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‘Scream 2' Has December to Remember

Forget holiday cheer. The success of “Scream 2" proves holiday fear is also a potent draw at movie theaters this time of year as the Dimension/Miramax teen thriller pulled in $39.2 million at the box office--the biggest December opening ever.

“The [marketing] research and screenings that we did had us very excited but we were completely surprised at the extent of how big the film was when it opened,” said Dimension President Cary Granat.

Spurred on by favorable word of mouth, the film also got a boost because it was unlike many other films in the marketplace, particularly family comedies such as “Flubber,” “Home Alone 3" and “For Richer or Poorer” and the historical film “Amistad,” which did well in its limited opening.

The competition should intensify next weekend when “Scream 2" goes up against two heavily hyped new releases: Paramount’s “Titanic” and MGM’s James Bond film, “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

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“We’re going to do everything we can to stay on the same amount of screens,” Granat said. “It’s a difficult market out there.”

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Three-day gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1. “Scream 2" $39.2 3,112 1 (Miramax/Dimension) $39.2 $12,611 2. “Flubber” $6.8 2,679 3 (Disney) $58.7 $2,530 3. “For Richer or Poorer” $6.0 1,904 1 (Universal) $6.0 $3,160 4. “Home Alone 3" $5.1 2,147 1 (Fox) $5.1 $2,369 5. “Amistad” $4.6 322 1 (DreamWorks) $4.6 $14,203 6. “John Grisham’s Rainmaker” $3.33 2,369 4 (Paramount) $39.2 $1,406 7. “Alien Resurrection” $3.3 2,326 3 (Fox) $41.5 $1,401 8. “Anastasia” $3.0 2,250 5 (Fox) $41.9 $1,347 9. “The Jackal” $2.4 2,062 5 (Universal) $49.9 $1,185 10. “Midnight in the Garden ... " $1.6 1,312 4 (Warner Bros.) $20.4 $1,255

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SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.


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