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OUTTAKES

Has 'Cobra' Lost Its Ammo?

June 15, 1986|John M. Wilson

A Warner Bros. exec had been smugly referring to the coming " 'Cobra' Summer," anticipating that Sly's picture would mow down the competition.

Funny thing happened on the way to the box office: Paramount Pic's "Top Gun" is the higher flyer.

Grosses: "Cobra," on 2,117 screens after 19 days of release, $35.5 million; "Gun," with 1,531 screens after 26 days, $45.4 million. "Cobra" attendance has been dropping steadily (down 52% the second weekend, down 33% the next). Even MGM's "Poltergeist II" (19 days, 1,583 screens, $27.9 million) is snaking close.

Warners has inserted a positive Joel Siegel review to its "Cobra" ad copy, but a studio spokesman said, "Our campaign is consistent and will remain intact." The flick will be pulled from some "two-week towns, a normal fall-off." The drop-off in attendance is "not extreme."

Paramount plans no changes in its campaign, except for July 4, when "we may adapt to the spirit of the day."

Why is "Gun" topping "Cobra"? Ventured an industry watcher: " 'Cobra' is nasty, 'Top Gun' is nice."

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