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Full Of Bull

October 25, 1987|Craig Modderno

In the aftershocks of the stock market quake, exhibitors were re-assessing the box-office potential of Fox's upcoming "Wall Street" (Dec. 11 release). Written-directed by Oliver Stone, it stars Michael Douglas as a savvy stock broker who teaches novice Charlie Sheen the bottom-line on inside trading and corporate raiding.

An informal poll of film buyers yielded mixed results. Said one Midwest buyer: "If the movie's ads seem to exploit the crisis, people will be turned off. Nobody wants to be reminded of a market that dropped 508 points on a recent day. If the Three Mile Island disaster had taken place a month before 'China Syndrome' opened, I doubt that it would have been a hit."

A California exhibitor believes the ads will determine the movie's fate: "The average Joe doesn't know much about the stock market, but if he thinks it's an educational film about Dow Jones, the movie will die. Most film buyers I know are scared that the plot will be too hard to follow and the film won't be very entertaining."

A Fox spokesman said the ads will emphasize Stone's creation of the Oscar-winning film "Platoon" and prominently feature Douglas, who's especially hot out of "Fatal Attraction."

Posters, being run off last week, proclaim grimly, "Every dream has its price," with an intense cluster shot of Douglas (with a Cuban cigar), Sheen and Daryl Hannah.

Added the Fox rep: "The film is set in 1985 in a bullish stock market where there are huge profits to be made for anyone who invests. Monday's disaster wouldn't happen within the plot or structure of the film and obviously isn't reflected in the picture."

Stone's press agent said he was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

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