WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : 'Shoot' Leads Black Film Group

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By some cosmic coincidence, three major studios opened films with black stars in the midst of Black History Month, and over the three-day weekend that celebrates, in part, the birth of the Great Emancipator himself, these pictures got off to fairly strong starts. Disney/Touchstone's "Shoot to Kill," a suspense/thriller starring Sidney Poitier, trailed only Touchstone's powerhouse, "Good Morning, Vietnam," on the weekend chart. Lorimar's violent "Action Jackson," starring Carl Weathers, out-grossed "Shoot to Kill" on a per-theater basis, but opened on 254 fewer screens. On Friday, several films--"Hope and Glory," "Cry Freedom," "Fatal Attraction" and "The Untouchables"--will be broadened or re-released to take advantage of expected Oscar nominations being announced today.

* Spike Lee's "School Daze," which features an all-black cast and uncompromising black issues, did well in its limited release into major urban markets, taking in an average of $6,787 in each of 223 theaters.

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average in Release 1. Good Morning, Vietnam $7.9 1,588 8 (Buena Vista) $62.3 $4,795 2. Shoot to Kill $5.0 1,503 1 (Buena Vista) $5.0 $3,327 3. Action Jackson $4.7 1,249 1 (Lorimar) $4.7 $3,763 4. Three Men and a Baby $4.4 1,728 12 (Buena Vista) $132.0 $2,546 5. Moonstruck $3.8 1,000 9 (MGM/UA) $30.7 $3,825 * School Daze $1.5 223 1 (Columbia) $1.5 $6,727

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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