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Shoot-Out at the Box Office : Hollywood's awash in money; the upcoming movie budgets are off the charts; what does it all mean? It's action summer!

Tomorrow: Merchandising and the movies.

May 20, 1990|PAT H. BROESKE

Still other titles that should be able to draw from moviegoers who like a sense of deja vu : "Young Guns II" and "Exorcist III: 1990" (both from Fox), and "The Two Jakes," Paramount's long-awaited sequel to 1974's complex murder mystery/character study, "Chinatown."

A (financial) footnote to summer box office: A summer blockbuster's ticket sales are only the beginning.

According to Art Murphy, a film's U.S. and Canadian film rentals--that is, the portion of the box office gross that is returned to the distributors--represent only 20% of what a title will ultimately earn.

"The universe keeps expanding," says Murphy, pointing to growing markets for movies, "like foreign TV, which has suddenly become a huge new marketplace."

It takes approximately five to seven years for each picture to travel through the expanded marketplace universe--which includes theatrical, pay-per-view, video, cable, pay TV, network TV, syndicated TV and the burgeoning foreign markets.

Which means that long after Hollywood's summer has come to an end, it will still be summer somewhere else.

BLOCKBUSTERS: A SAMPLING OF SOME OF THE SUMMER'S BIGGEST BUDGET MOVIES

The dozen movies pictured are accompanied by estimated budgets ranges, studio, release date and selling points. Total Recall, $60-70 million

(Tri-Star Pictures) Opens June 1. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Mars, directed by original "RoboCop" director Paul Verhoeven.

Flight of the Intruder, $35 million

(Paramount Pictures) Opens July 13. A Vietnam war movie from the producers of the current hit "The Hunt for Red October."

Back to the Future III, $40 million

(Universal Pictures) Opens Friday. Parts "I" and "II" had ticket sales of $313 million.

The Two Jakes, $25 million

(Paramount Pictures) Opens Aug. 10. It's "Chinatown 2," finally, with Jack Nicholson back starring and directing.

Dick Tracy, $30 million

(Walt Disney Pictures) Opens June 15. Who can resist Madonna and Warren Beatty? Disney's massive marketing campaign will try to make sure nobody.

Gremlins II, $32 million

(Warner Bros.) Opens June 15. Your basic sequel to the original hit, "Gremlins."

Days of Thunder, $50 million-plus

(Paramount Pictures) Opens June 27. "Top Gun" on wheels. Racing cars, Tom Cruise and producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Presumed Innocent, $20 million (Warner Bros.) Opens July 27. A movie for the

grown-ups who loved Scott Turow's best seller.

Ducktales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, $20 million (Walt Disney Pictures) Opens

Aug. 3. The TV series is a mega-hit among small fry.

Another 48 HRS., $45 million

(Paramount Pictures) Opens June 8. Another dead-bang sequel as Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte are back together.

Die Hard II, $60 million-plus

(20th Century Fox) Opens July 4. The sequel to the film that grossed $81 million.

RoboCop 2, $25 million

(Orion Pictures) Opens June 22. The original "RoboCop" is a runaway hit on cable/video.

BUDGET VS BOX OFFICE: LAST SUMMER'S STORIES

Batman

(Warner Bros.) Opened: June 23

Budget: $57 million

Ticket sales: $251.1 million

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

(Paramount Pictures) Opened: May 24

Budget: $32 million

Ticket sales: $197.1 million

Lethal Weapon II

(Warner Bros.) Opened: July 7

Budget: $30 million

Ticket sales: $147.2 million

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

(Walt Disney Pictures) Opened: June 23

Budget: $15 million

Ticket sales: $130.1 million

Ghostbusters II

(Columbia Pictures) Opened: June 16

Budget: $35 million

Ticket sales: $112.4 million

Parenthood

(Universal Pictures) Opened: Aug. 2

Budget: $20 million

Ticket sales: $98.8 million

Dead Poet's Society

(Touchstone Pictures) Opened: June 2

Budget: $15 million

Ticket sales: $94.5 million

When Harry Met Sally . . .

(Columbia Pictures) Opened: July 14

Budget: $14-15 million

Ticket sales: $92.2 million

Turner & Hooch

(Touchstone Pictures) Opened: July 28

Budget: $13 million

Ticket sales: $70.4 million

Uncle Buck

(Universal Pictures) Opened: Aug. 16

Budget: $18 million

Ticket sales: $66.4 million

The Abyss

(20th Century Fox) Opened: Aug. 9

Budget: $60 million

Ticket sales: $54.8 million

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

(Paramount Pictures) Opened: June 9

Budget: $32 million

Ticket sales: $52.2 million

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