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Weekend Box Office : February Chills at the Box Office

February has been a cold month for theater owners. Box-office figures for the month show that 1995 is off 21% compared to the same month last year. Films airing this month have grossed $296.6 million contrasted with $373.8 million in February, 1994.

After a relatively strong box office in January, the box office from the beginning of the year to date is down 9% compared with 1994, while this past weekend alone saw a 15% drop in ticket sales compared with the same weekend last year.

According to Exhibitor Relations Co., which tracks box-office results, the 15% decline can be attributed in part to the fact that several major films that opened strongly over the 1994 holidays aren’t doing as well in the early months of 1995.

For example, “Legends of the Fall,” “Dumb and Dumber,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “Little Women” and “Pulp Fiction"--all which opened in 1994 and are still in theaters--grossed a combined $173.5 million by Feb. 21. By comparison, “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Philadelphia,” “Grumpy Old Men,” “Schindler’s List” and “In the Name of the Father"--all 1993 releases--became strong holdovers with combined grosses of $218.9 million by Feb. 22, 1994, according to Exhibitor Relations Co.

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Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1. “The Brady Bunch Movie” $8.4 1,941 2 (Paramount) $25.6 $4,317 2. “Just Cause” $6.6 2,059 2 (Warner Bros.) $19.3 $3,228 3. “Heavyweights” $3.8 1,953 2 (Disney) $10.9 $1,924 4. “Billy Madison” $3.3 1,887 3 (Universal) $18 $1,740 5. “The Hunted” $2.7 1,552 1 (Universal) $2.7 $1,755 6. “Legends of the Fall” $2.6 1,677 10 (TriStar) $57.2 $1,562 7. “Pulp Fiction” $2.37 1,051 20 (Miramax) $82.8 $2,262 8. “Forrest Gump” $2.35 1,105 Re-release (Paramount) $306.7 $2,131 9. “The Walking Dead” $2.32 891 1 (Savoy) $2.32 $2,609 10. “Quick and the Dead” $2 1,972 3 (TriStar) $15.5 $1,024

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.


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