WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : Movie Box Office Falls Off

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The days of fall may be turning brisk elsewhere, but not in the nation's movie theaters, where yet another lackluster session this past weekend is already making exhibitors forget about this summer's box-office records. Canadian director David Cronenberg's latest film, "Dead Ringers," is an unlikely candidate for the top spot--as an intellectual horror film with a minimum of gore--but good reviews and Cronenberg's growing reputation are bringing (smallish) audiences in. Most other films, including big summer hits like "Die Hard" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," are playing out their runs relatively quietly.

* The only exception to this was Tri-Star's "Sweet Hearts Dance," which opened in a limited number of theaters its first weekend. Apparently the lure of TV star Don Johnson on the big screen was strong enough to coax the weekend's best per-screen average out of audiences.

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average in Release 1. "Dead Ringers" $3.0 1,042 1 (20th Century Fox) $3.0 $2,891 2. "Die Hard" $2.5 1,282 11 (20th Century Fox) $68.2 $1,909 3. "A Fish Called Wanda" $2.2 1,164 11 (MGM/UA) $48.3 $1,895 4. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" $1.7 1,321 14 (Touchstone/Disney) $138.2 $1,281 5. "Cocktail" $1.6 1,276 9 (Touchstone/Disney) $65.4 $1,287 * "Sweet Hearts Dance" $1.1 246 1 (Tri-Star) $1.1 $4,540

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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