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'Ghost' Performing Solidly at the Box Office

July 17, 1990|PAT H. BROESKE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Twentieth Century Fox's "Die Hard 2" continued to pace the nation's movie box office attendance with second weekend grosses of $14.5 million, but it was the performance of Paramount Pictures' romantic fantasy, "Ghost," that got most of the industry's attention.

"Ghost," which stars Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as a couple so in love that death can't even do them part, took in $12.1 million at 1,101 screens. The film averaged $11,073 per screen, the second highest opening weekend average of the summer, and showed that audiences are ready for a little counterprogramming in a summer jammed with action.

By comparison, both Fox's "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane," starring controversial Andrew Dice Clay as a "rock 'n' roll detective" and Warner Bros.' Bill Murray comedy, "Quick Change," had disappointing debuts. "Fairlane" had ticket sales of $6.3 million at 1,245 screens, for a $5,120 per-screen average and fifth place. "Quick Change" earned $4.7 million at 1,595 screens, for a weak per-screen average of $2,947 and seventh place.

Meanwhile, Paramount's racing drama "Days of Thunder" dropped another 24% in its third weekend. "Thunder," a love story about a stock car racer (Tom Cruise) and the neurosurgeon (Nicole Kidman) who treats him for a head injury, had ticket sales of $8.1 million.

Walt Disney Studios' reissue of "Jungle Book" was fourth with ticket sales of $7.7 million.

Rounding out the weekend's Top 10: Disney's "Dick Tracy" was sixth with $4.8 million ($90 million cumulative); Tri-Star's "Total Recall" was eighth with $3.2 million ($104.8 million); Paramount's "Another 48 HRS." was ninth with $2.9 million ($71 million) and Universal's "The Jetsons" was 10th with $2.8 million ($10.8 million).

"Ghost" figures to continue to do well, if results of an audience exit poll conducted by Cinemascore are any indication of the kind of word of mouth it is getting. The movie was rated A by an audience that was dominated by women over 25.

The exit results for "Ford Fairlane" were less encouraging for Fox. The movie got a B rating from audiences made up primarily of males (68%). WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

Movie Weekend Screens/ Weeks in Total (Studio) Gross Average Release Gross 1."Die Hard 2" $14.9 2,433 2 $60.6 (Fox) Million $5,965 Million 2."Ghost" $12.1 1,101 1 $12.1 (Paramount) Million $11,073 Million 3."Days of Thunder" $8.1 2,307 2 $54 (Paramount) Million $3,541 Million 4."Jungle Book" $7.7 1,901 1 $7.7 (Buena Vista) Million $4,055 Million 5."Ford Fairlane" $6.3 1,245 1 $6.3 (Fox) Million $5,120 Million *"Quick Change" $4.7 1,595 1 $4.7 (Warner Bros.) Million $2,947 Million

SOURCES: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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