WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : 'Package' Opens Big as Box-Office Cools Off

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With summer winding down and school right around the corner, box-office figures for the weekend's Top 10-grossing films dropped almost 30% from the previous weekend. The order of the top finishers remained the same--minus Columbia's "Casualties of War." The Brian DePalma film fell from fourth to seventh place--down 44%--after grossing $2.9 million on 1,507 screens for a per-screen average of $1,902. Universal's family tandem of "Uncle Buck" and "Parenthood" claimed top honors again, recording receipts of $6.7 million and $6.4 million, respectively. Of three new releases, Warner Bros.' "Cookie" opened best, grossing an average of $3,567 at 82 theaters. Taurus' "Wired" did a disastrous $1,001-per-theater average at 680 theaters and MGM/UA's "Little Monsters" grossed just $253,834 at 179 theaters, an average of $1,418.

* Orion's political thriller "The Package," starring Gene Hackman, enjoyed the weekend's highest per-screen average for a studio film at $5,733. In only limited release at 323 theaters, the film grossed $1.8 million. An Orion spokeswoman said the studio has not yet made plans for a wider release.

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average in Release 1."Uncle Buck" $6.7 1,835 2 (Universal) $23.7 $3,665 2."Parenthood" $6.4 1,384 4 (Universal) $53.7 $4,610 3."The Abyss" $4.7 1,525 3 (20th Century Fox) $33 $3,105 4."When Harry Met Sally..." $4.1 1,171 7 (Columbia) $50.6 $3,464 5."Lethal Weapon 2" $3.3 1,560 8 (Warner Bros.) $125 $2,138 *"The Package" $1.8 323 1 (Orion) $1.8 $5,733

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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