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'Karate Kid Part II' Leads the Field

July 10, 1986|DAVID T. FRIENDLY

The summer box-office derby features a crowded field this year, and a sequel is pacing the group.

According to a spokesman for the studio, Columbia's "The Karate Kid Part II" took in a whopping $40.7 million in its first 17 days of release and continues to be the box-office champ.

"Karate's" numbers would have been even higher, but the studio offered free 10 a.m. screenings last Saturday at 885 jammed theaters, where lines started forming as early as 6:30 a.m. at some locations.

While Disney's "Ruthless People" opened to softer business than the studio originally anticipated, the black comedy held up well in its first 12 days of wide release, taking in about $15.5 million. "The picture is gaining a lot of momentum," said Dick Cook, senior vice president of domestic distribution for Walt Disney Productions. "It opened to a very crowded field but the word of mouth is quite strong." Look for "Ruthless" to hold on and possibly improve this weekend.

Rodney Dangerfield continues to score high marks, as his "Back to School" has taken in about $43.4 million in its first three weeks, according to figures published in the trade publication Variety.

Tri-Star's "About Last Night . . . " scored an impressive debut, taking in $4.6 million at just 642 theaters in its first six days in limited release. The film's per-screen average of $4,910 edged out all of the competition and seems to signal a healthy future for this summer sleeper.

Meanwhile "Top Gun" keeps firing away. While the picture is now in its eighth week and has taken in more than $80 million, last weekend's ticket receipts were off only 8% from the previous weekend.

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