SHORT TAKES : ‘Hunt for Red October’ No. 1, Rakes in $14 Million in Week

From Times Wire Services

For the second weekend in a row, the Cold War proved hot at the box office, as “The Hunt for Red October” racked up another $14 million in ticket sales for the No. 1 spot.

In just two weeks, Paramount Pictures’ adaptation of Tom Clancy’s best-selling thriller has earned nearly $38 million--setting records for the first and second largest winter/spring weekends in box office history. Directed by action meister John McTiernan (“Die Hard”), “Red October” stars Sean Connery as a Soviet submarine commander who ominously heads his “first strike weapon” in the direction of the United States. Alec Baldwin stars as the CIA analyst who believes that Connery wants to defect--not attack.

“Red October” wasn’t the only action at the weekend box office.

Warner Bros.’ quirky romantic comedy, “Joe Versus the Volcano,” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, had ticket sales of about $9.3 million, for a strong second place.


New Line’s “House Party,” a low-budget comedy about black teen-agers cutting loose for a night, ranked third, with ticket sales of approximately $4.6 million.

Epic/Triumph Releasing’s “Bad Influence” was fourth, with ticket sales of about $4 million. Starring Rob Lowe and James Spader, the thriller marks Lowe’s first film since last year’s sex video scandal, involving tapes he allegedly made of himself in compromising positions with a 16-year-old girl and a young woman in Atlanta during the 1988 Democratic National Convention.