'Bride' on honeymoon

Propelled by a fifth $20 million-plus frame, Hollywood Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment’s “The Sixth Sense” took the Labor Day holiday frame to record heights.

“Sixth Sense,” with an estimated $28.5 million for the four days, smashed “The Fugitive’s” 1993 former Labor Day weekend record mark of $17.2 million. Overall business shaped up to approximately $115 million, 33% better than last year and 20% ahead of the previous high set in 1997.

Though neither of the frame’s debuting wide releases was exceptional, holdover biz — particularly for mature-appeal fare — was sturdy with upturns for the likes of “Runaway Bride” and “The Thomas Crown Affair.”

“The Sixth Sense” experienced a 28% boost from the prior weekend (comparisons are on a 4-day basis), leaving a trail of dust in its wake. The eerie yarn spooked its closest competition by almost $20 million, raising a chilling per-theater average of $10,270. Currently in 2,775 venues, its cume ascended to $175.5 million with $200 million in its sights.

Paramount/Lakeshore’s “Runaway Bride” climbed a notch to finish second with a reported $8.6 million. The Julia Roberts-Richard Gere charmer bumped up 15% from its 3,015 jetways. The romantic comedy scored a $2,850 average, going up the aisle to a gross of $135.5 million.

Touchstone’s “The 13th Warrior” lay siege to $8.4 million, declining 26% to rank third overall. The Viking adventure pillaged a $3,630 average from 2,313 raiding expeditions; it’s 11-day gross is $22.3 million.

Universal’s “Bowfinger” slipped just 2% to nab the fourth slot with $7 million. The Hollywood comedy lensed a $2,590 average at 2,702 peep shows. The Steve Martin-Eddie Murphy pairing has topped $55.5 million to date.

Crime paid for MGM’s “The Thomas Crown Affair,” which saw its heist increase by 21% to $6.1 million and steal into fifth place. The romantic thriller redux saw its screen chemistry generate a $3,080 average for the frame. With a present cell count of 1,977, it’s retrieved $57.7 million.

Freshmen flounder

Warner Bros. preemed its “Chill Factor” actioner with a modest $5.7 million response and a sixth-place ranking. The Cuba Gooding Jr.-Skeet Ulrich buddy pic scored a ho-hum $2,230 average from 2,558 deep freezes. It has grossed $6.5 million in six days of release.

The span’s other new wide release, Miramax’s “Outside Providence,” finished in 11th place with a $3.2 million B.O. for the holiday period. The coming-of-ager had a passable $3,050 average from 1,050 playdates. The Wednesday opener has a cume of $3.8 million.

Warner Bros./Castle Rock’s “Mickey Blue Eyes” glossed over $5.2 million in the seventh spot. The mob hijinx ebbed 13% at 2,230 offerings. Averaging 2,330 per plea, it has a cume of $27 million.

Artisan’s “The Blair Witch Projected” scared up $3.7 million to stake out eighth place. The summer’s surprise hit brewed up a $1,610 average from 2,297 covens. Bubbling down by 21% for the span, it has a gross of $133.5 million.

Tied for 10th were USA Film’s “The Muse” and New Line’s “The Astronaut’s Wife,” both reporting $3.4 million for their second weekend. Albert Brooks’ Hollywood musing slipped 21% for a $2,690 average at 1,263 hard tops. It’s unreeled $8.5 million at the B.O. in 11 days. “Astronaut’s Wife” went into a 24% decline with its 2,209 orbiting stations generating a $1,540 average. The off- kilter thriller has an $8.9 million cume.

Smaller pics

Best of the debuting specialized fare was Cowboy’s critically acclaimed “West Beirut” with a $26,000 gross from four outings. The drama grossed an additional $50,000 via Remstar in Canada.

Also off to a good start was First Run’s Brit comedy of manners “Bedrooms and Hallways” with a single Gotham screen gross of $17,000. However, Lions Gate’s downbeat “All the Little Animals” raised no more than a squeak with $12,000 reporting from 10 cages.

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