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‘Gun’ smokes n; ‘Monkey’ shines n; ‘Paper’ unfolds

HOLLYWOOD — Paramount’s “The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult” came in blazing, clearing $ 16,877,595 in its opening weekend.

On a per-print basis — and Paramount is the sole studio to report that way — the high jinks had a solid $ 7,148 average. If the studio employed the more common method of counting based upon locations, the picture’s average would be in the vicinity of $ 9,300.

While there’s plenty of good news, there are also less encouraging telltale signs. “Gun’s” daily fluctuations presage the likelihood of a big dip in its second week.

New Line Cinema’s “Monkey Trouble” also opened wide and finished the frame in fourth spot with $ 5,354,534. Its $ 3,792 average might appear deceptively soft. However, “Monkey” is playing very heavily preteen and, while that won’t send the numbers through the roof, it translates to a large body count. That should bode very well for its ancillary value, particularly video sales.

New Line also got off to a fast start on its Wednesday opener “Above the Rim.” In two days it racked up an impressive $ 940,760 in 811 playdates.

Miramax, via its Dimension label, demonstrated little faith in its thriller “Mother’s Boys.” The picture received a modest 140 playdates and wound the weekend with $ 396,212 and an unfavorable $ 2,830 average.

Conversely, Universal mounted a massive weekend sneak to add awareness to its five-screen platform of “The Paper.” The Ron Howard ensemble piece looked mighty with $ 250,655 and a $ 50,131 average.

Fine Line stepped out with Roman Polanski’s “Bitter Moon,” and its six U.S. dates racked up a $ 57,212 average. In Canada, where it debuted a week earlier, the film has slipped a marginal 19% in its second weekend.

Max Films made a concerted media push for Denys Arcand’s “Love and Human Remains,” debuting in 25 situations. But the fest fave didn’t translate well commercially, grossing $ 93,681 for a $ 3,747 average.

Other fest faves in single-screen commercial debuts looked promising. Strand’s Sundance hit “Grief” launched in San Francisco with $ 22,710, while Goldwyn’s black comedy “Suture” finished its first frame with $ 17,214.

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