WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : ‘Red October’ Doing Fine in March

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It was another good week for the big budget “The Hunt for Red October,” and the low-budget, “House Party,” and a promising first week for the limited release “Nuns on the Run.” But the heavily-hyped dueling Lambada movies sagged, and the cop thriller “Blue Steel” didn’t take off at the box office. Among new titles, Columbia’s remake of “The Lord of the Flies” overcame savage reviews to earn $4.4 million for a third-place ranking. Fox’s “Nuns on the Run,” about a pair of con men disguised as nuns, enjoyed riotous ticket sales of $658,835 at 76 theaters--for a high $8,669 per screen average.

* On the lambada front: Don’t bother to sign up for dance lessons. Warner Bros.’ “Lambada” had ticket sales of only about $2 million on 1,117 screens, while Columbia’s “The Forbidden Dance” had ticket sales of only $720,864 at 637 screens.

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1."The Hunt for Red October” $11 1,817 3 (Paramount) $53.9 $6,097 2."Joe Versus the Volcano” $7.1 1,799 2 (Warner Bros.) (Times est.) $9.2 $3,946 3."Lord of the Flies” $4.4 888 1 (Columbia) $4.4 $4,967 4."House Party” $3.5 550 2 (New Line) $8.1 $6,491 5."Blue Steel” $2.8 1,307 1 (MGM/UA) $2.8 $2,216 *"Lambada” $2.0 1,117 1 (Warner Bros.) (Times est.) $2.0 $1,790 “The Forbidden Dance” $720,864 637 1 (Columbia) $720,864 $1,131

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.; Times estimates