Weekend Box Office (October 31- November 2, 1997)
Scaring up the most ticket dollars for the third weekend in a row, Sony's
I Know What You Did Last Summer
claimed the top spot over the Halloween weekend. Off just 25%, Summer
grossed $9.4M and became the fourth movie of the year to spend three consecutive
weeks at number one after Fox's Star Wars
- Special Edition ($138.2M gross), Universal's
($181.4M gross), and Sony's Men in Black
($244.3M gross to date). Summer
has been an enormous surprise hit for Sony over these last few weeks and
with a reported budget of about $17M, it is a highly profitable hit as
well since its final domestic gross should be in excess of $70M with Sony's
rentals hitting at least $35M. In 17 days of release, Summer
has amassed $45.3M.
Opening in second place was the Richard Gere political thriller Red Corner with $7.4M. The performance was decent but not powerful and with the event movies of the winter box office on deck, it will have a difficult time fighting for audiences. For MGM/UA, it was the biggest three-day opening weekend since The Birdcage. The last film by the former Mr. Cindy Crawford was Primal Fear which opened with $9.9M in April 1996 and grossed $56.1M overall. The $7.4M debut of Corner is similar to the $7.8M opening of Gere's 1994 film Intersection which eventually grossed $20.6M. With intense competition for moviegoers and screens during the next few weeks, Corner should be able to end up with about $25M but Gere will find better luck in two weeks when his next film The Jackal, also starring Bruce Willis, launches.
Elsewhere, Devil's Advocate continued its impressive run declining just 28% for third place with $7.4M. New Line's porn saga Boogie Nights expanded into nationwide release and nabbed the fourth spot with $4.7M. It had the best per-screen average of all films in the top ten with an arousing $5,162 and has $8.8M in the bank since its platform release two weeks ago. Critical acclaim should allow Boogie to endure the competition from big-budget event pictures opening in the coming weeks. By comparison, The People vs. Larry Flynt, also a movie about a porn legend, played in limited release for two weeks last winter and then opened wide to a tally of $5.3M in 1,233 theaters. It went on to gross $20.2M. For a review of Boogie Nights, visit Chief's Movie Review Page. Rounding out the top five was Kiss The Girls with $3.5M.
The frame's other new release was Switchback starring Dennis Quaid and Danny Glover which took in just $2.7M for Paramount. The smallest decline from last weekend was registered by Fairy Tale, also from Paramount, which slipped just 17% as it was the only game in town for family audiences. Overall, the 44th weekend of the year saw spending at levels slightly below those of the previous two years. Overseas, the Tokyo International Film Festival hosted the first global screening of James Cameron's Titanic. The director and headlining star Leonardo DiCaprio were on hand for the gala premiere. Titanic sails to London and Australia before opening stateside on December 19.
My projected grosses were close to the actual performances this weekend. Red Corner's $7.4M came in below my $9M forecast while Switchback came in close to my $3M prediction. Boogie Nights posted a $4.7M weekend, lower than my $6M projection.
Overall, the top ten films grossed $45.6M which was down 4% from last year and down 3% from 1995. Be sure to check in on Thursday for a full summary, plus forecasts, for the first weekend of the Winter season which will see the openings of Starship Troopers, Mad City, Bean, and Eve's Bayou.
Below are final
studio figures for the weekend. Click on the title to jump to its official
For a wrapup of the summer, be sure to check The Top 30 Films of the Summer 1997 Box Office Season.
This column is updated three times each week : Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Source : Variety, EDI.
Send comments to Gitesh Pandya at email@example.com