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‘Home Alone’ Ousted as No. 1 After 12 Weeks : Movies: ‘Sleeping With the Enemy’ takes top spot.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

After 12 weeks as the nation’s No. 1 film, the kid comedy “Home Alone” was finally beaten at the weekend box office. In fact, the 20th Century Fox title slid to third place behind two debuting adult-oriented titles.

With ticket sales of about $13.6 million, Fox’s “Sleeping With the Enemy” was the weekend’s top-grossing film. Starring Julia Roberts as a wife on the run from her abusive--and insane--husband, the R-rated thriller opened on 1,406 screens, for a per-screen average of $9,672. Directed by Joseph Ruben (“The Stepfather”), it opened to mixed reviews, with many critics complaining of a phoned-in script and predictable scare tactics.

Tri-Star Pictures’ romantic comedy, “L.A. Story,” which also opened to mixed critical reaction, was No. 2 with about $6.8 million on 1,090 screens--an average of $6,238. A lampoon of the L.A. lifestyle, the film was written by Steve Martin, who stars opposite his wife, Victoria Tennant.

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It was followed by the holiday sleeper “Home Alone,” which earned approximately $5.9 million on 1,989 screens, for a per-screen average of $2,970. It has grossed more than $220 million.

In fourth place, with receipts of an estimated $4.8 million, was Warner Bros.’ just-out fantasy, “The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter.” It opened on 1,188 screens, where it averaged $4,040.

In fifth through 10th places, in estimated figures:

“Dances With Wolves” (Orion Pictures), fifth, $3.7 million; “Awakenings” (Columbia Pictures), sixth, $2.8 million; “White Fang” (Buena Vista), seventh, $2.6 million; “Once Around” (Universal Pictures), eighth, $2.6 million; “Green Card” (Buena Vista), ninth, $2.4 million and “Kindergarten Cop” (Universal), 10th, $2.3 million.

Debuting on two screens--in L.A. and San Francisco--Triton Pictures’ “Heaven and Earth,” a costly Japanese-made samurai epic, earned $26,628. It will open in New York on March 1, then make its way to other major markets.


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