Just how well is "Aliens" doing? In its first weekend the space thriller took in $10,052,042 at 1,437 theaters. Its per-screen average was a field-leading $6,995.
But the real sign that "Aliens" is on the way to the megahit stratosphere came during the week. On Monday, "Aliens" took in $1.6 million and on Tuesday climbed to $1.7 million, according to Tom Sherak, 20th Century Fox president of distribution and marketing. Rarely do daily numbers improve as the week goes on, so Sherak was ecstatic. "We think we have a big hit on our hands."
Meanwhile Columbia's "The Karate Kid Part II," Disney's "Ruthless People" and Orion's "Back to School" remained strong, placing 2, 3 and 4, respectively. According to Daily Variety figures, "Karate" took in $5.6 million last weekend, while "Ruthless" did $4.5 million and "Back to School" grossed $4.2 million.
And what about "Top Gun?" After nine weeks it's still blazing: Producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson predict that 'Gun' ($95.3 million to date) will top $100 million this weekend.
If there's a moral here for movie makers, it could be: Stick to the skies. Down below, the seas were rough for Roman Polanski's "Pirates." In its first weekend "Pirates" took in a dismal $1 million at 1,108 theaters with a walking-the-plank per-screen average of only $934.