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‘TIDE’ TURNS AT MAY B. 0.

The B.O. doldrums evaporated in May as its 31 days rang up a record $386.7 million gross. That represented a whopping 27% boost from 1994 and eclipsed by 17% the $330 million record set in 1992.

However, the glory was concentrated in a handful of pictures with releases from the top two distributors – Buena Vista and Fox – accounting for just a sliver more than half the monthly picture. The flip side found Warner Bros. – ranked third for the year – slipping to ninth spot in May and its worst posting of the past five years.

The juggernaut openings of BV’s “Crimson Tide” and Fox’s “Die Hard With a Vengeance” virtually swept away everything in their paths. Specialized fare took a drubbing from mainstream product.

May also set an admissions record, with slightly more than 89.5 million stubs collected in the domestic marketplace. The month bested May ’94 by 26% and exceeded the standard set in 1992 by 12%.

The 10 top grossers in May comprised about 70% of the picture. So with Fox and Buena Vista weighing in with four (two each) of the five individual best titles, those companies left a lot of others eating dust. The fast starts of big actioners and special-effects films suggest a real hunger for big pics that have been largely off the filmgoing diet during the first quarter of 1995.

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