|Top 20 Films of the Fall 1997 Box Office|
|(estimated final grosses in millions)|
|#||Title||Gross||1st Wk %||Per Scrn||Distributor|
|1||I Know What You Did Last Summer||$ 72.0||$ 15.8||21.94||$ 28,526||Sony|
|2||In & Out||64.0||15.0||23.44||26,101||Paramount|
|3||Devil's Advocate||62.0||12.2||19.68||25,790||Warner Bros.|
|4||Kiss the Girls||61.0||13.2||21.64||25,353||Paramount|
|8||L.A. Confidential||40.0||5.2||13.00||24,615||Warner Bros.|
|9||Seven Years in Tibet||39.0||10.0||25.64||18,545||Sony|
|10||The Full Monty||37.0||2.9||7.84||47,254||Fox Searchlight|
|12||Boogie Nights||24.0||4.7||19.58||23,928||New Line|
|15||Fire Down Below||16.0||6.1||38.13||6,809||Warner Bros.|
|19||Fairy Tale : A True Story||14.0||3.5||25.00||10,886||Paramount|
FALL For the first time since 1993, the fall season did not give birth to a single $100M title. The past three years offered the autumn blockbusters Pulp Fiction ($107.9M) in 1994, Seven ($100.1M) in 1995, and The First Wives Club ($105.4M) in 1996. This year, instead of one picture dominating the market, a small handful of movies captured the eyes of ticket buyers. This is evidenced by the fact that eight films have or will have crossed the $40M mark. Only two pictures achieved that in 1995 and only three in 1996. In addition, eight movies had opening weekends of $10M or more versus just three last year and only two in 1995. Sony claimed the highest-grossing performer of the season with its surprise teen-horror movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, but Paramount took the silver and bronze with In & Out and Kiss The Girls . All three performed better than expected and had great legs but none of the pictures had very strong reviews.
Thrillers were in abundance as some of Hollywood's biggest male stars made their way to cinemas with their latest efforts. Clearly there were too many pictures as distributors packed three and sometimes four wide releases into each weekend. 29 movies opened in wide release over the course of 10 weekends - that's almost three freshman per frame. The first powerful release of the season came on September 12 with the Polygram hit The Game starring Michael Douglas. It began a string of $10M+ openings that would span six consecutive weekends. In & Out took the top spot the next weekend and was followed by The Peacemaker from DreamWorks the next weekend. But the spotlight that weekend was stolen by Soul Food from Fox 2000 which made almost as much money but in 1,000 less theaters.
In October, Kiss the Girls spent two weeks at number one before handing it over to the Sony screamer Last Summer which stayed in pole position for three laps. Other October releases included Devil's Advocate which performed well and Seven Years in Tibet which was a letdown for Sony and for star Brad Pitt. Some of the many casualties in October included U Turn, Gang Related, Most Wanted, Playing God, and A Life Less Ordinary, with each grossing less than $7M. Richard Gere's Red Corner closed out the season with a less-than-impressive debut over Halloween weekend. What the Fall 1997 season will be remembered for is how movies with smaller budgets and smaller stars like Last Summer, Soul Food, and The Full Monty became very profitable films and favorites among audiences.
Last Updated : December 30, 1997