Weekend Box Office : A Bang-Up Opening for ‘Under Siege’

Action star Steven Seagal confirmed his box-office appeal with a big opening-weekend gross for his latest beat-the-bad-guys effort, “Under Siege.” With $14.1 million collected over the Friday-Sunday period, it ranks as one of the biggest-ever openings for autumn, and another plus for Warner Bros., which has scored this year with “Lethal Weapon 3,” “Batman Returns” and “Unforgiven.”

“Under Siege” grossed about $3 million more than the opening weekend for “The Last of the Mohicans,” which also had a big premiere by autumn standards--not normally high. But “Under Siege” opened on about 500 more screens than “Mohicans” did, so comparisons are problematic.

The longevity test for “Under Siege” will come this weekend, since action fans, like horror film fans, typically rush to theaters the first weekend. This Friday, it faces the new horror film “Candyman.” Meanwhile, “Mohicans,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, continued strongly and topped $35 million for its three weekends.


The only continuing movie in the Top 10 to actually gain business was Disney’s family ice hockey-based adventure “The Mighty Ducks.” Despite the lack of star power, the “Ducks” movie benefited from word-of-mouth and actually increased business by 17% over its first weekend. But grosses dropped in the second weekends for two star vehicles--the Dustin Hoffman-Geena Davis “Hero” by about 27% and the Tom Selleck feature “Mr. Baseball” by 37%.

In its first sailing, the Columbus movie “1492: Conquest of Paradise” failed to make land, doing a weak $2.5 million.

* Robert Redford’s nostalgic tale of rustic America, “A River Runs Through It,” opened in limited run to strong numbers.

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1."Under Siege” $14.1 2,042 1 (Warner Bros.) $14.1 $6,904 2."The Last of the Mohicans” $8 1,800 3 (Fox) $35.5 $4,451 3."The Mighty Ducks” $7.1 1,850 2 (Walt Disney) $14.3 $3,810 4."Hero” $3.7 1,826 2 (Columbia) $10.4 $2,028 5."Mr. Baseball” $3.2 1,866 2 (Universal) $9.7 $1,725 6."Sneakers” $2.8 1,797 5 (Universal) $38.7 $1,585 7."1492: Conquest of Paradise” $2.5 1,008 1 (Paramount) $2.5 $2,522 8."Mr. Saturday Night” $1.6 1,618 3 (Columbia) $10.8 $974 9."Captain Ron” $1.5 1,424 4 (Touchstone) $16.7 $1,073 10."Glengarry Glen Ross” $1.4 417 2 (New Line) $4 $3,357 *"A River Runs Through It” $253,194 12 1 (Columbia) $253,194 $21,100

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co. and industry estimates