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It's 'Aliens' Vs. 'top Gun' In Summer Box-office Race

July 31, 1986|DAVID T. FRIENDLY

The burning box-office question of the week: Will "Aliens" dethrone "Top Gun" ($103 million to date at 1,351 theaters) as the summer's winning megahit?

It looks doubtful. In its second weekend "Aliens" slipped only 14%, taking in $8.6 million. In its first 18 days the movie grossed $27.7 million at 1,454 screens.

But with only six weeks left until Labor Day, it appears that "Aliens' " late launch, coupled with its 2-hour, 17-minute length (which limits the number of screenings per day), may prevent it from catching "Top Gun." "A lot depends on how the picture holds this coming weekend," said Tom Sherak, 20th Century Fox president of distribution and marketing. "They're ("Top Gun") going to be tough to catch."

The box-office summer sleeper remains Orion's "Back to School." Thanks to comedy bombs like "Club Paradise," there is little else to laugh at. After 47 days in release, Dangerfield's movie has taken in $70 million.

Despite mixed reviews, Paramount's "Heartburn" had a good opening weekend, taking in $5.7 million at 843 theaters.

Columbia's "Out of Bounds" failed to get on the box-office court, taking in a dismal $2.1 million at 1,207 theaters in its first weekend.

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