WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : ‘Major League’ Wins Season Opener

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Some movie marketers consider baseball themes lethal to a film’s chances at the box office. So they’ll go to great lengths to tell audiences that the film is a romance, or a comedy, anything but a baseball movie. Paramount did just the opposite with “Major League,” hyping the sport in its advertisements and timing the film’s opening to coincide with the opening of this year’s baseball season. Over the weekend, “Major League” opened at No. 1, grossing a strong $8.8 million at 1,541 theaters, a per-screen average of $5,734. Meanwhile, Universal’s release of actor Michael Keaton’s latest effort, “The Dream Team,” opened at a healthy $5.7 million at 1,316 theaters, an average of $4,335 per screen.

* Warners’ new thriller, “Dead Calm,” had a disappointing opening, grossing $2.5 million at 959 theaters.


Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average in Release 1.”Major League” $8.8 1,541 1 (Paramount) $8.8 $5,734 2.”Dream Team” $5.7 1,316 1 (Universal) $5.7 $4,335 3.”Rain Man” $4.1 1,580 17 (MGM/UA) $148.2 $2,604 4.”Cyborg” $3.2 830 1 (Cannon) $3.2 $3,831 5.”Fletch Lives” $2.6 1,476 4 (Universal) $27.3 $1,770 *”Dead Calm” $2.5 959 1 (Warner) $2.5 $2,569


SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.