Weekend Box Office (August 15 - 17, 1997)

Cop LandTHIS WEEKEND 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, Cop Land 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 films:

Opening Gross Total Gross Release Date
Daylight 10.0 32.9 Dec 1996
Assassins 9.4 30.3 Oct 1995
Judge Dredd 12.3 34.7 Jun 1995
The Specialist 14.3 57.4 Oct 1994
Demolition Man 14.3 58.1 Oct 1993
Cliffhanger 20.5 84.0 May 1993

Cop LandThe $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.

# Title Aug 15 - 17 Aug 8 - 10 % Chg. Weeks Cumulative
1 Cop Land $ 13,510,482 1 $ 13,510,482
2 Air Force One 12,350,122 17,827,096 -30.7 4 130,353,620
3 Conspiracy Theory 12,309,562 19,313,565 -36.3 2 40,668,584
4 Event Horizon 9,511,915 1 9,511,915
5 Spawn 4,986,874 8,949,953 -44.3 3 46,650,381
6 George of the Jungle 4,813,639 6,316,178 -23.8 5 84,580,796
7 Men in Black 4,204,505 5,652,350 -25.6 7 225,304,729
8 Picture Perfect 3,322,480 5,004,163 -33.6 3 23,739,190
9 Contact 2,872,875 4,478,753 -35.9 6 88,581,422
10 Air Bud 2,591,545 3,544,695 -26.9 3 17,150,084
Top 5 $ 52,668,955 $ 58,059,142 -9.3
Top 10 70,473,999 78,052,158 -9.7

    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