When we saw the (lackluster) early reviews on "Rent-a-Cop"--which is being marketed as a must-see Burt Reynolds/Liza Minnelli star vehicle--our hearts harked back to that other Burt-Liza romantic pairing. You remember the unlucky "Lucky Lady," released in '75. Just how, we wondered, did their respective opening weekends stack up against each other?
"Lucky Lady," director Stanley Donen's much ballyhooed budget-buster (then-megastar Gene Hackman was also in the cast), pulled in just over $2 million on 316 screens during its first weekend, computing to a solid $6,450 per-screen average. But it eventually waned to a disappointing $15-million gross before 20th Century Fox stopped counting.
"Rent-a-Cop," the third in the Reynolds comeback trilogy (bombs "Heat" and "Malone" preceded), was released over the King holiday weekend to about $300,000 in 193 theaters--a dreadful $1,550 per-screen average for Kings Road Entertainment.
At press time, Kings Road was still mulling future marketing/distribution strategies.