Weekend Box Office (August 15 - 17, 1997)
After a three year absense, Sylvester Stallone returned to the number one
spot at the nation's box office with Cop
Land which took in $13.5M over the weekend.
Edging out holdovers Air Force One
and Conspiracy Theory,
registered the biggest opening weekend for its distributor Miramax beating
the $11.8M opening of The Crow
in May 1994. Playing in over 2,200 theaters, it was also the second widest
release for the House of Weinstein after The
Crow : City of Angels which was let loose
in over 2,400 theaters in 1996. Overall, it was a solid debut for a promising
action-drama which was the first number one debut for Stallone since The
Specialist in 1994. Reviews have generally
been positive which should make Cop Land
a strong performer during the final weeks of the summer. The table below
shows the performances (in millions of dollars) of Stallone's last six
The $13.5M opening for Cop Land was close to my $12M prediction. Air Force One remained in second dropping 31% to $12.4M which was a little more than my guess of $12.3M. The Harrison Ford actioner remains on its blockbuster course with over $130M to date. After 24 days of release AFO is running 12% ahead of the pace of 1993's The Fugitive which eventually grossed $183.9M. Last weekend's top movie Conspiracy Theory dropped by 36%, which is normal, to third with $12.3M - close to my forecast of $12.5M. Its ten-day total now stands at $40.7M. With an unusually high number of A-list stars with movies in August, the box office is ending another summer in record territory. Three films grossed over $10M this weekend which is rare for August. The last such August occurance was during the weekend of August 12-14, 1994 when Clear and Present Danger, Forrest Gump, and The Mask all hit double-digits.
Opening in fourth was Event Horizon with $9.5M. The Laurence Fishburne sci-fi film had a wide release and delivered a very good opening for Paramount which claims Face/Off as its only big hit of the summer season. Science-fiction films usually erode quickly so look for Horizon to reach a total gross of about $30M. With about $9.5M, its opening was much better than the $7M I predicted.
Dropping a mighty 44% to fifth was Spawn which passed the $46M mark. George of the Jungle and Men in Black performed extremely well as each dipped by less than 26%. MIB is now within $1M of overtaking The Lost World as the top-grossing picture of the summer. The weekend's only other wide release, Steel starring Shaquille O'Neal, melted as it collected less than $1M. For Warner Bros., it was their third straight disaster after last weekend's Free Willy 3, and 187 which opened the weekend before that.
Overall, the top ten films grossed $70.5M - up 29% from last year and up less than 1% from 1995. Below are final studio figures. Click on the title to jump to its official home page.
This column is updated three times a week : Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Source : Variety, EDI.
Last Updated : August 19, 1997 at 10:40AM
Send comments to Gitesh Pandya at email@example.com