Despite sleet and snow on the East Coast that brought moviegoing to a standstill Friday, it was a healthy weekend at the box office, with the top 10 titles bringing in receipts of more than $50 million.
Leading the pack--for the ninth weekend in a row--was 20th Century Fox's holiday sleeper, "Home Alone." The comedy about a plucky 8-year-old who finds himself on his own for the holidays had weekend ticket sales of about $9.9 million on 2,157 screens, for a still-sturdy per-screen average of $4,589.
In contrast, Paramount Pictures' "The Godfather Part III" took a dramatic slide its third week out--dropping 47% over the previous weekend's receipts and tumbling from second to sixth place. Francis Ford Coppola's sequel to his sprawling gangster saga had ticket sales of about $4.4 million on 1,922 screens, for a poor per-screen average of $2,289.
Elsewhere, both "Awakenings" and "Green Card"--which widened from limited release--had strong showings, and Jean-Claude Van Damme's latest action title, "Lionheart," showed muscle.
But the just-out "Not Without My Daughter," starring Sally Field and based on a real-life story of a woman's efforts to get her young daughter out of Iran, opened poorly despite heavy promotion and current headlines about crises in the Middle East.
From Columbia Pictures, "Awakenings"--directed by Penny Marshall and starring Robin Williams as a doctor who awakens Robert De Niro from a sleeping disease--widened to 1,282 screens where it earned about $8.5 million, for a per-screen average of $6,630. It was the No. 2 film for the week.
"Green Card," from Disney's Buena Vista Distribution, wasn't among the top 10 because it widened only 75 screens. But with earnings of about $1.5 million, it had a strong per-screen average of $10,067. Starring Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell, the comedy about a marriage of convenience that leads to love is directed by Peter Weir.
About an escaped Foreign Legionnaire who takes on the bad guys in bare-knuckle boxing, Universal Pictures' "Lionheart" emerged from a critical beating to take ticket sales of about $7 million and third place. In release on 1,461 screens, it averaged $4,859.
With ticket sales of only about $3.9 million, MGM/UA's "Not Without My Daughter"--which many critics found to be anti-Islamic--was ranked seventh. In release on 1,137 screens, its per-screen average was about $3,430.
Rounding out the weekend's top 10, in estimated figures, were:
"Kindergarten Cop" (Universal), fourth place with $6.6 million; "Dances With Wolves (Orion Pictures), fifth, $5.5 million; "Edward Scissorhands" (Fox), eighth, $3.7 million; "Mermaids" (Orion), ninth, $2.7 million; "Look Who's Talking Too" (Tri-Star Pictures), 10th, $2.2 million.