WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : Audiences Make Eastwood’s Weekend

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Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan blasted into the nation’s movie theaters again last weekend, punching up what Warner Bros. executives are calling Eastwood’s biggest 5-day opening ever . But “The Dead Pool’s” .44 Magnum-size opening frame wasn’t big enough to dislodge Eddie Murphy’s “Coming to America,” which is proving to have better staying power than many in the industry first thought. Ditto for Fox’s 7-week-old “Big,” the charms of which are still not going stale for national audiences. Meanwhile, the Walt Disney folks continued to cash in on “Roger Rabbit” and enjoyed a $7-million opener for the re-release of the 1942 classic “Bambi.”

* “Die Hard” brought a lot of baggage with it into the theaters: a late ad-strategy change, the future film career of star Bruce Willis and the losing trend for action pictures in general this summer. But buoyed by strong reviews, high audience anticipation and an air of exclusivity (opening in only 21 theaters nationally), “Die Hard” was the weekend’s “must-see"--if limited--attraction.

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average in Release 1. “Coming to America” $10.4 2,064 3 (Paramount) $66.7 $5,047 2. “The Dead Pool” $9.1 1,831 1 (Warner Bros.) $12.8 $4,954 3. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” $8.6 1,314 4 (Touchstone/Disney) $69.3 $6,567 4. “Bambi” (re-release) $7.2 1,483 1 (Disney) $7.2 $4,866 5. “Big” $5.0 1,346 7 (20th Century Fox) $68.6 $3,740 * “Die Hard” $.602 21 1 (20th Century Fox) $.602 $28,667


SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.