‘Philly’ fills top B.O. spot over ‘Doubtfire’

TriStar’s “Philadelphia” and Fox’s “Mrs. Doubtfire” continued to slug it out at the box office, with the AIDS-related drama marginally in the lead with $ 7.5 million over the weekend.

New Line’s “Blink” clearly had a strong $ 4.6 million opener to rank fourth. However, limited launches of Orion’s “Car 54, Where Are You?” and Samuel Goldwyn Co.’s “Golden Gate” arrived with a thud.

While industry tracking was expecting a sharp drop in biz for Super Bowl Sunday, the erosion factor varied from significant to dire. Regardless of predictions, the pecking order of the weekend pictures was virtually consistent.

TriStar estimated “Philadelphia’s” weekend at $ 7.8 million with “Doubtfire” right behind at $ 7.7 million. Fox reversed the order, but not the margin, estimating $ 8.1 million for itself and $ 8 million for “Philly.”

Daily Variety estimated the Tom Hanks starrer ahead with a $ 7.5 million for the frame. Its 15% drop represents a continuedstrong hold for the potent social drama. It translates into a $ 4,800 average from 1,562 film clinics, for a total of $ 36.8 million to date.

“Doubtfire,” with $ 7.4 million, has the legs of a thoroughbred. Off just 16% , the comic gender-bender came in with a $ 3,280 average from 2,255 playdates. With a cume of $ 172.2 million, it’s knocking at “The Fugitive’s”$ 180 million gross and next weekend will rank as the second biggest box office performer among 1993 releases. Warner Bros. will be fighting hard with a major relaunch of “The Fugitive” mid-February.

Overall business in the marketplace was hale and hearty thanks largely to the ongoing strength of a handful of pix. The weekend is shaping up to exceed last year by about 13%.

‘Grumpy’ not sleepy

Warner Bros.’ “Grumpy Old Men” was in third with about $ 5.1 million. The potent Lemmon/Matthau pairing slipped a slim 10% with a $ 2,960 average from 1, 725 far-from-retiring homes. That brings its cume to $ 48.1 million.

New Line’s “Blink” was looking pretty good in fourth with $ 4.6 million projected. The in-sight-ful thriller got a two-day head start on the weekend, posting about $ 700,000. Box office numbers exceeded both tracking and expectations for an opening average of $ 3,010 from 1,527 eye clinics.

Orion’s “Car 54, Where Are You?” screeched to a commercial halt with about $ 760,000 and should land in the 16th slot. The TV retread booked in with a $ 1, 260 average from 606 precincts in its debut.

Goldwyn’s thriller “Golden Gate” was virtually silent as it arrived with close to $ 300,000. The complex period drama had little box office allure, posting a $ 770 average in 384 locations.

Fifth Gere

Paramount’s “Intersection” folded 45% to finish fifth with approximately $ 4. 3 million. The romantic drama stalled in traffic but the Gere/Stone combo still managed a decent $ 3,310 average from 1,300 thoroughfares, bringing its 10-day box office to $ 14.1 million.

Universal’s “Schindler’s List” continued to confound the naysayers in sixth with $ 3.5 million. The award-winning Holocaust drama registered a $ 9,890 average from 354 camps. That brings its cume to almost $ 24 million.

Universal’s other serious prize contender, “In the Name of the Father,” was also strong with $ 1.2 million to rank 14th. The political drama slipped a mere 16% for a $ 6,820 average from 176 cells and a $ 5 million cume.

Disney’s “Iron Will” sledded into seventh with $ 3.2 million. The subzero period adventure chilled some 22%, crossing the weekend finish line with a $ 1, 740 average. Its 1,842 dog teams have generated $ 14.6 million to date.

Warner Bros.’ “The Pelican Brief” was still in court with $ 2.9 million to rank eighth. The well-tried case diminished 23% in 1,730 docks. With a weekend average of $ 1,680, it has a cume of $ 90.4 million.

Hollywood Picture’s “Tombstone” was gun-shy in ninth with $ 2.7 million. The Western slowed 18% for the frame with a $ 1,580 average from 1,709 high noons. Its cume is $ 47.6 million.

Savoy’s “Shadowlands” cast $ 2.5 million to rank 10th.

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