"Dick Tracy" became the first movie of the summer to hold the No. 1 spot on the box office chart two weeks in a row. The Warren Beatty comic strip adaptation grossed $15.5 million to edge Orion Pictures' summer hope, "RoboCop 2," which grossed $14.5 million.
But on a per-screen basis, "RoboCop 2" out-gunned "Dick Tracy" with an average of $7,996 from each of 1,769 screens. "Dick Tracy" took in an average of $6,667 on 2,332 screens.
On reported grosses, business on "Dick Tracy" dropped 29% from its opening weekend, but Disney executives pointed out Monday that the first weekend grosses included the retail sales of T-shirts for a special midnight screening. Last week, the studio wanted to include the T-shirt sales in ticket grosses; this week it wanted those figures deducted, which spokesmen say would put the actual percentage decline in business at 18%.
With ticket sales of $8.2 million, Tri-Star Pictures' "Total Recall" held on to third place. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a man who goes to Mars to learn the truth about his identity, the science-fiction tale debuted with the year's biggest weekend ($25.5 million), and has continued to do well in the market. This past weekend's performance was down just 18% over the previous week.
By contrast, Paramount Pictures' action-comedy, "Another 48 HRS.," tumbled 29% over the previous week. Still, the Eddie Murphy-Nick Nolte reteaming managed ticket sales of $7.6 million, for fourth place.
In fifth place, with ticket sales of $7 million, was Warner Bros.' "Gremlins 2: The New Batch." Joe Dante's sequel to the 1984 hit "Gremlins" dropped 27% during its second weekend in release.
Sixth place went to Walt Disney Studio's new release, "Betsy's Wedding," written and directed by Alan Alda, who stars along with Molly Ringwald and Madeline Kahn. It earned $4.6 million.
Rounding out the week's top 10: Universal Pictures' "Back to the Future III," with ticket sales of $3.8 million; Disney's "Pretty Woman," $3.3 million; Universal's "Bird on a Wire," $2.6 million; Columbia Pictures' re-release of "The Adventures of Milo and Otis," $1.4 million.
On what is traditionally one of the strongest weekends of summer, the first after most schools are recessed, the film industry did not knock them dead, especially compared to last year when "Batman" opened to a whopping $42.7 million and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" came out of nowhere to post opening grosses of $14.2 million.
In fact, the top five films released last year at this time had ticket sales of $86.1 million. This weekend's top five accounted for ticket sales of about $52.4 million.