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OUTTAKES

Fair Warning

December 13, 1987|Pat H. Broeske

If you've already got your 1988 calendar, you might want to mark May 25--kickoff for the Memorial Day weekend. It's gonna be war!

How else to describe a five-day period (May 25 is a Wednesday) that will see Tri-Star's "Rambo III," Paramount's "Crocodile Dundee II" and MGM's "Willow" battling it out for box-office.

Not that there aren't a lot of ticket dollars to go around at that particular time. According to veteran industry analyst Art Murphy, during that weekend "the level of business is at least double from the week before." The reason: "The tide always goes out the week before a holiday--potential customers have things to do. But once that holiday comes. . . ." In fact, reminded Murphy, avid moviegoers will often go to more than one film during a holiday period.

"So there's room for 2 1/2 of the titles you mentioned."

He's willing to bet that the release date for at least one of the pics ultimately will be changed.

But "Willow"--the George Lucas-produced, Ron Howard-directed fairy-tale--is wedded to the 25th because it marks the 11th anniversary of the release of Lucas' "Star Wars." The date also has a (dare we say it) sentimental tie-in to "Rambo III"--its predecessor bowed in on that same weekend in 1985. "Crocodile Dundee II" is another matter: The series was first launched in the fall. No matter, says a Paramount rep. "It's set for May."

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