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Release tally off slightly through Oct.

Distributors opened 40 films during the month of October, bringing this year’s count to 353, or only about 2% off recent years’ pace.

The majors contributed 15 titles, for a year-to-date figure of 122, two films ahead of 1991.

The effect of postponing several films until 1993 debuts has not seriously depressed current output.

Foreign pic boost

The accompanying chart reveals that the majors have recently beefed up their reliance on imports, with eight pics this year hailing from the British Commonwealth. During October, the two releases in this category are only technically British, each being a French co-production: Paramount’s “1492” and MGM/UA’s “The Lover.” However, each film was made with an English soundtrack, rather than French, in order to penetrate the English-speaking marketplace.

Indie count

During October indies opened six films of varied genres in regional release. These range from Warren Miller Entertainment’s skiing film “Steeper and Deeper,” Demi-Monde Prods.’ lesbianthemed romance “Claire of the Moon,” Greycat’s Italian import (also with English-language track) “The Bachelor,” Northern Arts’ “Emma & Elvis” by Julia Reichert, IRS Releasing’s documentary “Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time” and Lange & Associates’ “Butterscotch & Chocolate.”

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