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Memorial Day Weekend Box Office : Crowded Field Splits $88-Million Gross

June 02, 1993|DAVID J. FOX

The Friday through Monday Memorial Day weekend produced grosses that gave the film industry a solid, if not rousing start for the summer season. No records were set, as a crowded field of films split the business many ways. The money-makers even included Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning "Unforgiven," which played in 955 low-priced houses and pulled in $1.4 million--10 months after its initial release. (Its total gross to date is $97.2 million.)

Final figures released on Tuesday by the studios put the weekend total at $88 million in tickets sold for all movies grossing above $500,000. That was off 5.5% from last year's Memorial Day weekend, which had a record $93.4-million gross. But this year's figure was still second best for the last 10 years.

"Cliffhanger," starring Sylvester Stallone, led the field as had been expected. But while it had the highest gross of all non-sequels opening during the Memorial Day period, some had expected the film to do at least $5 million more.

* "Like Water for Chocolate," the romantic film from Mexico, led the field of art-house releases with $940,815 on 172 screens. It was followed closely by Kenneth Branagh's version of "Much Ado About Nothing," which did an impressive $937,705 on only 35 screens.

Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1. "Cliffhanger" $20.4 2,333 1 (TriStar) $20.4 $8,769 2. "Made in America" $11.8 2,048 1 (Warner Bros.) $11.8 $5,772 3. "Dave" $8.9 1,916 4 (Warner Bros.) $40.7 $4,662 4. "Super Mario Bros." $8.5 2,081 1 (Hollywood) $8.5 $4,100 5. "Hot Shots! Part Deux" $8.2 2,140 2 (Fox) $21.3 $3,842 6. "Sliver" $7.3 2,093 2 (Paramount) $23.4 $3,512 7. "Menace II Society" $3.8 464 1 (New Line) $4.5 $8,225 8. "Indecent Proposal" $3.3 1,602 8 (Paramount) $93.2 $2,056 9. "Dragon" $2.6 1,945 4 (Universal) $28.5 $1,331 10. "Posse" $2.2 788 3 (Gramercy) $13.4 $2,833 * "Like Water for Chocolate" $940,815 172 16 (Miramax) $7.3 $5,470

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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