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Tri-Star Pictures--set to merge with Columbia Pictures in Coca-Cola's new Columbia Pictures Entertainment--is making its moves into larger-scale distribution and exhibition felt throughout the industry. The two movies that the company currently has in release--"The Principal" and the newcomer "Like Father, Like Son"--are doing quite well. Also, upcoming releases such as "The Running Man" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and "Ironweed" with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson should help the Tri-Star name stand out even further.

* "Slamdance," a semi-mainstream picture starring Academy Award nominees Tom Hulce and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, represents something of a big step for its distributor, Island Films. Island, which has handled specialized product limited or single-theater engagements almost exclusively, booked the film into a number of theaters in San Francisco and Los Angeles hoping to cash in on the film's West Coast neon- noir look. The jury is still out as to whether Island's gamble has paid off.

Figures courtesy of Exhibitor Relations Co.

Weekend Screens/ Weeks Movie gross/ Average in (Studio) Total release ( millions) 1. Fatal Attraction $9.3 1,297 3 (Paramount) $31.3 $7,207 2. Like Father, Like Son $7.2 1,167 1 (Tri-Star) $7.2 $6,160 3. The Principal $2.4 1,157 3 (Tri-Star) $12.7 $2,084 4. Stakeout $2.0 1,204 8 (Buena Vist $56.7 $1,661 5. Dirty Dancing $1.9 990 6 (Vestron) $30.1 $1,919 * Slamdance $.13 47 1 (Island) $.13 $2,766

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