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National Video Rentals : 'Cliffhanger' Starting to Look Shaky

December 31, 1993|DENNIS HUNT and Source: Billboard Publications Inc.

"Cliffhanger" is still listed as the top rental, but it's hanging on by only a thread. Many video retailers will tell you that "Sleepless in Seattle," the wholesome romantic tale featuring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, is their top rental--though it entered the chart at No. 6. "The Firm" and "Dave" haven't shown up yet on the chart either, but at many stores they're available by waiting list only. On the next rental chart these three newcomers should be in the Top 5. "Made in America," starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson, continues to be a very popular rental, moving up a notch to No. 4. Some feared the infamous Goldberg-Danson blackface incident at the Friars Club would translate into a backlash against the movie in the rental market, but so far it hasn't. "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" was a box-office hit ($35-million gross) and has strong appeal to the martial arts fans that still revere the late star. It premiered at No. 8 and has a good shot at breaking into the Top 5. "Super Mario Bros.," which was trashed by critics but recorded a respectable theatrical gross ($20.5 million), premiered at No. 18. Bad word-of-mouth may hamper its chances of reaching the Top 10.

* This drama, starring Don Johnson and Rebecca DeMornay, did decent box-office business ($22.7 million) and is off to a very good start (No. 11) in the rental market. It should make the Top 10 fairly easily but, considering the stiff competition, is a long shot to crack the Top 5.

Rank Weeks Last on the Week Chart 1."Cliffhanger" 1 5 2."Sliver" 2 6 3."Rising Sun" 6 3 4."Made in America" 5 4 5."Free Willy" 4 6 6."Sleepless in Seattle" ... 1 7."Indecent Proposal" 3 10 8."Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" ... 1 9."Dennis the Menace" 7 8 10."Life With Mikey" 9 4 *"Guilty as Sin" ... 1

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