‘Pet Sematary’ Buries the Competition

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“Sometimes dead is better"--even at the box office. The Stephen King horror picture carrying that epigram, “Pet Sematary,” defied the critics and opened at blockbuster levels, grossing $12 million at 1,585 theaters, an average of $7,600 per screen. It was the biggest opening in recent memory during the traditionally slow period between New Years Day and Memorial Day, according to John Krier, president of Exhibitor Relations. Meanwhile, Paramount’s baseball comedy, “Major League,” dropped 26%, while Fox’s “Say Anything” held strong, dropping less than 3% from the previous weekend.

* Universal’s baseball fantasy, “Field of Dreams,” directed by Phil Alden Robinson and starring Kevin Costner, enjoyed a major league in limited release, grossing $531,346 at 22 theaters, a per-screen average of more than $24,000. The film goes to theaters nationwide May 5.


Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average in Release 1."Pet Sematary” $12.0 1,585 1 (Paramount) $12.0 $7,600 2."Major League” $5.2 1,615 3 (Paramount) $25.7 $3,240 3."Say Anything” $3.8 1,113 2 (Fox) $9.0 $3,418 4."The Dream Team” $3.2 1,459 3 (Universal) $15.7 $2,220 5."Rain Man” $2.4 1,391 19 (MGM/UA) $155.7 $1,709 *"Field of Dreams” $.531 22 1 (Universal) $.531 $24,152


SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.