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Movie Attendance Holding Its Own

January 23, 1991|PAT H. BROESKE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

One question many exhibitors were asking themselves last week was whether the outbreak of war in the Persian Gulf would keep most moviegoers at home in front of their TV sets over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Another question was whether the air assault on Iraq would spur interest in Paramount Pictures' new release, "Flight of the Intruder," which is built around an A-6 Intruder bombing of Hanoi during the Vietnam War.

The answer to both questions, apparently, was no.

"Intruder," directed by "Red Dawn's" John Milius, grossed $5.7 million on 1,489 screens, good enough for just fifth place, and business overall was up nearly 30% over the same period a year ago.

Leading business for the 10th week in a row was Fox's "Home Alone," followed by Columbia's "Awakenings," Universal's "Kindergarten Cop," and Orion's "Dances With Wolves." Among new releases, Disney's Jack London tale, "White Fang," did a solid $5.6 million on 1,108 screens, good for sixth place on the chart, while Orion's sci-fi action film "Eve of Destruction" opened weakly with an estimated $2.5 million on 985 screens.

In limited release, Universal's "Once Around" averaged a fairly strong $19,348 on 16 screens, and Miramax's "The Grifters" averaged more than $20,000 at six theaters in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Paramount's "The Godfather Part III" slipped another 35% and ranked 12th after just four weeks in release.

FOUR-DAY HOLIDAY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

Movie Weekend Screens/ Weeks in Total (Studio) Gross Average Release Gross 1."Home Alone" $11.1 2,129 10 $192.5 (20th Century Fox) Million $5,213 Million 2."Awakenings" $7.6 1,311 5 $17.6 (Columbia Pictures) Million $5,797 Million 3."Kindergarten Cop" $7.0 1,886 5 $62.1 (Universal Pictures) Million $3,705 Million 4."Dances With Wolves" $5.8 1,302 11 $85.2 (Orion Pictures) Million $4,454 Million 5."Flight of the Intruder" $5.7 1,489 1 $5.7 (Paramount Pictures) Million $3,844 Million *"Once Around" $309,571 16 1 $309,571 (Universal Pictures) $19,348

SOURCES: Exhibitor Relations Co., Times estimates.

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