Some strong new releases like “Groundhog Day” and “Sommersby” pushed February U.S. film box office up 6% from last year to the second-best February ever.

The national gross of $ 345.8 million derived from 67.9 million tickets sold at an average price of $ 5.09.

Comparable figures a year ago were $ 327.1 million, 65.6 million and $ 4.99 , per the Daily Variety B.O. reporting survey.

The continued strength of “Aladdin” kept it in third place in the four weeks ended March 4.

The seasonally adjusted Variety Box Office Index for February was 103.9 compared to 98.4 a year ago and to 92.7 a month ago. The index base of 100.0 was set in 1990, so February’s figure was 3.9% above the average month’s B.O. in the base year.

Other leading pix last month were “Homeward Bound,””Loaded Weapon 1,””The Crying Game” and “Scent of a Woman.”

The all-time February B.O. peak of $ 392.8 million was reached in 1991.