What might have been a gigantic weekend at box offices across the nation, considering the opening of three major movies and the continuing popularity of "Mrs. Doubtfire," turned out instead to be somewhat lighter than Hollywood would have liked.
With the public clearly opting for comedies in the midst of the holiday season, "Wayne's World 2" led the top 10-grossing movies, with $14.2 million estimated on 2,400 screens for its first weekend. The comedy, with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as two party-animal dudes, is Paramount Pictures' follow-up to 1992's highly successful "Wayne's World" which grossed $121.7 million in the U.S. and Canada. The original film took in $18.1 million in its debut over a four-day President's Day weekend.
"Mrs. Doubtfire," with Robin Williams posing as a nanny, grossed $10 million in wide release for second place. The 20th Century Fox film has now accumulated $60 million after only three weekends.
In third place was another new film, "Sister Act 2: Back In the Habit," from Disney's Touchstone division. The Whoopi Goldberg singing nun sequel grossed $7.5 million on 2,132 screens for the Friday-though-Sunday period. The original "Sister Act," which debuted on a non-holiday week-end in May 1992, also during a busy movie-going period, grossed $11.9 million in its first weekend. Although the original "Sister Act" never occupied first place in the top 10, it eventually took in $140 million.
Another opener, "Geronimo: An American Legend," starring Wes Studi, Jason Patric, Robert Duvall and Gene Hackman, grossed a slim $4 million on 1,605 screens for fourth place.
On the same weekend a year ago, the top four movies, which included "Home Alone 2," "Aladdin," "The Bodyguard" and "A Few Good Men," earned a combined $38 million. This year's group scored $35.7 million.
Even with the dip in box-office totals for the weekend just ended, 1993 remains on track to slightly surpass the annual record of $5.01 billion worth of tickets sold, set in 1989. Most analysts expect the box office to surge the day after Christmas and go roaring though New Year's weekend.
On this weekend, "A Perfect World," with Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood, was fifth with $2.8 million.
"The Three Musketeers" did $1.8 million for sixth place, and "Addams Family Values" grossed $1.7 million for seventh. "The Piano" took in $1.3 million for eighth, "Carlito's Way" had $1.2 million for ninth and "My Life" was tenth with $1 million.
In its first weekend on only two screens in Los Angeles and New York, MGM's "Six Degrees of Separation" grossed a lively $49,500. Business was light for the critically acclaimed "The Remains of the Day," starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, with $715,000 on about 500 screens, bringing its total to $13.6 million after six weekends.
Final box office figures will be released Monday.