better than $ 700,000. The comedic Navy tale failed to coalesce commercially. Low internal expectations proved accurate, as it arrived with a $ 910 average from 783 berths.

The marketplace continued to erode as the weekend took a 10% dip from a week earlier and fell 19% from the comparable period of 1993. The year-to-date pace — sitting at about $ 1.39 billion through Sunday — was no longer a record, as it slipped behind 1992 in the frame. Still, it’s 4% better than last year, which set an annual box-office record.

Sagging business resulted in a cluster of pix ringing in with comparable box office. Ten films were separated by less than $ 1 million, for an unusually precarious ranking projection.

Fourth slot was secured by Universal’s “The Paper” with a $ 2.4 million edition. On the curve, it continues to be one of the most robust current titles, slipping 28% for a $ 1,630 average from 1,476 presses. Its cume is $ 29.5 million.

Disney’s “D2: The Mighty Ducks” quacked into fifth with roughly $ 2.3 million. The ice crusaders skidded 31% in the round robin with a $ 1,210 average. Its 1,898 rinks have scored $ 37.4 million to date.

A hair behind in sixth with close to $ 2.3 million was TriStar’s “Cops and Robbersons.” The action-comedy saw its second weekend fall 38% for a $ 1,240 average from 1,836 stakeouts. It generated $ 6.9 million in 10 days.

Sophomore jinx

The other sophomores all fell out of the top 10, with Disney’s “White Fang 2” off the scent some 37% to $ 1.7 million; New Line’s “Surviving the Game” injured close to 50% at $ 1.4 million; and Savoy’s “Serial Mom” holding comparably well with a 30% erosion to $ 1.4 million.

TriStar’s “Threesome” was seventh for the frame with slightly more than $ 1.8 million. The close quarters sexual comedy had a $ 1,480 average from 1,215 leases. Its cume is $ 10.6 million.

Eighth in the batting order was Warner Bros.’ “Major League II” with about $ 1.8 million. It swung with 40% less strength, just barely achieving a $ 1,000 average from 1,807 ballyards. It has a $ 24.3 million cume.

Rounding out the top 10 was Universal’s “Schindler’s List” with slightly more than $ 1.7 million. The Oscar champ declined 26% at 1,276 sites for a $ 1,330 average. Its gross has climbed to $ 85.6 million domestically.

Another market ironman — Fox’s “Mrs. Doubtfire”– pulled in about $ 900,000 to bring its cume to $ 217 million. It should shortly exceed the gross of “Aladdin” and “Ghost” to place 12th among all-time box-office champs.

Gramercy’s “Backbeat” added about 200 screens and saw its tempo quicken to close to $ 660,000. The roots-of-the-Beatles saga had a $ 3,140 average.

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