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A Strong Start for 'Color Purple' in Christmas Box Office Race

December 25, 1985|JACK MATHEWS

Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple" got off to the best start among the latest batch of Christmas releases, earning an average of nearly $9,000 in each of 192 theaters over the weekend.

"Out of Africa," Sydney Pollack's $30-million adaptation of the Isak Dinesen novel, grossed $3.6 million in 922 theaters, averaging a lukewarm $3,945.

Twentieth Century Fox's science-fiction thriller "Enemy Mine" and Disney's re-release of "101 Dalmatians" both had very weak openings, averaging $2,268 and $2,178 respectively. "Enemy Mine" is playing in 703 theaters, "101 Dalmatians" in 1,097.

Universal's "Brazil," the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.'s pick as the year's best picture, brought in $30,099 in one 500-seat New York City theater. The movie, which also won the awards for best direction and best screenplay from the Los Angeles critics, opens on two screens today in both the Mann Westwood complex and the Beverly Center Cineplex.

MGM/UA managed to find another 899 screens for "Rocky IV," and though the Sylvester Stallone hit showed a drop in its per-theater averages, it still grossed $8.4 million, running its 26-day total to $68.7 million.

Fox's "The Jewel of the Nile," the sequel to "Romancing the Stone," grossed $4.7 million during its second weekend, for a 10-day total of $14.8 million. "Spies Like Us," the Chevy Chase/Dan Aykroyd comedy that prognosticators figured would give "Rocky IV" its toughest competition, grossed $4.3 million and now has total earnings of $22.3 million.

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