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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : ‘Accused,’ ‘Alien Nation’ Battle for No. 1

Jodie Foster’s critically acclaimed performance in “The Accused,” about a gang rape in a crowded bar, helped that Paramount film overtake Fox’s sci-fi thriller “Alien Nation” over the weekend. Although playing at about half as many theaters, “The Accused” came in No. 1 during its first weekend in release with $4.3 million, averaging $5,442 at 796 screens.

* “Bird,” which earned Forest Whitaker a best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival last spring, brought in about $297,000 at 60 theaters, averaging a healthy $4,941 per screen.

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average in Release 1. “The Accused” $4.32 796 1 (Paramount) $4.3 $5,442 2. “Alien Nation” $4.25 1,436 2 (20th Century Fox) $13.9 $2,961 3. “Punchline” $3.5 906 3 (Columbia) $9.9 $3,910 4. “Gorillas in the Mist” $2.6 1,085 4 (Universal) $12.7 $2,425 5. “Crossing Delancey” $1.2 303 7 (Warner Bros.) $8.8 $3,856 * “Bird” $.297 60 2 (Warner Bros.) $.386 $4,941

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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