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'Postcards' Takes No. 1 at Box Office : Movies: Mother-daughter comedy sales hit $8.1 million. Paramount's 'Ghost' is in second place on $5.8 million in sales.

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

"Postcards from the Edge," the Mike Nichols-directed comedy about a stormy mother-daughter relationship, starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep, claimed the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office. With ticket sales of approximately $8.1 million, the Columbia Pictures title gave a promising start to the fall moviegoing season--traditionally more "serious" than the summer.

Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Carrie Fisher--who wrote the screenplay--"Postcards" opened on 1,013 screens, for a per-screen average of about $8,000.

Hovering at second place--in its 10th week--was Paramount Pictures' runaway summertime hit, "Ghost." With ticket sales of $5.8 million on 1,788 screens--a per-screen average of $3,284--the romantic fantasy has now grossed in excess of $141 million.

In third place, with ticket sales of about $4.9 million was MGM/UA's "Death Warrant." Starring Chuck Norris heir apparent, Jean Claude Van Damme, the action film--about an undercover cop in prison--opened with approximately $4,583 on 1,069 screens.

Fourth and fifth places, respectively, went to the summer holdovers "Presumed Innocent" and "Flatliners." With ticket sales of approximately $2.7 million, Warner Bros.' "Presumed Innocent" has now earned more than $74 million. Columbia's "Flatliners" had ticket sales of about $2.6 million, for grosses of more than $47 million.

The just-out futuristic thriller "Hardware," about a murderous robot, claimed sixth place. With ticket sales of about $2.3 million on 692 screens, the Millimeter Films release had a per-screen average of approximately $3,323.

In limited release, starring Sean Penn and Gary Oldman in a drama about the Irish mob in Hell's Kitchen, Orion Pictures' "State of Grace" performed impressively. With ticket sales of $179,927 on 14 screens, its per-screen average was a strong $12,852.

Another limited release, Warner Bros.' "White Hunter, Black Heart"--a fictionalized treatment of the making of "The African Queen"-- directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, earned approximately $170,000 on 24 screens for about $8,333 per-screen.

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