"Patriot Games" leads the Top 10 at the national box office for a second weekend, but its glory days are numbered as "Batman Returns" flies into theaters on Friday. If film industry expectations are any clue, the sequel to the 1989 blockbuster "Batman" may cause traffic jams in theater lobbies and become this summer's box-office champ.
In recent Hollywood history, the original "Batman" holds the record for the biggest non-holiday opening weekend gross of $42.7 million. The second-highest non-holiday opener is this year's "Lethal Weapon 3," which scored $33.2 million in its first three days. The only major new release last weekend, "Housesitter," starring Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin, weathered mixed reviews. But even with the star power, the comedy wasn't able to unseat the current leaders. The movie's distributor, Universal Pictures, had to be content with a third-place position. That was the same situation in which it found itself after Memorial Day, when "Far and Away," powered by star Tom Cruise, opened in third place.
In only two weeks, the Harrison Ford "Patriot Games" has generated a very healthy $36.5 million, and "Sister Act," starring Whoopi Goldberg disguised as a nun, has taken in $42.6 million in three weekends. "Sister Act" is demonstrating the kind of ticket sales pace that is a good omen for a summer-long run.