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‘Lean on Me’ Heads Class

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

“Lean on Me,” director John Avildsen’s sentimental treatment of controversial New Jersey high school teacher Joe Clark, got a warm reception as it jumped to the top of the box-office charts with a $5-million opening weekend. “Lean on Me” averaged a hefty $5,629 in each of 894 theaters to leapfrog over “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “The ‘burbs,” two films that continued to show strength despite their generally negative reviews.

* “New York Stories,” Disney/Touchstone’s anthology of short films by Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola, did huge opening weekend business--$432,337 at just 12 theaters.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks Movie(Studio) Total(millions) Average in Release 1.'Lean on Me $5.0 894 1 Warner Bros. $5.0 $5,629 2."Bill and Ted’s Adventure” $4.5 1,314 3 Orion $17.4 $3,390 3."The ‘burbs” $4.3 1,835 3 Universal $24.5 $2,355 4."Rain Man” $3.9 1,580 12 MGM/UA $121.8 $2,442 5."Dream a Little Dream” $2.6 1,014 1 Vestron $2.6 $2,533 *"New York Stories” $.43 12 1 Disney/Touchstone $.43 $36,000

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SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.


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