The raves that greeted "F/X" when it was released Feb. 7 seemed to point to blockbuster grosses. But as of March 2, the action-suspenser about a special-effects expert involved in deadly government-underworld intrigue had taken in only $12.6 million at the box office.

What happened?

Charles Glenn, Orion marketing veep, wouldn't concede failure: "It's still in the marketplace--the final vote is still out." But he admitted that "the title may have been a negative to overcome--it may not provide immediate identification (of the film's content)." he also bemoaned the unavailability of star Bryan Brown for U.S. promotion (Brown was in China shooting "Tai-Pan").

The film will probably stay in about 850 theaters (the current figure), Glenn said, and no marketing changes are planned.

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