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‘Sex’ big in S.F. exclusive; Ullmann pic flat in N.Y.

New exclusive releases found it very tough to gain a foothold as the majors’ summer releases started pouring off the assembly lines.

A notable exception was Outsider Prods.’ documentary “Sex Is y,” with a very strong opening at San Francisco’s Castro theater, earning $ 24,234 in its first weekend. Regional bookings in Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Key West will follow amid dates at lesbian and gay film festivals.

The influx of Hong Kong product continued with a booking of the Jackie Chan picture “Super Cop” at Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles, racking up a fine $ 8,255 opening weekend. Previous pic in the yearlong series, John Woo’s “Hard Boiled,” moved over to another Laemmle house with OK results.

Back in Gotham, the Hong Kong Film Festival of double features improved 13% to $ 10,564 in its second weekend at Cinema Village 12th St.

Liv Ullmann’s first feature as a director, Danish pic “Sofie,” had a downbeat launch of $ 8,022 at two Gotham sites.

Strand’s Canadian film “Masala” started off weakly with $ 3,127 solo in L.A. Kenneth Branagh was still knocking them dead with “Much Ado About Nothing,” bringing home $ 108,192 in its third Manhattan round and $ 58,674 in its second in L.A.

Los Angeles

“Super Cop” (Rim Film Distributors/Peter Chow Intl.) bowed at Laemmle Monica with a strong $ 8,255 first weekend.

“Hard Boiled” (Rim Film Distributors/Peter Chow Intl.) moved over to Laemmle Sunset 5 for $ 3,250 in first weekend after a three-week, four-walled run at Laemmle Monica.

“Masala” (Strand) debuted with a slow $ 3,127 first weekend at Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Much Ado About Nothing” (Goldwyn) dipped 17% to $ 23,249 in second weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; minus 29% to $ 16,251 in same at Cineplex Showcase; down 21% to $ 19,174 in same at AMC Santa Monica 7.

“The Story of Qiu Ju” (Sony Pictures Classics) improved 3% to $ 9,358 in third weekend at Laemmle Royal.

“American Heart” (Triton) off 22% to $ 4,786 in second weekend at AMC Century 14; down 29% to $ 3,869 in same at General Cinema Beverly Connection 6.

“Wide Sargasso Sea” (Fine Line) lost 30% to $ 4,887 in fifth weekend at Laemmle Music Hall.

“Leolo” (Fine Line) minus 6% to $ 2,935 in fourth weekend at Landmark Goldwyn Pavilion; down 24% to $ 3,437 in same at Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Indochine” (Sony Pictures Classics) slipped 11% to $ 2,350 in third weekend at Laemmle Monica; off 18% to $ 1,971 in same at Laemmle Sunset 5.

“Together Alone” (Frameline) moved over to Laemmle Monica for $ 1,383 in its first weekend after two weeks’ play at Landmark Nuart.

“Brother’s Keeper” (Creative Thinking) (return) down 33% to $ 644 in third weekend at Cineplex Fairfax.

New York

“Sofie” (Arrow) from Liv Ullmann preemed with a disappointing $ 4,877 in first weekend at Angelika; $ 3,145 in same at Angelika 57.

“Much Ado About Nothing” rock-solid with $ 43,355 (down 1%) at Lincoln Plaza in third weekend; minus 12% to $ 34,121 in same at Angelika; off 6% to $ 30,716 in same at First & 62nd St.

“American Heart” off 21% to $ 10,012 in second weekend at Village East; minus 29% to $ 4,026 in same at Cinema 2; down 24% to $ 4,788 in same at 57th St. Playhouse.

“Wide Sargasso Sea” lost 25% to $ 5,091 in sixth weekend at Cinema 3rd Avenue; down 26% to $ 5,867 in third weekend at Village East; moved over from 84 th St. Sixplex to Metro on the upper west side for $ 3,616 in first weekend.

“The Story of Qiu Ju” off 9% to $ 11,743 in sixth weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“Visions of Light” (Kino) improved 24% to $ 8,961 in eighth and final weekend at Film Forum, making room for SPC’s “The Long Day Closes.”

“Brother’s Keeper” (return) minus 14% to $ 5,463 in second weekend at Village East.

“For a Lost Soldier” (Strand) off 22% to $ 5,129 in third weekend at Quad.

“Indochine” improved 1% to $ 4,672 in 22nd weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“Okoge” (Cinevista) minus 1% to $ 3,582 in third weekend at Quad.

“Stolen Children” (Goldwyn) down 3% to $ 3,519 in 12th weekend at Lincoln Plaza.

“The Lover” (MGM/UA) improved 15% to $ 3,206 in 30th weekend at Paris Fine Arts.

“Claire of the Moon” (Demi-Monde Prods./Strand) plummeted 40% to $ 2,417 in sixth weekend at Village East.

“Leolo” zoomed up 43% to $ 1,777 in third weekend at Worldwide.

“Herman” (Herman Pictures/RKO) dropped 17% to $ 1,162 in second weekend at 68 th St. Playhouse.

“Joey Breaker” (Skouras) lost 28% to $ 1,105 in second weekend at Carnegie Hall Screening Room.

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